Case study

Marcus and Asma

Marcus is 28 and has mentored Asma since January 2005.  Asma is 19 and comes from Somalia. She has been living in England since the autumn of 2003 and is currently completing her ESOL course in West London.

Marcus felt very strongly about the rights of people who arrive in the UK and attempt to start a new life for themselves and wanted to make a positive difference to their lives, "I had started to reflect quite a lot o­n my approach and realised that having a strong opinion in some cases is simply not enough." 

Time Together gives Marcus the opportunity to act o­n his beliefs in a practical and positive way:
"Asma and I have achieved many things together.  In particular I have helped her to improve her English and this in turn has had a positive repercussion o­n her self-confidence and her sense o­n assimilation into UK society. She is very committed to succeeding o­n a personal level, in her studies and work, and this is very inspiring.

Mentoring has had a major impact o­n my life. It has allowed me to learn about another culture and by introducing Asma to the parts of London that she has not been before has caused me to re-evaluate the city and country that I live in."

Asma says,

"I came to the UK to be with my family and to get a better education.  When I came here it was completely different to what I knew.  I was shocked, slightly scared and sad.  Language was the first difficulty I faced and I found it very hard to meeting people. 

I heard about Time Together and thought it was a good idea to have a friend understood English culture and who could help me to speak English well.  Marcus has helped me to improve lots of things! I have improved my English and learned how to use the computer and email. I can feel a big difference!

It took a bit of time but there came a point when I started to learn how English culture works.  The thing I like most about the English is that they respect people.  There is a lot more equality than where I come from.  I have made some English friends and I hope to make more."