Growing pride in the community
Without the right language or IT skills, it can be almost impossible to find a job that reflects your abilities. Rehana has mobilised WEA support to remove barriers for Asian women in Rochdale.
Twenty years ago, I was a mum with two kids, looking for work. It was futile. The WEA was here, but it didn’t have the computer course I needed to get a job. But I’m not one to give in. I sat down with a friend, hand-wrote some flyers in Urdu, and went door to door to find like-minded people. The next week, 12 of us turned up at the WEA doorstep. They found a tutor and we were off!
Later, I became a tutor myself. At first, it was hard getting Asian ladies out to learn English. But when family members came to the end-of-course celebrations - when they saw the pride and confidence in the faces of their wives and daughters - they started to realise we’d started something special.
The WEA is now thriving in Rochdale. Why? The community needs us and supports us. I’ve had students living on £5 a day who still pay their bus fare to come, because it means so much to them. Some are now becoming tutors and volunteers, just like me.
Everyone involved feel they are part of the WEA. Community support made it all possible. Life’s not easy in Rochdale. There are a lot of hardships. But at least with the WEA, there is always hope.
The WEA is now thriving in Rochdale. Why? The community needs us and supports us.