Our work Recipients 2009
Several Humanitarian Entrant education awards of $2,500 each are awarded to students with refugee status who are currently enrolled in the State and Catholic education systems offering financial assistance to award determination against overwhelming odds and encourage their education and career pursuits.
2009 / JEREMIAH BATU, SOUSAN GHOLAMI & ONDA MAFUNE
Jeremiah Batu arrived in Austalia in May 2007 from a rural area of Burma he had only received education to level Grade III. His grandmother, unable to afford to keep him at school in Burma had him work in the fields to support the family. Eventuall at age 16 he was united with his birth mother and eventually reached India in 2000.
Jeremiah now aims to educate himself through extra tuition in reading and writing in order to advance his capacity to work and study. A very committed and responsible student he passes on his knowledge and fortune to other refugee student where and when possible becoming a mentor to new students arriving into Tasmania. He provide leadership through the emerging Burmese community in Launceston earning great respect from students and staff at the Launceston college.
Jeremiah will put his award to good use through his dedication to enhancing his literacy and numeracy skills as well as developing strong IT skills as a prospective career path.
Sousan came from Iran in late 2003 as a 13 year old settling in Devonport and enrolling in Devonport High School. Life in Iran was difficult with her father dying in 1999 after being quadraplegic for two years as a result of a serious accident.
Sousan’s family was successfully sponsored by the United Nations under a program that relocated impoverished families to another county to start a new life. Along with her brothers, sister and mother she has settled in Devonport. Adjustments to life in Australia has been difficult with the family’s limited command of the English language, different social and cultural ways and completely unfamiliar teaching and learning styles. Without any family support their transition has been extremely difficult.
Sousan’s awards will allow her to continue her secondary studies through to attaining pre-tertiary results for her university entrance availing her to extra mentoring and tuition as required.
Onda Mfaume arrived in Hobart in April 2006 from Tanzania. He had no English, but was multilingual, speaking Lingala, Kibembe, Swahili and French. He commenced his studies at Elizabeth College and fifteen months later is able to speak excellent English. Onda has achieved this through perseverance and a quiet determination to succeed. From the beginning he mixed with Australian students in a fervent desire to learn the language and the culture.
Onda was raised by his grandparents in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When war broke out in 2000 his grandfather was killed as a result of tribal conflict. From this time on Onda’s life was extremely difficult with his schooling severely interrupted. He finally fled his homeland in 2003 fearing for his safety and was granted refuge in Tanzania in a refugee camp where he stayed for three years. Onda knows that his parents and two of his siblings are alive, but has no knowledge of their whereabouts in Africa. He has an older brother and sister in law in Tasmania.
Onda aims to complete his study next year at Elizabeth College and to fulfil his ambition to study Electrical Engineering at the University of Tasmania for which this award will assist.