News & Events
International Karen Delegation
21 September, 2017
On September 9, Karen delegates from England, Norway, Sweden, USA, Canada, Korea, New Zealand, Myanmar (Karen State) and Australia had the opportunity to visit VSL Karen classes at the Suzanne Cory (Werribee) Centre. Since there are no Karen language schools in other countries outside of Myanmar, the visitors were interested in learning about the VSL Karen language program and meeting the Karen teachers, parents and students to share and exchange the experiences of the Karen diaspora. The delegates had the opportunity to meet the Centre Karen teachers and staff over morning tea. This was followed by an assembly in the school auditorium, which was filled with Karen classes and local community members. A welcoming speech was given by VCE students Paw Lwe Moo and Koh Ploh Soe, followed by Area Manager, Zlata Matskarofski, who spoke about the Victorian School of Languages and the Karen language program. The audience was also entertained with an action song sung by the Karen students. Padoh Ziporah Sein- Karen National Union (KNU) publicly thanked VSL and the leaders of the Australian Karen Organisation (VIC) for facilitating and supporting the Karen language program and encouraged students by saying, “how lucky you are to have the opportunity to learn the Karen Language here in Australia. It is very important to keep our identity…” After the official assembly, the delegates visited the 10 Karen classes and eager to interact with the students. They were extremely pleased with the Karen language programs and also with the organisation of the Victorian School of Languages, commenting that it provides a one and only unique opportunity worldwide, for the Karen people to maintain their language outside of the Karen homeland. This visit has been a great highlight for our VSL Karen language program as it coincides with its 10th Anniversary and its first cohort of VCE students graduating in 2017.
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