The Community Learning Campaigners
by Mark Lankshear
As this major New Deal initiative to raise
people’s skills and job prospects gets underway (see Return
to learn in Burngreave! in the New Deal pages), the Messenger
introduces members of the team who will be out and about in Burngreave,
recruiting new learners. This month we met Sarah Aref-Taha.
So what’s the Community Learning
Campaign all about?
It’s about reaching out into the community and encouraging
people to gain basic skills and improve their training, to help
them get into better jobs. If anyone wants help finding a course
they can give us a ring on
Why did you want to be a Learning Campaigner?
I’d worked as a secretary for three years, and felt trapped
in a mundane job where I was treated badly. My only interaction
was with a computer from 9–5 everyday. I wanted to work with
people, to help them better themselves. I see the job as a stepping
stone, I’d like to learn to teach English as a second language.
I’m an Arabic speaker and I know how important English is.
How did you end up in Burngreave?
I came to England from Iraq in the 80s and lived in London for a
long time. I married a Yorkshireman because I’d heard they
were better than Londoners. My husband grew up in Sheffield and
we moved here in February last year. His father had come here from
the Yemen in the 50s to work in the steel industry.
So how’s the job going?
We only started three weeks ago, so we’re just getting to
know the job and each other, but already I’ve got a new view
on Burngreave. I’ve met lots of people I wouldn’t usually
bump into, especially young men who’d I’d usually be
a bit wary of. They’ve all been really friendly, it’s
taught me a lot about people and helped take away my fears. Now
I’m just keen to get out there and recruit new learners!
Burngreave Community Learning
Campaign are located in Forum House on Spital Hill and can be contacted
on 279 4960.
Visit their new website at http://learning.burngreave.net
Other Learning Capaigner
Issue 32, June 2003: Mick
Issue 34, September 2003: Brendan
Issue 35, October 2003: Imran
Issue 36, November 2003: Steph
Issue 37, December 2003: Glenroy