The past 10 years have seen an unprecedented number of people fleeing war, poverty and persecution and looking for a refuge in Europe. For many of them, the journey starts in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and passes through Greece. In Greece, a lengthy asylum application process requires them to spend months in refugee camps, where only basic needs are guaranteed. Approximately a third of these people are children. For them, education is not considered a basic need.
The “Young refugees scout and mentoring” programme aims at guaranteeing refugee children aged 8-17 an access to education. The goal is to use a combination of in-class and outdoor activities to teach them the basic yet fundamental skills to become positive participants in their new society. The programme – run by the charity Second Tree – operates in the two Greek refugee camps of Agia Eleni and Katsikas. Since 2016, this program has been helping more than 300 children developing meaning, routine and a sense of self.
The goal of this funding project is to provide the financial means for the programme to keep on running. This will allow the many children currently in the waiting list to be enrolled. By funding the “Young refugees scout and mentoring” programme, you will give children access to the universal right of education, while improving their chances in life.
A primary goal of the programme is to provide children with basic literacy skills. As the children come from different language backgrounds, they are helped to develop a common communication channel by learning how to read and write in English and Greek. This is achieved both as part of in-class activities, as in outdoor excursions.
Besides hard skills, the programme has a focus on the development of soft skills. The programme aims at building four core values in children: kindness, focus, responsibility and teamwork. Children are taught to develop the very basics of how to behave in class: how to sit, listen, focus and participate. These apparently simple aspects cannot be taken for granted, as some of them might have had limited schooling experience. Yet, they are fundamental requirement for any future academic or work experience. Another key objective involves education concerning gender equality. This is achieved by encouraging participation and the equal sharing of responsibilities between boys and girls.