Community Digital Skills Pathway helps Ali gain confidence and overcome isolation
Ali tells us how taking part in the Community Digital Skills pathway has helped him to become less isolated and more confident using the internet.
“I’m Ali, I was born in Iran and have lived in the UK for the past eight years after coming to the country as a refugee. When I arrived, I couldn’t speak or comprehend a single word of English which made my life very difficult. The language was as foreign to me as the country itself. But I never gave up and kept looking for ways to interact with other people.
“My first few years in the UK were the most difficult years of my life. I arrived alone and remained alone for many years since not speaking English made it really hard to make new friends. I couldn’t travel, find work, go to the doctor, or explain or express my feelings, emotions, or issues to people. For many years, I carried these worries in my heart and was very lonely.
“Coming to the Migrant Support Centre completely changed my life. I met some excellent teachers and received the help I needed to begin studying English and learning computer skills.
“I was told about the digital support and expressed an interest. Just like the English language, the world of computers was foreign to me; I had never used a computer before and I didnt have access to the internet.
“I come to the centre several times a week and the teachers were always willing to help and encourage me. They worked with me in small groups as well as on a one-on-one basis. I was given a tablet, which I used to practice my digital skills. Suddenly, I discovered a new world, one filled with information, knowledge, wonders, amazing facts, and puzzles.
“After completing some courses on Learn My Way, I realised that computers could impact my life on every level. Once I had access to the internet I read information about travelling, how to search for work and learning a new language.
“So far, I’ve learned how to operate a keyboard, mouse, touchscreen, and the basics of the internet. I’ve developed a strong interest in computers and I’m excited about continuing to learn so I can improve my chances of finding work and accessing the other benefits that technology can offer.
“The people working at Migrant Support have assisted and supported me so well. I’ve met some incredible people and made new friends, I no longer feel isolated.”