Refugee Support Network – SocialBox.Biz Laptop Case Studies Update

SocialBox.Biz Laptop Case Studies, Refugee Support Network Update 31 July and 16 September 2020

As our partners Refugee Support Network are working on compiling the latest case studies of unaccompanied refugee children and young people  receiving rehomed SocialBox.Biz laptops, here are summaries for two of the recipients.

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Case Studies…

*The names have been changed.

Yahya* is making excellent progress in mastering English, having fled Syria in 2018. Yahya was unable to enter education immediately, and had to overcome several barriers before doing so. At the start of this academic year, Yahya was enrolled on a Beginners ESOL programme – English for Speakers of Other Languages. He had referred himself to RSN’s specialist education and wellbeing support programme, and was growing in confidence in speaking and listening and communicating independently with other services.

With the onset of the lockdown, Yahya’s college closed and he was unable to study at home without a laptop. RSN applied to Social Box for a laptop for Yahya and has provided resources and materials to enable him to continue studying online. Our support work is meeting with him in person now, with social distancing, and using his laptop in sessions to introduce him to new study materials – including resources through the British Council’s ESOL resources, and BBC Bitesize studies.

Learning English is an essential step for Yahya in building a life for himself in the UK and in growing in personal confidence. He is now being supported to re-apply and re-enter ESOL studies at his college for September 2020.

Suleiman* is a gifted young man from Iraq. Over the past two years, he has excelled on his Electrical Installation course, being awarded by his West London-based college for both his hard work and expertise. Suleiman aspires to build a career as an electrician and is steadily progressing through a vocational diploma route, alongside completing his GCSEs in English and Maths. Having progressed through matriculation in his home country, Suleiman had to re-start in English but has risen to this challenge and been highly motivated throughout his studies.

With the onset of the lockdown and school and college closures, Suleiman was forced to study from home. Without a laptop, he diligently attempted work for his 3 courses using only his mobile phone. RSN’s specialist education and wellbeing support team provided additional 1:1 educational mentoring and put Suleiman forward for a Social Box laptop.

With this laptop, Suleiman has now completed the coursework and assignments for each of his programmes of study and is on track to progress to an Extended Level 3 BTEC Diploma in Electrical Installation in the Autumn Term. He is really excited at the prospect of being able to re-engage in the practical component of study, but states how welcome receiving a laptop has been in setting his pathway to do this. Suleiman is currently exploring apprenticeship options, to complete alongside his studies.

Farhad* is a bright young man from Iran. He was in a very academic school in Iran, but had to flee the country before he gained any high certificate. He is currently focusing on his education in order to get into university. When lockdown started Farhad had to rely solely on his phone to access the school platform for video lessons; to do his homework and to research the information he needed – it was a frustrating time. Once he got his laptop he was really pleased and thankful for it; Farhad said it helped him a lot to keep up with his education. It also allowed him to continue cultivating his passion for making electronic music.

Tesfay* left Eritrea less than a year ago. He is still working on improving his English and his confidence, but he has an ambitious goal: he wants to become a doctor. As a result of the lockdown, all of Tesfay’s lessons moved online – it was a stressful period, with his asylum claim being delayed, less opportunity to practise in an English-speaking environment and difficulty accessing homework from his phone. With a laptop from Social Box, Tesfay got better access to college work and the English sessions with his mentor became more varied and interactive, including videos and exercises that helped him continue to improve his English.