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Scholarships for Welsh learners from Patagonia

Three scholarships, worth £2,000 each, have been awarded by the National Centre for Learning Welsh to learners from Patagonia to help them study Welsh in Wales over the summer.

Judith Ellis, Sybil Hughes and Florencia Zaldegui from Patagonia will spend a month studying at Aberystwyth University and Cardiff University, two of the Centre’s course providers. The Centre funds the scholarships, and they are administered by the British Council and the Wales-Argentina Society.

Judith will be following an Intermediate level course at Aberystwyth University. She is currently working at Ysgol y Cwm, Trevelin, part of Chubut province in Patagonia, and is looking forward to using more Welsh at work following the summer course.

Judith said, “I’m looking forward to learning and practising my Welsh. I want to get to know the country where my family used to live and find out more about its history. By attending the summer course in Aberystwyth, I hope to meet people from Wales and learn more Welsh in order to be able to use the language in my work. I’m looking forward to speaking more Welsh with the youngsters I teach at Ysgol y Cwm, and introducing them to some Welsh history.” 

Sybil Hughes will also spend four weeks at Aberystwyth University. Sibyl works at Ysgol Feithrin Y Gaiman (a school for young children) also in the province of Chubut, Patagonia. She is interested in translation so during her time in Wales she will study on the Professional Welsh course at the University.

Florencia Zaldegui will be attending the summer course at Cardiff University. Originally from the state of Rio Negro, just north of Patagonia,  she is now a sports teacher in Gaiman. Since moving to Gaiman some five years ago she has enjoyed learning the Welsh language. She won the Urdd Gobaith Cymru scholarship last year, and lived in Wales for a month whilst volunteering with the Urdd. The Urdd is the largest youth movement in Europe and works to promote the Welsh language amongst children and young people.

We congratulate all three on their success, and look forward to welcoming them here to Wales over the summer. We are proud of the unique relationship between Wales and Patagonia, and are delighted to be able to offer support to ensure that the Welsh language remains part of community life in Patagonia.

Efa Gruffudd Jones, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Learning Welsh