Father inspired for a better life

The inspiring efforts of an adult learner from Hemel Hempstead have been recognised.

Indian-born Babu Limai, who suffered racism and whose wife became seriously ill, has been honoured at the Hertfordshire Adult Learner Awards for his determination to learn new skills and improve his life.

At a ceremony in Stevenage, held as part of Adult Learners’ Week. June 13-19, a national celebration of lifelong learning, the English and Maths Award was presented to Babu.

Indian-born Babu came to the UK after marrying his wife, Donna, following a holiday romance.

Before moving to Hertfordshire, his working experience in this country was difficult. He had several jobs, mostly in factories, and experienced incidents of both verbal and physical racism.

After moving to start a new life in Hemel Hempstead, Donna developed serious health problems and Babu has had to become the full time carer for both her and their eight-year-old son, Bobby. This is despite Babu’s own health issues which effect his hearing and short-term memory.

Babu is determined that his situation will not prevent him from bettering himself and his family and learning new skills. He has attended the Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service (HAFLS) courses in maths and English at Galley Hill School over the last four years and is now attending a functional skills maths course.

Babu’s son Bobby is benefiting too as he has his father as an inspiring role model and can also get help with his homework!

Teresa Heritage, Cabinet member for public health, localism and libraries, said: “I was delighted to meet Babu at the awards. He is an inspiration to us all in his determination to learn new skills and help his family. I would like to offer my congratulations to him and all the other learners, many of whom have overcome huge barriers and shown tremendous courage and commitment, despite the difficulties they face.

“Last year more than 13,000 people enrolled on Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service (HAFLS) courses. The age of learners ranges from 19 to over 100 years of age. I would urge people who haven’t yet taken part to consider the benefits of learning something new.”

HAFLS provides courses across Hertfordshire in a variety of subjects such as English, maths, nutrition, confidence building, boosting your employability skills, art and IT as well as family learning (learning with your child) that take place in children centres, schools and community centres. Courses are either free or low cost and designed to enhance the lives of local people.

For more information about HAFLS and adult learning please email hafls@hertfordshire.gov.uk, telephone 01992 556194 or go to www.hertsdirect.org/adultlearning and look at our events calendar.