Following in her mother’s footsteps
Dunia takes first steps into teaching career
Dunia Timas, 29, from Sutton joined the Restart Scheme in July 2022 after being out of work for more than a year, while raising her child.
In Sutton, Maximus is working with Reed in Partnership and with their help, Dunia was supported to return to work.
Before moving to the UK in 2017, Dunia grew up in Cape Verde and found starting her life in another country daunting. The Covid-19 lockdowns meant she was unable to work as she had to focus on raising her son, which brought its own challenges.
Dunia said: “Raising my son over lockdown was incredibly difficult. I was not confident enough in my English skills to reach out to anybody, so I felt very isolated and alone.”
After being referred to the Restart Scheme in Sutton, she had her first meeting with Employment Advisor, Shamalie Heiyantuduwa.
Shamalie recognised that Dunia was suffering with low confidence and worried she had been overlooked from job roles as English was not her first language. However, she was committed to finding a role that would allow her to make a positive difference in her local community.
Gradually, they worked on building Dunia’s confidence, before exploring the types of roles that may be suitable.
Shamalie described Dunia’s development: “It was amazing to see Dunia grow with every session we had together. She was already fluent in English; she just did not have the confidence to show it! Once that confidence grew, I knew she would find work quickly.”
Dunia explained to Shamalie how her mother had been a teacher in Cape Verde for over 30 years and wanted to follow in her footsteps. Shamalie worked with Dunia to create a professional CV and help her with her interview techniques, before searching for opportunities in the education sector.
Within two months, Dunia had successfully secured a position as a teaching assistant at a local school.
She described her happiness: “I cannot thank Shamalie enough for believing in me from the first time we met. Her support has meant I’ve found a job that I love and that suits my lifestyle perfectly.”