It has been a long time – my apologies.
In the last month we have seen a significant improvement in the family’s ability to communicate in English. We are now able to sit and have a conversation without the use of Google Translate except for particularly complicated sentences. I think they are finally becoming comfortable enough and have enough words that they are not hesitant to try.
Chady and Zeinab are in school every day – Zeinab from 9-12 and Chady from 9-3. Zeinab comes home at noon with Sarah and Sadil – the full day is too much for the girls. They come home for lunch and a nap.
Chady helps Zeinab bring the girls home and then goes back to school. I talked with the school last week and was told they are very pleased with his progress. While looking over Chady’s school workbook on Sunday, I saw that the teacher had written a note to Chady saying that he was very pleased with Chady’s progress.
The boys Hamza and Yousef are also progressing very well. Hamza is starting a special LEAP program this week. He will be in a much smaller class where along with other students he will get the help he needs to catch up – he is Grade 4 but reading at about the Grade 1 level. He has done surprisingly well considering the fact that he has only had one year of school. Yousef too has improved significantly. He is taking medication for ADHD and it has made a tremendous difference; he is like a different child. At seven years old he has never been to school so it is much more of a challenge for him.
I purchased age/grade appropriate curriculum books at Costco for the boys this week, have set up a curriculum, and found a tutor to work with the boys four nights a week. I will see how this goes – it will be interesting. The boys have been thrust into a completely different culture. They left friends and family back home. They have little background in terms of attending school, studying, doing homework, etc., and no understanding of the English language when they arrived 8 months ago – not an easy transition.
We are now in month eight of the twelve month commitment to the family and are starting to look at what needs to be done to help the family move to month thirteen when they will be on their own. Chady has been looking for part-time work in the afternoon or evening. It would be a great morale booster if he found something but for now, he needs to stay in ESL classes – English has to be his most important challenge for some time to come. We know the family will continue to need our financial support and our mentoring. As long as they are committed to working at improving their English skills and the skills needed to become self sufficient in Canada we will be there.
On the employment front, Lloyd attended an Employment Workshop for Month Thirteen on the weekend and we have some ideas that we will pursue but there is no simple answer. It seems that most of the work is found through networking and the goal still has to be a proficiency in English. Chady has been given a couple of leads by friends he has met and he did go to an interview last week but so far no luck.
Again thanks to everyone for the support that you have given – we could not have done any of this without it. I will try to remember to take some photos and post them – I get so busy I forget.