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Abdi's Story

Four years ago Abdi was living on the streets. Abdi made the move to Cardiff and now lives and studies at Tŷ  Gobaith, a Lifehouse for homeless adults in the city centre.

The courses have changed my life …. I’m planning to keep learning as much as I can

Since living at the Lifehouse, Abdi is following his dream of working as chef. He has taken positive steps towards this by using the opportunities at the Lifehouse to study through Learn Direct, building his skills and experience to improve his mathematics.


Abdi has so far completed 11 courses with Learn Direct, and is now studying towards a further total of four qualifications, including Arabic, and Whole Numbers Level 2. He also completed a Ready to Cook course and is seeking opportunities to volunteer in catering.

His hard work and commitment to learning has earned him the Essential Skills for Life Learner Award at the Inspire! Adult Learning Awards. The awards are run each year ahead of Adult Learners Week (14-20 June 2014) to celebrate the achievements of a small number of outstanding learners in Wales who have shown exceptional passion, commitment and drive for learning, often in the face of difficult circumstances.

The annual awards are run by NIACE Cymru with the support of the Welsh Government. This year’s event was held in Venue Cymru Llandudno.

Young people

For those who have experienced neglect or abuse

Alongside building his mathematical skills, Abdi is also completing his Level 1 Painting and Decorating Basics which supports him in maintaining and sustaining his own accommodation. He was recently part of the resident volunteer team that painted the ground floor of the Lifehouse.

“The courses have changed my life as they are stepping stones to the level I want to reach in Maths. Learning has made me be more active and I have decided to volunteer where I’m living, to help out.

“My message to other learners is that Learn Direct courses are really easy to understand and they teach you things, and they’re fun. So give it a go.

“I’m planning to keep learning as much as I can, especially building on my numeracy and mathematics. Eventually I’m hoping to become a chef so I’m looking for opportunities to build my knowledge and experience here where I live.”