Some of our students live on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. There, the Australian Government holds the refugees who have tried to reach Australia by boat. It’s not a refugee camp, it’s a detention camp.
They are not allowed to go anywhere outside of the island, and they’ve been held there in appalling conditions for (at the time of writing) almost 6 years. While some of the refugees are trying to get asylum in other countries, it’s a long and difficult process.
Our English classes help them with this goal, since they enable students to better communicate their needs and also help keep their minds busy. In 2018, the Australian government decided to allow those on Manus Island the right to work. In order to attain this right, the refugees have to go through a short training process and an interview, in English.
Obeida, one of our students on the island, attended this training and passed the interview. He sent us the certificate he received after passing. He and his teacher worked really hard for Obeida to gain the right to work and it is a real achievement.
We congratulate Obeida, and his teacher, Estelle for the work they accomplished together. English classes can really help our students in the here and now. Obeida’s success is a great example of this. The ability to work in Papua New Guinea will help him and so many others like him to support themselves, to get experience, and to regain some of the dignity that Australia’s government have sadly taken from these strong and resilient young men.
We send our thoughts and solidarity to Obeida and all the others in camps in PNG.