We wanted to share a short story about a family that we’ve worked with throughout the pandemic.
*Names have been changed to ensure anonymity.
Originally from Syria, Abdul, Hassan and Yusef* came to London with their parents, from a refugee camp in Jordan. They have been coming to our Love to Learn Junior Homework Club for over a year. When the family first arrived they could not speak any English and the children’s behaviour was erratic due to the trauma they had been living through. Over time the children have built great relationships with staff and volunteers at our Love to Learn team. In our Club and at school their confidence has grown.
Their mum, Ayan, has found it extremely difficult to adjust to life in London and has suffered with her mental health. She speaks little English and was scared to go to places alone with her children. For the past year she has been attending our ESOL (English) classes. She’s made friends in the class, which has helped her feel less isolated and lonely. The lockdown has been very difficult for the family. Their father lost his job and Yusef has been suffering from severe anxiety, low confidence and self-esteem. He has great difficulty sleeping and has been wetting the bed.
Abdul, Hassan and Yusef have taken part in the vast majority of our online Wednesday Homework Clubs. They particularly loved the games and their confidence to speak in the group has grown each week. During the first lockdown the family could only access online learning and our Clubs through their parent’s mobile phones. When we were able to give them a laptop and tablet all 3 children were able to take part in their school work, our Clubs and speak with family and friends via Zoom. One of our experienced volunteers, who has known the boys since they first started attending the Clubs, has been supporting them during the Wednesday club on a one-to-one basis (in Zoom breakout rooms) with their reading and maths.
Our project workers have made foodbank referrals for the family and arranged for educational resources to be delivered to their home. We have also arranged for them to receive 6 art packs, which was a result of a collaboration between our Love to Learn team and an arts organisation, Artists in Transit.
Last summer the family came to our summer holiday activities. They took part in our outdoor art workshops, football and sports days as well as cooking and wellbeing sessions. They also went on a family trip to the beach funded by us.
We look forward to continuing to support Abdul, Hassan and Yusef and their parents, settle into life in London and get ahead in their education.