The BBC News quoted our Director, Sajda Mughal OBE following the Prime Ministers annoucement of English language skills and Muslim women. The article can be found here and her comments are below:
Sajda Mughal, director of the London-based Jan Trust which works to empower vulnerable women, says there is indeed an issue among Muslim women living in the UK who are unable to speak English.
"Currently 200 women come to our centre each week, 80% of which are Muslim. Of these, 70% cannot speak English or are very poor at it. Some have English as a fourth or fifth language. Some are even illiterate in their own language.
"It's heartening to hear the prime minister is providing this language funding but it should trickle down to grass-roots organisations and not just be given to bigger ones like colleges.
"We have large numbers of women who say they have been turned away from colleges because they need very basic lessons and are told the colleges don't provide that level."
“Before I had no confidence to write English but now I write WhatsApp [messages] and I’m trying to use the computer as well.”
This month JAN Trust would like to introduce you to Sarla. Read her profile below:
Country of origin: India
Sarla arrived in the UK in 1975 with her father-in-law from Gujrat, India. Her in-laws were already settled in the UK in London. She came to join her husband who was born in Kenya and had gone to university in India. When she came to the UK she knew a little bit of English but was not confident in speaking.
Sarla had been in the UK a long time before she heard of JAN Trust. She learnt of JAN Trust from a friend who she met through her work. One day her friend was in a rush to get somewhere and Sarla asked her where she was going. “I have to go to school now. I’m going to JAN Trust. Aunty, why don’t you come with me?” And this is how Sarla ended up at JAN Trust by word of mouth.
When asked what she likes the most about JAN Trust, Sarla responded with a smile “I like everything. People are friendly.”
Sarla feels coming to JAN Trust has definitely helped her. “Before I had no confidence to speak and write English but now I write WhatsApp [messages] and I’m using the computer as well. My daughter has bought me a small computer now.”
To find out more about our ESOL classes and other classes we run, take a look at our website: www.jantrust.org or give us a call on: 0208 889 9433.