Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Vodafone funds make a world of difference

Vodafone Foundation, thank you.  We salute you.

We’re delighted to announce that our English teacher Tamsin Robertson has won funding from the Vodafone Foundation's World of Difference UK programme to work at Hackney Yoga Project until the end of July. 

Tamsin has been developing a curriculum for our English support classes, which run after yoga and lunch.  She has also been conducting research into services we can signpost to, and helping to create learning and training routes for the refugee and asylum-seeking women attendees.

“The impact of being able to speak, read and write in the language of the community you live in cannot be underestimated,” says Tamsin.  “Fluency in English is a gateway for the women, and hugely empowering.  

“The Hackney Yoga Project model is unique in that English class follows yoga and lunch so the women are relaxed and receptive.  We also use the theme of the yoga class in English support to deepen the women’s understanding of how yoga whilst improving their English vocab and other skills.”

Some of the women attending Hackney Yoga Project are highly educated and accomplished in their first language.  Others are illiterate due to little or no education in their countries of origin – simply for the reason that they are women, and therefore not entitled.

And whilst there are many English classes in London, strict eligibility requirements apply for funded places, and many are male dominated and crowded (think 30 in a class).  

Hackney Yoga Project's English support classes are small, women only, and are targeted at strengthening the students’ language weak spots to help them integration into the community in which they now live.

Read Tamsin's blog.

Read all about the brilliant Hackney City Farm, the home of Hackney Yoga Project.

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