Sunday, May 20, 2012

The very model of a modern annual meeting

Successful learners shared their stories at the recent annual meeting of English Language Partners Waikato.

Speaking confidently, Ratana Om told of coming to the Waikato as a refugee from Cambodia. A week later he started work at the mushroom factory in Morrinsville. He had no English so travelled to Hamilton twice a week for evening classes with English Language Partners. He is now managing a mushroom factory in Mercer.

Burmese refugee Saw Khon Hmine was elected to the committee. Two years ago when his group arrived I recall being moved by his eloquent speech at the powhiri.

ELP’s committee is enviable for its strong educational and financial skills plus an admirable mix of ethnic backgrounds: Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Indonesian and now, Burmese, with both tutors and learners represented.

Simon Murray from the Talking Tech Foundation, inspired us with the company’s approach to philanthropy - encouraging a culture of generosity. (Subsequent events have tempered my enthusiasm for the CEO of Talking Tech but perhaps we need to separate philanthropy from politics).

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