Javeria moved to Dundee over 15 years ago and after a shaky first year she started coming to DIWC to attend classes. This helped her settle in Dundee and make a life for her and her family. Read her story here:
My name is Javeria and I am from Pakistan. I went to school there and studied in college for two years – all the usual subjects Maths, English, PE, Islamic Studies, Urdu. All my family still live in Pakistan, I have six brothers and sisters.
My husband is originally from Uganda, but he lived in the UK. I met him when he was visiting Pakistan and we got married quite quickly. 10 days after my wedding, I came here to Dundee.
Finding my way in a new city
I was very shy when I first got here! I stayed in the house for the first year as I was not confident enough to learn English or go out by myself. The first time I ever tried to go in town by myself I got lost in on the bus!
I had gotten on at the wrong stop and it was going the wrong way. I was so upset, I was crying on the bus and I didn’t have a phone or anything. I had been trying to get to town and I ended up at the back of Whitfield. Thankfully, the bus driver saw my crying and he helped me get back into town. After that, I was determined I was staying in for good.
How coming to DIWC helped me settle
I came to DIWC about 15 years ago as a learner. I went to classes and I started a childcare course. When the centre was looking for volunteers and staff I decided to volunteer myself and after two/three months I got a job.
I only visit Pakistan now every two to three years. I think if I had the choice to live in Dundee or Pakistan I would choose here.
I do miss Pakistan though because my family is over there, but I have adjusted and my own family is here. My kids are comfortable and confident here and they love our trips, but only for a holiday.
I do wonder if coming to Dundee now would be scarier than it was when I first came. I remember being scared that people would make fun of me then, but no one did – but now I feel, sometimes, people are staring at me, like an outsider. I worry the culture is changing for the worse.
DIWC is completely different though. I always have and always will feel totally at home here – it has changed my life. My experiences here made me confident to go out, speak, make friends. When people ask how I learned to speak English so well – I tell them about the centre!
I am looking forward to continuing to grow within DIWC and as part of the crèche.