Renaisi’s Training Team held its first virtual achievement ceremony and celebration event to recognise outstanding efforts of participants working towards their English Language and Employability learning goals.

The celebration was a three-part event on Zoom, including a general knowledge quiz, a treasure hunt, and an award ceremony.  It was also an opportunity for enjoyment, reflection and bonding.

The quiz involved pictures and graded language to make it accessible to ESOL learners. For the treasure hunt, participants were given half an hour to find eight items in their homes, including something that reminds them of their home country. When we reconvened, participants showed the items and explained why they chose them.  It was a chance for participants to share experiences and memories.

The finale of the event was the award ceremony. Chris-Ann Sifa from the Adonis Murati Project in South Africa was the keynote speaker. Like Renaisi, AMP helps refugees to find employment, learn English, and access other services.  Sifa spoke movingly of her own experience as a refugee coming to South Africa and the struggles that she faced learning English, dealing with xenophobia, and adjusting to a new country.  She offered heart-felt congratulations to the participants for their hard work and determination. Renaisi’s tutors Gerardine, Laurette and Stephanie acknowledged the achievements of the participants and awarded virtual certificates to those who have regularly attended ESOL classes for at least three months. Hard copy certificates will be sent to participants’ homes. 

As part of the ceremony, participants were given an opportunity to speak about their motivations for learning English and their experiences of acquiring a new language. They shared experiences of how improving their English was empowering for themselves, their families, and others in their communities.  Participants also discussed their visions for a better world with the conclusion that we need to strive for: love, respect, freedom, and equality. Deborah Searchwell, Renaisi’s Service Design and Development Manager, closed the ceremony with accolades for participants’ accomplishments now and those expected in the future:

“Through their determination and commitment to the values, love, respect and freedom, it’s clear that our participants will ‘be the change that they want to see in the world’.”

Deborah Searchwell.
Deborah Searchwell