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  • Writer's pictureNatasha at Jacari

Jacari Stories: Maryam, Maya and Sofia

Jacari volunteer and her two pupils at Bristol Zoo
Sofia, Maya and Maryam on a visit to Bristol Zoo

We love hearing from our pupils and volunteers about their reflections on Jacari tutoring and what impact it had on them. We wanted to share this wonderful story from twin pupils Maryam and Maya and their volunteer tutor Sofia*.

Maryam and Maya are twins who were referred to Jacari in 2020. They arrived in the UK from India in 2018. They are 15 years old and their school teacher referred them to Jacari as they both needed to boost their confidence to help them achieve their full potential. They are very polite but also very shy and reluctant to speak in public, which impacted their learning experience and participation in school life. They were matched to a Jacari tutor, Sofia.

They were very keen to learn, so their Jacari tutor did a lot of speaking games with them, helped with their homework and incorporated spelling and vocabulary tests in their sessions, as well as doing lots of preparation for mock GCSE exams, especially Biology. Maya loves Hindi films and Maryam is a big fan of cricket. Since having Jacari tutoring with Sofia, they both also really enjoy learning!

Maya and Maryam say…

It was very helpful to us to learn and also our Jacari tutor explained things with patience and sometimes even a few times until we understood. We are friends (with Sofia) and we can ask about anything! Now I am not worried about asking questions in school or if I get something wrong, that’s OK too. We started to make more friends in school, as we are not so worried about speaking to people.

Jacari's lessons helped us to build vocabulary and to understand more what we are learning. There are no silly questions and we can ask Sofia about everything we are not sure about. She also helps us with our homework, and that’s good because no one else at home could check it for us or explain it. We sometimes didn’t know what the task was about and Sofia just told us what needed to be done.

Their mum says…

They speak much better now and they are not worried about making mistakes like I am. They have better grades, and I also understand the school better thanks to Jacari. School in India is different than here so having Sofia explain to me as well how it works was good. It’s like having a friend over who helps my daughters with school work. She’s a part of the family. They learn, play games and it’s all very relaxed.

Sofia says…

I really enjoyed working with the girls, and never saw it as a “task” to teach them. It’s more like coming to see my friend who need help with school work than anything else. All the positive feedback they received from school and shared with me was also so rewarding and seeing them both coming out of their shells was priceless.

The girls are not worried about asking questions, they are more inquisitive about topics we cover and they are happy to learn, without worrying that they won’t understand. They even sometimes crack a joke which shows how much more confident they are!

Volunteering with Jacari has given me a better understanding of the barriers some families and children have and it made me more aware of them. It will stay with me throughout my working life.

*names of pupils and volunteers have been changed for safeguarding purposes.

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