Blue Door English has been welcoming refugees and asylum seekers through the door since 2013, offering English language classes twice a week, as well as a sense of community.
For many of our students, the difficult journey to Malta is only the first hurdle in their resettlement. Many of them have left everything they knew and loved behind, are dealing with trauma, and urgently need to find a way to survive.
The language barrier is one of these obstacles, and overcoming it opens the door to better integration, and increased opportunities. On its conception in 2013 , Blue Door English began teaching two groups of four students. The beginning of the school year in 2019 saw 180 registered students and a waiting list of over 300 people requiring linguistic assistance.
In 2018 we opened a morning “Mums and Bubs” class, which attracted over 20 women from diverse backgrounds. Women were welcome to bring their children to class as many of them don’t have access to childcare and wouldn’t be able to attend otherwise. Migrant women, especially mothers, have been identified as an especially vulnerable group in Malta.
Blue Door English is volunteer-driven, and our team of 20 volunteers help out in a variety of roles including teaching, curriculum research, registration, and administration. Despite strict Covid-19 health & safety restrictions, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our volunteers our school was able to open eleven live classes in October 2020 with a maximum of eight students, ranging from literacy to B1. We are currently piloting one online class.
Community is equally as important as education, and Blue Door English seeks to empower its learners by creating a safe space for them to make connections and keep informed of services. We regularly invite representatives from other organisations to give information on how our learners can further their education and join community events. Moreover, learners receive help developing their CVs, opening bank accounts, obtaining bus passes and applying for courses.
The staff and learners at Blue Door English are immensely grateful for the kind donations of classroom resources from individuals and organisations within the community. Furthermore, we are especially thankful for the unfaltering support we receive from the St Andrews Scots Church, without which this project would not exist.
Project Coordinator Blue Door English