This month Spotlight talks to Emine Bajgora, a resident of Wornington Green for the past 10 years, about her life in the borough and her recent training experiences.
Emine arrived in London in 1998 to escape the conflict in Kosovo and has since come to view London as her ‘second home’. Having spent 17 years in full-time education and trained as an electrical engineer. Emine put her career on hold in London to raise her son, now eleven.
Since her son has grown older and become more independent, Emine has been keen to re-enter the workplace. However, despite her academic qualifications and her trade, she has found it hard to find opportunities in her own field.
Her recent experience on the Chartered Institute of Housing course run by KHT provided a much-needed confidence boost. “Even though I have spent the past 11 years doing the most important job – raising my son, I have missed the challenge of being in education”, she says. “As well as having a fantastic tutor who engaged with everyone, I particularly liked being back in a team environment and working on projects with people from different backgrounds.”
As one would expect from someone with such obvious respect for education, Emine very much hopes her son will go on to gain a degree. He will be shortly starting secondary school and will no doubt be encouraged throughout his studies by his supportive parents.
Commenting on Wornington Green, Emine has plenty of positive comments. “When we arrived here we were given a house, but we have made it a home”, she says. “This is a real community and a diverse community, where people don’t judge you by the way you look or the way you dress, but by how you are as a person.”
She is positive about the regeneration, despite living in one of the last phases to be decanted. “As an engineer, I am always in favour of progress”, she says of the plans. She is pleased that the new development will offer more homes with balconies and gardens. Equally important, she says, are facilities for both the young and the old that keep people interacting with one another and which keep this special community alive.