A student at the University of South Wales (USW) has shared her experience of coming to Wales as an asylum seeker and reaping the benefits of education.
To mark Adult Learners’ Week (20 – 26 September 2021), Anne Florette, who is in her second year of a Foundation Degree in Community Health & Wellbeing, told the West Wales Chronicle how returning to learning changed her life.
Anne was raised as one of eight children in Cameroon, where education is paid for from primary age. Lack of funds meant she couldn’t finish her degree, but when she came to Cardiff, Space4U – a charity that helps asylum seekers – told Anne about the Women Seeking Sanctuary Advocacy Group (WSSAG). Both organisations helped her to find courses and go to college.
Anne said: “When I gained my refugee status, Constance Nzeneu – the founder of WSSAG – told me, ‘sister, you should go to school.’
“I’m now heading into my second year of my Foundation Degree. My goal is to go to university, to do social work and then work in that field or as a nurse. I want to help people; do something that is good for society, as I know that will make me happy. When you want something, you have to keep going.
“Learning is good because you gain knowledge, experience – I don’t know quite how to put it, but you feel more important. Adult learning has helped me build on my English vocabulary, my confidence and gain self-esteem. As a child I didn’t have access to a library, but here in Wales we have libraries, the internet, tutors that can help us; everything you need to learn.”