RaPAL

Research and Practice in Adult Literacy – a friendly group

Sabrina

Sabrina

I am a person who like things to be done before anybody tells me what to do.

For example: when I’m home I don’t have time for myself. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is run in the kitchen, get breakfast ready, wake my children up and my partner’s brothers because they have to go to school, feed my children, then put the cartoons on and let them watch while I clean the kitchen and put some clothes in the washing machine. Then I get my children dressed, clean my bedroom, well, all the house not only my bedroom, take the clothes out from the washing machine. By the time over again it is nearly lunch time so I have to cook something. Then clean all over again. When I finish, I play with my children or we go in the park. When we come home, my children are tired so they go to bed for one or two hours. When they are sleeping, I get the iron ready to iron the clothes. When my children wake up, it’s already five o’clock. I have to get dinner ready, give my children a bath, put their pyjamas on, and let them watch the TV for a while, then take them to bed. I tell them a story while they fall asleep. I have a shower, watch a bit of TV and again before I get to bed I make sure everything is clean and locked up. Then I go to bed myself.

But from now on things are going to change. When I get out from here I want to sort things out for myself. I want to put all that energy into opening my life.

I’m going to put my children in nursery and do my courses to be an interpreter. I want my dream to come true and to be an interpreter is my dream. I want to sort my life out. I don’t want to end up in prison again. I have enough of being away from children. Since I’ve been in prison, I realise what I’ve been missing and all I could’ve done while I was outside but I was too busy cleaning and cooking so I never had time to think about anything else.

Tutor Perspective: Sarah Freeman

Sabrina wrote this prose poem shortly before release from a UK women’s prison.

Sabrina was imprisoned for over one year, a much longer period than necessary. While she was inside, bitterly missing her two young sons, she benefited from education. She began to recognise in herself that maternal organising streak; in her case, perhaps, that had been wasted on too much home keeping before. Sabrina was clear that the chance to study English (she came to the UK as a refugee as a child with her family from Bosnia) was life-changing. She hadn’t attended school in Bosnia or the UK before, and as she applied herself steadily over fourteen months she achieved a level 1 pass in English.

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