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How Bouchra has thrived through the power of community connections

4 minute read

Think of Morocco, and you might picture a travel destination which is full of rich history, colour, and diversity - which is also mystical.

For Bouchra, who grew up in Rabat, Morocco's capital,  she had achieved qualifications in Economics and had been working as Bank Manager for over 10 years. She too had a fascination of her own, to work abroad. She decided to take the next step and made some further enquiries.

“I’d just sent an email when I got a response from this man – who I’d accidentally emailed by mistake.

“We started chatting and became really good friends. I found out that he spoke the same languages as me and before I knew it, we were arranging a time for him to travel from Australia to meet me,” says Bouchra.

After several visits to her homeland, Bouchra and her email-pen-pal eventually married, and she made the move to Australia five years ago to start a new chapter with her husband. She was initially excited by the move, but didn’t speak a word of English.

“I started off by doing basic things like watching TV. I wanted to be a good role model for my children so I decided to undertake an English class and It was incredibly hard.

“I was confused because the test included things that I hadn’t even learned yet. When I queried this, it turns out I was given the wrong test and I was sitting an English language university entrance test – but I passed!”

Having completed her English course and with confidence slowly building, Bouchra knew it was now time to start looking for work. While she was visiting a nearby shopping centre in Bankstown that she was drawn to advertising signage for the ParentsNext program at our PeoplePlus branch. She was then keen to learn more about how these services could help her as she was also a parent of two young children.

The ParentsNext pre-employment program delivered by PeoplePlus works with parents to identify their education and employment goals and connects them to local training, childcare and other required services within their local community.

“I wanted to understand how PeoplePlus could help me further, and having spent time with the team and learning more, I signed up as volunteer participant and then completing a workshop that helped build my confidence and also learning about local community connections that were available,” she says.

The workshop in fact was so effective that Bouchra was now considering a different career path, in delivering support and help to those in her area, and decided to undertake a Certificate IV in Community Services. The progress she had made was noticed by our team who were so impressed, that she was then offered a position to work in our office supporting other ParentsNext participants.

“In our region, around 90 per cent of people don’t speak English. “I understand where these people come from, and I’ve made it my mission to help them learn English so that they can experience a new and vibrant life like I am now,” she said.

Not only has learning English has been life-changing for Bouchra, but she is now changing the lives of her clients and job seekers. “I had a client recently who was referred to the ParentsNext program.

“The first thing I did for her was send her to a local Playgroup. “She met other mums and slowly learned English by working together in a team environment and a month later, she decided to do a hairdressing course which she found through her own networking efforts.

]“I understand where these people come from, and I’ve made it my mission to help them learn English so that they can experience a new and vibrant life like I am now.”

“It just goes to show how much you can change your life by taking a simple leap of faith,” Bouchra said.

And for Bouchra who now works as Case Manager for our team at PeoplePlus ParentsNext, she couldn’t be happier about where her initial leap of faith has led her.

Further Information

For more information, or to join the ParentsNext program, call our team today on 1300 987 096 or email parentsnext@peopleplusaustralia.com.au

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