Create. Laugh. Play. Love. Learn. Words to live by.
Students in the Rabbittown Learners’ Program exact change in their lives by achieving their goals through education.
“There is power, strength, knowledge and wisdom in education,” said student Mususa Mulumba. “I appreciate all that those here did for us. I am still working on my English. I didn’t believe what I was living or believe in what people were telling me. The efforts of my teachers gave me strength to succeed.”
Mulumba was among those celebrating and being celebrated Tuesday as the Rabbittown Learners’ Program held its 2018 adult basic education graduation at The Hub on Merrymeeting Road in St. John’s.
The program is marking its 30th anniversary.
Mulumba was one of 10 students who earned ABE Level I certificates and will move on to Level II at Academy Canada in the fall.
The other proud grads were Moaweya Almahad, Ferdinand Butobuto, Abdul Wahab Bwege, Kadir Gada, Nicholas Halfyard, Fatuma Hassan, Goran Ibrahim, Roger Martin and Claudine Wilcox.
“We can achieve if you want to. Education is not too late. The more you do, the more you plan, the more you succeed. If you take this seriously, you will succeed,” Mulumba said.
He credits the faith that has strengthened him his entire life for “the friendships, the love and goodness and the appreciation I have for this place.”
Future graduate and immigrant Sah Falla, who started learning English to get a head start on a new life, said the Rabbittown program helped him blend in and live as any resident would.
“I am grateful to be in this program and in this city. The people are wonderful. When I came to Canada in 2015, I didn’t know where to go or how to do things here. My English was not good either. I met new friends, roommates, who would always go out to buy things. I couldn’t, so I asked people if they could help me, people like are here,” Falla said.
“I am happy today. I can go out by myself, do everything that I want to do, and my English is getting better.”
Awards were presented to students who excelled in a variety of areas.
Kadir Gada received the Shirley Hickey Memorial Achievement Award for his more than 95 per cent attendance record and his diligence in the classroom.
Ferdinand Butobuto was given the Margie Maloney Dedication Award, as he always made it to school, no matter the weather — taking the bus or walking, whatever it took.
Taiba Adam was selected by her classmates as the Rabbittown Learners’ Program Inspiration Award winner.
One student wrote of Adam: “Taiba is a kind person who wants to be friends with everyone. She always says to me to talk, be happy, smile, and that makes me feel good and strong.”
The Doris Barrington Scholarship Award went to Leonard Voisey for his perseverance.
“He works hard, never gives up on difficult tasks and will keep trying to overcome all his barriers,” said Doris Barrington, chair of the Rabbittown program. “He is kind to all students and is an active member of the Native Friendship Centre.”
A single mother of three earned the Education Fund and Sisters of Mercy and Presentation Sisters Scholarship Award.
Fauma Hassan overcame many obstacles in life, attended classes and cared for three young boys while completing her ABE Level I. She will start Level II this fall.
Graduate Roger Martin closed the ceremony with words of inspiration.
“Do a random act of kindness, it creates good karma. Take chances, and finally start living life to its fullest.
“No matter what is thrown at you today, tomorrow is always a fresh start.”