Rehana has travelled alone abroad, something she could never have done before her WEA courses.

Rehana is one of those people who never gives up. She is a joy to teach in that respect: so determined to improve. It’s incredible to think that people can live in this country for more than 25 years barely speaking a word of English. Rehana couldn’t even catch a bus because she couldn’t read the signs.  

The course teaches simple life skills, such as booking an appointment or taking children to the park. Communication is so empowering. Some of the women have gone shopping for the first time. We go to the library. More than learning a language, we’re opening the door to the world outside.   

At first, Rehana struggled in our classes, but she kept going. She quickly made friends in the classroom, which helped her progress. She brings light wherever she goes. Using her new English, Rehana gained a job as a dinner supervisor in the school, where the classes take place. The headteacher says she is doing fantastically well.

Rehana sits on her sofa

Recently, her father was ill in Pakistan, so she travelled there by herself, reading all the signs at the airport. She filled in all the leave of absence forms by herself. She was able to understand the flight announcements and order food on the flight, as she couldn’t take it onboard. Ordinarily, she would have sat silently and gone hungry. And whilst in Pakistan, she still joined her Zoom classes. This shows how much she is willing to learn! 

There’s so much we take for granted from reading every day. She told me: if I hadn’t gone to your classes, there’s no way I could have travelled. But it was her own hard work that achieved it.

She has felt the power of learning and there’s no stopping her! 

Video transcript


My name is Rehana Kosar.

My teacher's name is Azra Rsool she's teaching us. She's a really good teacher. That's why I start reading and writing and I have a two jobs, kitchen and cleaning all day.

I'm in the school in the break time I start my class and we have like a training work training.

Before, I can't read and write anything. I watching everyone and I go to help. I need help for everyone.

Now first time I have training and I done everything by myself. With my r had a teacher and I really proud of I start to read and write.

I have journey my dad really poorly I go to Pakistan for an emergency. I catch two flights by myself and I go to Pakistan I reach back home.

I can't normally read gate name and now I know which gate I read.

The first time I go to Rugby. My daughter lives in the Rugby and I can catch train first time in my life by myself and go to Birmingham to Rugby.

It's not a long journey but still I read in and out which way i'm inside which way I go out and my daughters see me she's really proud of me.

I come by myself and I push everyone. All ladies need to read and write!

i'm so shocked i'm so shocked still. I can't believe. I don't know my son called me I started panicking and I show everyone, I show my daughter, I to show my son. I said to my daughter, I told my husband and they're really happy to me. I started my own life as well it's very important. Its very important.

Rehana was the winner of the Enhanced English award, supported by Olive Cordell, at the 2021 WEA Awards.

Lady in yellow jumper learning with the WEA on her laptop

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