The River Nile Learning Centre (RNLC) is a charitable organisation that empowers disadvantaged refugee and asylum seeker women through education. We aim to provide them with the opportunity of participating in our community on a more equal footing and prepare them for employment.
RNLC was established in 2006 in response to the African communities concern that many of its children were falling behind their Australian-born counterparts in mainstream schools. It commenced in a church hall in Footscray in partnership with the Western English Language School and the Department of Education. Later it forged a close relationship with Mt Alexander College. RNLC has now grown substantially to meet the education needs of other disadvantaged members of our community and in 2012 won the Victorian Multicultural Award for Excellence in Education.
In December 2016 its sister organisation, the River Nile School was established and was approved by the Victorian Registration and Qualification Authority to become a Specialist Independent Senior VCAL School for young women of school age and it opened in February 2017 with a projected commencement enrolment of 25 students. Its has its own website at http://www.rivernileschool.vic.edu.au
The RNLC’s major programs are:
- Foundation English Program – a weekday program teaching English language, literacy and numeracy skills to new arrival asylum seekers; and
- Bridging EAL (English as an Additional Language) Program – supporting our more advanced learners to gain entry to VCE, TAFE or university.
- Free Childcare for the 0-5 year old children of our students
Our primary aim is to develop ways for our students to achieve their potential by helping them either to move on to further education, or to gain meaningful employment.
We give priority to supporting young women who are young mothers, with free childcare. Our alone mothers are are among the most disadvantaged in our community, often isolated and with the least opportunity to engage in their education.
All education, social support and childcare are provided free-of-charge to the students, as they are unable to contribute to the cost of their education.
Through education, RNLC is breaking the cycle of dependence on social welfare of the students and their children.