Refugee Week 2021 – Dhudhi

It’s Refugee Week 2021 (14-20 June). To celebrate we’re sharing stories about the work we do and the difference we make. 

Dhudhi* is a young person, in Year 8, with a very troubled home life. Her mother has serious mental health problems and ill health. As a result, Dhudhi often cares for her younger two siblings, one of whom has suspected ADHD. She finds this very stressful and it stops her being able to concentrate on her school work. She also has a rather difficult relationship with her mother which upsets her. Her mother does not allow her to leave the house much and has prevented her from taking part in extra-curricular activities in the past.

Her mentor, Kelly, has been working with her before lockdown, but once that happened, she was aware that Dhudhi was particularly vulnerable. She increased her sessions to twice a week with regular phone calls also. She encouraged her to talk about how she was feeling and helped motivate her to study.

This is the latest update from the mentor: “Dhudhi and I have been working on maths, French, Technology & Design, and history. Dhudhi was especially enthusiastic about issues around race, discrimination and slavery which have cropped up in many of her assignments given recent events. Fortunately, I have a master’s in racial studies so we had lengthy discussions about George Floyd and wider racial discrimination and structural racism which she seemed to have an excellent grasp of. She was asked to write a speech and chose this topic – her teacher really applauded her for it.

Generally, I have seen her not only improve her knowledge but also her methodology. She approaches her homework differently enabling her to do it more efficiently without compromising on the quality. I consider this a key development for her. On a personal level, I have also witnessed visible growth in the way she handles relationships with family and friends. It has been a pleasure to see.

*Note: Names have been changed to ensure anonymity. Photos are illustrative.

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