We generally run Computers in Homes for 15 refugee families a year in Nelson and this time almost a hundred people gathered in Victory Community Hall to celebrate their 2014 graduation on 16 September.
Special guests included Erika Ross, Regional Director Ministry of Education, Hassan Ibrahim, Southern Regional Refugee Education Coordinator MoE, Nelson City Councillor Matt Lawrey and Marion Street MP.
All expressed their congratulations to the graduate parents for the commitment and tenacity shown to complete training to help their children with their school work.
We were warmly hosted by Principal Helen Taylor-Young and school coordinator Dianne Goodwin who has been working with refugee children and their families for over a decade. Previous principal Mark Brown has now moved to Newtown School in Wellington and is planning CIH for families there in 2015. Erika Ross was called upon to present certificates and will feature some of our photos in the next Ministry of Education bulletin.
One unique feature of Refugee graduations at Victory School is the community involvement and how previous graduate families support the newly arrived ones. Their wonderful children and older students entertain us with dance and the parents sing for the guests. The costumes and music are an amazing experience every time.
Another feature is how Computers in Homes provides opportunity for personal growth and development of youth. Previous CIH graduate families have provided fantastic interpreters, trainers and technicians who come back to work on the programme and further afield. Dhan and David rose to the occasion as trainers for this intake, and Dhan will go on as Family Liaison and Technical support. Dhan is currently studying Computer Engineering, while David enters tertiary education as an Engineering student at Canterbury University in 2015. We wish them well in their journey.
Many thanks to all the amazing people who contribute and make this event happen!