Courses help Nepalese women
CLASSES to help Nepalese women settle in Britain are expanding through east Kent. The tuition, originally for English language and culture, now includes employment skills in a three-year programme. The aim os to help about 600 women in Ashford, Shepway, Dover and Canterbury over that period, most of them the wives of Gurkhas. The service was inaugurated at a ceremony in Ashford on April 24, attended by Damian Green, Ashford Conservative parliamentary candidate, with classes beginning in the town the same day. The tuition is under way in Shepway and will be extended to cover Dover and Canterbury this year. Organiser Julia Hanks, of the School of English Studies in Folkestone, said: “A lot of these women don’t speak English. “It can be very isolating for them and many will be here for the rest of their lives. “A lot of them also have low paid jobs with unsocial hours so this will improve their job prospects.” Classes had started in January at International House in Station Road, Ashford and will now be absorbed into the new service, at Brookfield Road Baptist Church in South Ashford, and additionally cover British citizenship and customs. They will also teach computer and employment skills and provide careers advice and help in improving job prospects. Ashford’s Nepalese community consists of about 400 families while those in Shepway, total about 560 families.
In the group are Ashford parliamentary candidate Damian Green and Julie Hanks of the School of English Studies