When Sarasvati teaches French !
When Sarasvati teaches French !
In 2002, after several trips to India that made us realize the richness of different cultures through music, encounters, friendship and also material solidarity, we decided to create the non-profit Sharing and Culture Sarasvati with the following goal:
"Sharing material, cultural and spiritual wealth"
In India, the Godess Sarasvati is traditionally the protector of students. She will be particularly called upon to help with our new challenge, sadly a common one today.
This is first a story of friendship.
We met the Alwanis in Benares, India, in 2017. They were a happy family from Yemen. Ali, the father, an academic, and his 6 children were pursuing their studies successfully and Eman, the mother, was volunteering in an NGO. We became friends.
When Ali's student visa expired, India did not want to let them stay. With the war going on in Yemen, the could'nt go back home. Jordan was the only country to grant them a three-month tourist visa.
Let's introduce you to:
Eman et Ali
We were touched by Eman's lifepath and sincerity. She got married at 14, is the 36-year-old mother of 6 children aged 6 to 20, has only experienced life as a housewife yet demonstrates a great desire to learn and a crave for freedom, curiosity for life, a broad mind and unusual smartness.
Ali is older. He had taught History at university, finished a PhD in Management of Education while in India. An intellectual with a love for books, studies, discussion of political and social issues, he suffers from being excluded from social life.
At 20, Majeed is the eldest son. He was allowed to stay in India to finish high-school but his visa will exprire in April 2020.
At 14, RZA (pronounce Reza) is a mature and creative girl, and a photographer at heart. She has a wonderful voice and sings beautifully. A brilliant student, she is full of ideas. You hear her sing on all the videos.
Doa, 6 years old, is the youngest. She is a clown, loves to dance (like in the video below, filmed in Petra), dreams and makes up stories. Always cheerful, she is a ray of sunshine.
Elyas is 16. He is musician who, more than anythinfg, loves his guitar to accompany his sister and sing.
Eba,10 years old, is also an artist who loves to create with her hands. She is more interested in plastic arts, particularly drawing that she'd like to study to make it her career. She has a strong personality.
Alaa is 12 and a kid full of energy. She is always moving, jumping and climbing. She has discovered the violin with Jerome and wants to learn how to play. Our non-profit has lent her a violin, and she meets Jerome for a lesson every day on Messenger. She is making quick progress.
Here is her first piece after a month of work:
What is their future now?
Today, they have to leave Yemen behind them.
In this video, Eman clearly explains why returning to Yemen is impossible.
Furthermore, Ali had taken a stand for democracy, human rights and secularism. Today, this puts him at rik of arrest and death on arrival in Yemen. In late September, a militia came looking for him at the house of Eman's mother.
And in Jordan?
Jordan already hosts over one million Syrian refugees. It offers them humanitarian assistance but no hope for integration. There is no support at all for Yemenis.They cannot work nor enroll there children in school.
A solution in sight? A hope, rather: a visa to France to claim asylum
This is a long and tortuous administrative maze!
But we are lucky!
A friend who has been living in Amman for 25 years, a researcher specializing on refugees in the Middle East, will guide them on the Jordanian part of the journey. She has already supported Syrians successfully.
Learning French is an absolute necessity and an important requirement to obtain the visa.
The French Institute in Amman offers progressive learning sessions for all ages, by series of 40h. It includes 11 levels of which 5 are necessary to feel comfortable during an interview.
In order not to waste time, Eman and Rza have started taking courses since 2 September, with financial support from our non-profit.
But let the whole family learn and the older children follow the 5 sessions.
All of them already speak 3 languages fluently: Arabic, English and Hindi. They are not afraid to learn a fourth.
Let's not waste the human richness of this wonderful and talented family, full of joy and hope. Let's help them out of this geopolitical trap by
Sharing French language and Culture.
Waar dient de collecte voor
The collection will be used to pay for the course at the French Institute in Amman. They need to complete Level 5 to attend an interview at the embassy.
DISCOVERY I - 40h - 200 € per adult
DISCOVERY II - 40h - 200 € per adult
INTERMEDIATE I - 40h - € 200 per adult
INTERMEDIATE II 40h - 200 € per adult
INTERMEDIATE III- 40h - 200 € per adult
For children, there are 20 hours of sessions and each session cost 130 €.
It is also necessary to purchase 8 exercise books costing 30 € each.
The sessions follow each other continuously throughout the year.
The family includes 4 adults (above 16 years old) and 3 children.
Eman and Rza are currently enrolled in Discovery I level.
We need a total of 4,000 € for courses and 240 € for exercise books.
For children we believe 80h may be enough for them to acquire basic language skills: that makes 520 € per child and 1560 € for 3 children.
Total requested: 5800 €
Under French law, donations are tax-free up to 66%. You will receive a receipt from our non-profit at the end of the collection.
The courses will be paid directly to the French Institute headquarters in Paris to avoid bank charges.