Young refugees have spent much of their lives displaced from their homes through war and persecution. Many have had little opportunity to attend formal schooling. Entering school in Australia is therefore extremely challenging for newly arrived young people. They can have significant gaps in their education and English language as well as being socially isolated and disconnected. This experience impacts on their mental health, wellbeing and social participation. Trauma is also prevalent amongst young people of refugee background, in particular in the first years of settlement.
Through our work at ARA we have witnessed the resilience and courage of young people in overcoming the challenges of settlement and know that with the appropriate support they can achieve great things.
ARA’s Homework Club program has been operating for over 12 years and has been a key support structure to many young people who are now contributing to Australia’s social and economic wellbeing, ARA Homework Clubs have been structured to provide trauma-informed approaches to learning, support and encouragement for young people to connect to the wider community, and build a sense of belonging. Homework Clubs provide a supportive space to exchange stories, culture and experiences between our young clients and volunteer tutors, creating a safe space for intercultural understanding. This space has created a community for young people to engage in education and build confidence and emotional stability.
Young people are provided with support by volunteer tutors offering support to practice English, complete assignments, and acquire the necessary skills for success in the classroom and build positive relationships with tutors and peers. Homework clubs also provide an opportunity for young people to seek advice on how to further their education and employment pathways.
Om Kafley was born and raised in a refugee camp in Nepal after fleeing from persecution in Bhutan. He completed Year 10 in in a refugee camp school, and was resettled in Adelaide in 2013. Whilst completing Year 11 and 12 at Paralowie R-12 School, Om regularly attended the ARA Homework Club and credits his educational success to the program.
“I gained confidence in written and verbal communication.”
He credits his achievement to the volunteer tutors who supported him throughout his schooling and settlement journey. Om understands the importance of providing opportunities and support to young refugees and is now in a position to contribute back to the community that helped him.
“I want to give back what I received from ARA. I am very thankful for ARA giving me the opportunity to help back (new arrival refugees)”
Commencing as a volunteer tutor, Om is now one of ARA’s Program Facilitators at the Salisbury Homework Club.
“I am currently studying a Bachelor of Science (Space Science and Astrophysics) and I hope to graduate in November 2019. I arrived in Australia in 2013 with a poor English background and struggled academically and had difficulty engaging with new people in a new environment.
Fortunately, I heard about ARA and how it is helping new arrival refugees with different facilities, including the Homework Club. Since then, the Homework Club had been an ideal place for me to get help with assignments and simultaneously improve my English skills. More importantly, I was further motivated by friendly, dedicated and encouraging tutors. These all helped, along with my passion for Mathematics and Science, and allowed me to receive the University of Adelaide Scholarship Award in 2016. “
WILL YOU MAKE A DONATION TO SUPPORT ARA’S HOMEWORK CLUBS AND HELP EMPOWER COURAGEOUS YOUNG PEOPLE?
$50 can provide healthy snacks and stationary for a Homework Club session
$100 can provide 3 hours of facilitator support for a session
$200 can help provide two family members with subsidised school fees and text books.
Please donate to the Homework Club Appeal today.