Filling the education gap on the Island of Chios for those aged 6-18 years old.
6. September 2016
Refugee Education Chios is founded, managed and funded by the NGO “be aware and share” (BAAS). BAAS have a lot of experience in supporting refugees on the island of Chios. For months they have received boats on the island shores with mobile rescue teams. They have provided thousands of refugees with freshly prepared food and new clothes. Some of the team have become active in child protection, supporting unaccompanied minors and running the only continuous youth program for refugees on Chios.
Now BAAS have taken on an important challenge, to give the children in the camps access to some form of structured and leisure activities.
1) Refugee School Chios
The school opened doors to the first group of children on 23rd May and since then has grown rapidly in size and operations. Providing a safe and stimulating learning environment for up to 40 students at a time, children and teenagers between the ages of 6 and 17 can attend lessons in English, Mathematics and Science. Furthermore, they can develop their skills in project lessons ranging from art workshops to tool skills, gardening and basic hygiene prevention.
Operating seven days a week, the school currently caters for around 150 students from all three camps (Souda, Dipethe and Vial). We have learned that the refugees we want to support are the best experts on their own needs. Thus, many of our teachers are members of the community from Souda, Dipethe and Vial Camps. The division of age groups and classes as well as the curriculum have been developed in accordance with the teachers.
The general aim of the school project is to address a great need among the refugee population on Chios: the education of its minors in order to enable them to participate in social life of their new home countries. It provides them with a sense of purpose and structure, allows them to develop their skills within a difficult environment and thus contributes to defusing tensions within the refugee population and with the local community. It can serve as a model for stimulating the community life on Chios and prevent the loss of a whole generation of valuable members of any future society.
2) Youth Project
The Youth Centre opened its doors on 18th July providing structured educational as well as non-structured recreational space to teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18. It targets teenagers from all camp sites on the island of Chios and is located in the centre of Chios town close to the pedestrian zone. The centre runs seven days a week and has 6 groups (of up to 20 teenagers) attending twice a week for 4 hours each time. It features a project space for structured activities led by volunteers from BAAS, a safe recreational space as well as a communal kitchen supervised by volunteer staff.
If you share our vision of enabling more an more children to have access to education, we encourage you to support the Refugee School Chios with funding as well as school material and equipment. Every small contribution counts, because every single lesson taught to every single child counts.