Language as a major step towards integration: Huda and Sulin’s achievement

The ASB NFE team helps two young women to prepare and take a language exam at Center for the Study of the Hellenic Language and Culture DI.K.E.P.P.E.E. “Stavros Niarchos” at Ioannina University. With the support of IOM Greece

Huda and Sulin Abdullrahmani arrived in Greece with their parents and six other siblings around three years ago, from Iraq. For some time, this family stayed in Thessaloniki, but shortly after they moved to the Filippiada site.

Soon upon their arrival at Filippiada the sisters expressed the wish to learn Greek and joined ASB Non – Formal Education classes. With the support of Sofia Malami, ASB educator, they immediately showed dedication and as Sofia explained to us, she thoroughly enjoyed teaching Huda and Sulin. She said: “They are very consistent and diligent students, very interested in education in general, not only to learn new languages but also many other subjects. I am very happy to be able to assist such well educated enthusiastic young people”!

Two years have passed since the two commenced their Greek lessons. The idea for the exam came at the beginning of this year, as the teacher had noticed they had a good level of Greek and a possibility to get awarded for their hard work by participating and giving a language exam at the Center for the Study of the Hellenic Language and Culture DI.K.E.P.P.E.E. “Stavros Niarchos” at Ioannina University. Both grabbed the opportunity and took it as an incentive to continue studying and prepared themselves as best as possible.

The ASB NFE team then undertook all the necessary application procedures at the Center for Study. Initially, the exam was set for June, but due to the Covid 19 situation, it was postponed and finally arranged for the 5th October, which gave them even more time to improve their knowledge and prepare.

On the day of the exam, ASB assisted with transportation and facilitated with formalities at the University. During the trip to Ioannina, the girls were very enthusiastic and optimistic, demonstrating a high level of self-confidence. Both of them expressed their willingness to even stay in Greece, if possible, to find a job or study and fully integrate into local society.

After the exam was over, Huda and Sulin came out with a big glowing smile, saying that they are very satisfied with how the exam went and they expect good results. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) exam consists of four sections: writing, listening, speaking and reading. The results will be available within a month or two, after which they will receive an internationally recognized certificate.

Since we were already in the University campus, we walked around a bit. This short walk around was much appreciated, and they expressed once again, their determination to continue with their studies one day. A special surprise was the presence of their mentor Mrs Sofia Malami, who came to support and encourage them.

Sulin would like to become a police officer, while Huda would love to attend Medical School, and would like to become a doctor. No one knows whether they will change their mind or be successful in achieving their dreams, but these two young people are certainly a shining example of the determination of accepting challenges and following the path of education and good values in their lives. We wish them the best.