Raise A Reader Week

Zhenya, left, with Bev

When Zhenya moved to Canada two years ago, she spoke only Russian. She was intimidated by going into public where people might ask her questions in English. Zhenya’s low English literacy left her to spend most of her days alone in her apartment, feeling isolated and alone.

Zhenya had a goal to pursue her Permanent Residency and to increase her confidence in speaking English. When she first visited Project Literacy, her husband spoke on her behalf. Through working with her tutor, Bev, she made progress on her English skills, influencing her confidence in day to day life.

Zhenya is especially grateful to Project Literacy because she found it difficult to find any other services in Kelowna that would help her to improve her skills.

“I hadn’t studied English anywhere and only Project Literacy agreed to help me.”

Bev acknowledges that when they first started working together, “Zhenya really had trouble expressing herself.” Coming to Project Literacy gave her a place to be immersed in the language as her friends all spoke Russian and she had previously “had no opportunities to practice English.”

Zhenya is now looking for work in a clothing store and regularly volunteers with Project Literacy. Bev feels that “it’s been a positive few months for her,” with great achievements and many new goals that she is determined to reach.

“I don’t know how many hours a day she spends working on English, but it’s more than anybody I know. She’s so committed to becoming fluent,” Bev said.

On the net: projectliteracy.ca