“If England can have a queen then surely my daughter can get an education”
We’re celebrating International Volunteer Day! Meet ARA volunteer Ena Tripura, who has had a remarkable journey from rural Bangladesh to the halls of Flinders University.
ARA volunteer Ena Tripura says she has her father to thank for the life she lives now. Ena hails from the Tripura community in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh, where education for girls was frowned upon. But Ena’s father encouraged his daughter to study and expand her horizons.
Ena jokes that she is “famous” in her community as the first female who has studied abroad. This reaction to her achievements inspires a deep sense of responsibility to act as a role model for girls and women in her community.
Ena first came to Australia in 2012 on an Australian Government scholarship. After working with the United Nations and non-government organisations in Bangladesh, Ena is now undertaking a PhD in women’s studies. It focuses on the factors contributing to Rohinga refugee womens’ vulnerability to sexual violence and gender-based violence in Bangladesh.
She was inspired to work with refugees having witnessed the lasting effects that 25 years of conflict had on her people. “The majority of my community fled to India to escape conflict in the Chittagong Hills Tract and could not return until 1997”.
Ena brings empathy and understanding to her volunteer work with ARA’s Cultural Support Groups. These group sessions provide a safe and supportive environment for mothers to connect, gain parenting information and practice English.
Without volunteers like Ena, ARA couldn’t do the crucial work it does in helping new arrivals and refugees settle into a new life in Australia.
If you’d like to volunteer please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08 8354 2951.