Visitors and Interns
Visitors and interns at the CRLC
Every year the CRLC is lucky to receive hundreds of visitors from all around the world. Some are highly qualified and professional, while others are students looking to expand their knowledge about the world. They write journal articles, university theses, blogs and social media about the school, and they go back to their own countries with real-life knowledge about refugees. This first-hand knowledge and experience cannot be distorted by shallow media articles, an important outcome for the millions of refugees stuck in limbo.
Each visitor is offered an opportunity to learn from the refugees, to engage in the community and to share their own knowledge with the CRLC community. Almost all leave the school moved by the courage and resilience of the refugees at the CRLC and many tears are shared. Everyone becomes a part of our borderless community and life-long friendships are formed.
CRLC / University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Teacher Development Partnership
CRLC and UTS continued the Teacher Development programme with two week-long intensive development programmes in 2017 and 2018. In September 2017, Associate Professor Nina Burridge, Dr Damian Maher, Dr Lucy Fiske and Bilquis Ghani organised a series of workshops focusing on unit planning (designing a series of lesson plans, exercises, resources and assessments together to create a unit of learning). The training programme include representatives from CRLC and also three other nearby refugee-led schools, the Refugee Learning Centre, Hope Learning Centre and Refugee Learning Nest. In addition to the group workshops, Damian and Nina observed teachers in the classrooms at each school, and provided tailored feedback on teaching skills.
The team came again in January 2018 and worked with the four schools, this time running programmes on the use of technology in the classrooms (thank you to UTS for the donation of two iPads to enhance student learning) and teaching history and social sciences. This development programme also introduced us to peer observation of teaching and constructive debriefing after observed lessons. Encouraging peer-to-peer learning was an excellent way to get new ideas for teaching and building supportive collegial teamwork.
We hope to welcome UTS back again later in the year to continue our learning journey together.
CRLC is lucky to have long-term visitors at the school. They live in the community, learn from the CRLC community, and form life-long bonds.
To teach at CRLC was a huge privilege. It gave me an idea of the challenges you are facing. You are among the strongest people I have ever met. In the face of all your struggles, you still celebrate, joke and laugh. Thank you for inspiring me with your resilience. You give me hope. The CRLC team helped prepare me for future volunteering opportunities and expanded my cultural awareness.
As part of my Master’s Degree in Social Work, I spent four months at CRLC. I was involved in teaching, ‘coffee classes’ (exchange between teachers regarding classroom strategies and questions), workshops with students about drugs and sex education, workshops with parents about oral health and nutrition, a workshop for female adult learners on mental health support, and many other activities. The courage, motivation, curiosity and willingness of all community members at CRLC is inspiring. I plan and hope to return in the near future.
Cisarua Learning is entirely supported by individual supporters and donations and every supporter, big and small, becomes part of our borderless community. Below is just one story of support for Cisarua Learning. There are many, many, more.
GUSTAV AND SUSSANNE
My husband, Gustav, and I own an active travel company, Bike & Saddle, and our guests can earn Eco-Miles for every mile they cycle, hike or paddle, and donate them to worthy causes. We do the same on our trips, and this time we planned to ride across America and support CRLC. I worked in Afghanistan for several years and want to assist those who had to flee that wonderful and tragic country. It was easy to choose CRLC as a worthy cause.
On our first day in Los Angeles we met Khadim and his cheerfulness and determination set the right tone for our journey. It took us about 65 days to make our way from San Diego to Florida and we loved it. There were many highlights along the way and we were fortunate to meet wonderful people. Looking back at photos crossing the Continental Divide, visiting Gila Cliff Dwellings, and discovering the Mississippi River stand out. We cycled 4,869 kilometres and gladly donated one US$ for every kilometre. Hopefully we will have more adventures and can continue to support CRLC.