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Computer boost for young NMIT migrant students

08 Aug 2012

Mission Australia is providing twenty-four refurbished computers to young migrant students enrolled at NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE).

Student Pathways Advisor Shona Stephen says, “It's fantastic Mission Australia is supporting our YAMEC students to reach their goals. Owning a computer will give them better access to the community and make it easier to keep in contact with family and friends, as well as improving language skills and access to part-time work.”

YAMEC (Young Adult Migrant Education Course) is designed for migrants and refugees aged 15-26 who have not completed secondary schooling or who need to improve their English language and literacy skills. The course is the first step into mainstream education, training and employment. The course also acts as an introduction to Australian culture.

Abdullahi Abdullahi, 18, from Somalia is one student who will receive a computer. He says he is thrilled at the prospect of using it for his homework and to search for part-time work.

After losing most of his family through sickness and civil war, Abdullahi went to Kenya to live with a family friend. His aunt sponsored him to come to Australia, where he arrived in November 2011.

When Abdullahi arrived in Melbourne he couldn't speak any English, but he has subsequently thrived in YAMEC, enjoying school and making new friends. He aims to find part-time work and complete a Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) course before enrolling in an electrotechnology pre-apprenticeship at NMIT.

Moein Hussain Zadah, 18, from Afghanistan is another YAMEC student due to receive a computer. Moein didn't have the opportunity to go to school in Afghanistan, instead helping his father sell goods. When the situation in his home country became unsafe he came to Australia, arriving in June 2010. He hopes to bring his mother, three brothers and sister to Australia in the future.

When Moein arrived in Australia the only English he knew was 'yes' and 'no'. He is enjoying his YAMEC course at NMIT Collingwood, which has helped with his language skills and taught him more about Australian culture. He plans to get a part-time job to improve his English, complete a VCAL course and enrol in a plumbing pre-apprenticeship with the aim of becoming a plumber.

Shona is grateful for Mission Australia's donation. “I saw in my work that many YAMEC students didn't have the means of owning their own computer. I know how important a computer can be to establishing a life in Australia, so I approached Mission Australia - they had donated three computers to adult refugees in 2011.”

Mission Australia deliver a program - "Work for the Dole Program" - that engages unemployed young people to refurbish computers that are donated by Melbourne Water.

Through this donation a relationship has been formed between Mission Australia and the Youth Unit at NMIT which has created an ongoing opportunity for YAMEC students (young adults from refugee and migrant backgrounds) to receive these computers on a ongoing basis.

Computers are donated to Mission Australia and refurbished by Work for the Dole participants. Mission Australia provides students with basic computer instruction and software including XP Professional, Publisher, Excel, Word and an anti-virus program. The computers are due to be presented to the students at a ceremony at NMIT's Collingwood campus on 14 August 11 am.

“This is just such a great initiative,” Shona says. “These computers are going to change lives.”

See Also: Talking About NMIT Blog: Refurbished computers a boost to migrant students

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Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or jamesgardener@nmit.vic.edu.au

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on six campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north plus a regional campus at Ararat, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.