Friday, 14 March 2008

Migrants and craft in Australia

A couple of weeks back I found out that the Migrant Resource Centre in Canberra was looking for people who can help migrants to Australia to learn to speak english. I have been thinking for a while that I would like to do some volunteer work so I decided that I would go along. I have been for the last three Friday mornings and really enjoyed myself. At the moment it is not a large group but it is quite diverse. There are women from Russia, The Philippines, Brazil, Sweden, China, Poland and Macedonia.

The idea behind the group is for the women to undertake craft type activities and in the process help improve their english language skills. I really enjoy it because I am learning about the world of migrant women in Australia and all the difficulties they face adjusting to a new life. Australia is so far away from almost everywhere in the world and I can already see how hard it is for them away from their families.

From my personal point of view I am also enjoying hearing about life in other countries. I will talk more about this as I learn more. So far I have been teaching beading using a needle and thread to some of the women. Others are learning knitting and crocheting. The leader of the group, Diana, brings along all kinds of materials, wool, beads, embroidery materials and the women have a choice about what they would like to do. She also makes a beautiful morning tea, Today we had advocado dip on sour dough bread, fresh nashi pears and grapes. A veritable feast.

I feel that this is a really worthwhile activity and look forward to seeing what else I can do to help our new citizens and what I can learn from them .

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