Studied: ESOL Skills for Life Writing, Entry 2 ESOL Functional Skills qualification in Information and Communication Technology, Level 1 Award, Level 2 and 3 Certificate in Community Interpreting
Sarko’s excellent skills as a Kurdish interpreter are in demand at Walsall’s Refugee and Migrant Centre (RMC) where he volunteers.
He has developed this role over the last four years after improving his English-speaking, writing and ICT skills at the college. He has also achieved community interpreting qualifications.
“I’ve always enjoyed learning,” said Sarko. “In Iran, I was a history graduate aiming to become a teacher. I’ve also trained as a barber.”
On arrival in the UK in 2016, Sarko was keen to help others with limited English-speaking skills who were adjusting to life in a new country.
He has proved popular at Walsall RMC. Over the last two years, he has provided over 100 hours of voluntary service.
“People need advice on many things like housing, healthcare, finance and benefits,” said Sarko. “I find my work rewarding.”
Sarko also directs people to the learning opportunities available at Walsall College.
“I’ve referred people for ESOL classes, explaining how useful these are,” continued Sarko.
“There’s a community feel at each of the college campuses. All my teachers have been helpful and friendly. It’s easy to see how passionate they are about their work. It’s a very good learning environment.”
“While learning English for the first time was hard at first, I soon got used to it,” said Sarko. “Now I don’t think I could give up being a student.”
Sarko hopes to gain a full-time role as an interpreter and one day return to teaching through a masters degree.
“Opportunities to learn and find work are possible thanks to local colleges like Walsall College,” added Sarko.
“I feel fortunate to have been able to study and train and now be making a difference to other peoples’ lives.”