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Organisation Capacity Building

We support local education organisations to provide high quality education to children and adults on the move by providing training, resources, mentoring and other capacity building initatives. 

Context

The humanitarian crisis

The situation connected to migration in Greece is constantly changing and varies across the country. Currently, with the pandemic and frequent changes in government regulations, things have been in flux and uncertain.

 

Depending on the case (stage in the asylum procedure, age of the children in families, status of vulnerability) the living conditions regarding housing accommodation, cash assistance or enrolment of children at schools are very different.

 

On both the islands and mainland, camps are overcrowded and working at above their capacity. In such cases, the conditions are inhumane as any facilities are strained, often being shared by numbers which are above and beyond what is intended.

 

In cities like Athens and Thessaloniki, many people are living homeless. Before September 2019 hundreds of people lived in squats, abandoned buildings that were occupied in order to provide shelter to displaced families and individuals. After waves of evictions carried out by the government, hundreds of families have been forced to be uprooted and moved to camps in remote locations away from the city.

Access to education

In this steady emergency situation Non Formal Education (NFE) projects working across the country aim to provide skills, abilities and services that are essential for all human beings. They work to promote autonomy and facilitate integration in Europe, as well as to provide safe spaces where people, independently of their origin and circumstances, gather together and socialise.

These are mostly small, volunteer-led organisations. They provide classes to adults in English and other languages, as well as vocational courses, ICT literacy and employability. Many also offer non-formal, supplementary education support to children. Children and young people are supposed to enrol in local schools, but for the majority, a large number of barriers mean they are not attending.

For many families, one of the contributing factors to their decision to leave their home country was to provide their children with an education that, for many different reasons, was not available there. We often encounter children who have been out of school for 5 or more years, or have never been. Their school may have been affected by conflict and they then spent 2-3 years traveling to Greece, with no access to education during their journey.

For adults, most people have come to Europe in search of a better life. However, inadequate knowledge of the English language is encountered. Therefore for many, the first aim is to learn English. Because people are often unsure about which country they will be resettled in. English is the safest option because it can be used as a second language across Europe. Many are also in need of vocational training and ICT literacy programmes to help them build up their skills in order to access the labour market in their new home.

These organisations are often achieving a huge amount through a small team on a tight budget. Often there are multiple programmes they offer as well as education, such as food and clothing distribution. They frequently encounter challenges relating to the poor humanitarian standards their students are living in, changing rules and protocols and student numbers changing as people are moved from camp to camp.

We provide the support and training needed for teachers and coordinators that organisations may not have capacity to conduct themselves. 

The programme

RefugeeEd currently provides two grassroots actions in response to the above needs, in order to improve the quality of education available to people on the move.

 

Those interested in supporting our mission can volunteer as a teacher with one of our partner organisations who operate in mainland Greece and on the islands. Or they can join our pool of education specialists to create capacity building and training for staff and volunteers of organisations.

Outcomes

The work of education organisations is enhanced by the helping hand of field volunteers; meanwhile volunteer teachers gain new experiences that they can draw on in their practice when they return home.

Through training and capacity building, education specialists improve the quality of educational and operational processes of local organisations. This enables people on the move to access a good education.

Since 2018 there have been...

54

education specialists, providing training and mentoring to local organisations

40+

workshops and webinars delivered on key topics in education and the refugee context

60+

partner organisations working with us

Following refugeeEd training...

85%

of participants were strongly satisfied with their participation

86%

of participants felt confident to practise new tools that they learnt during the training. 

Moving forward

Part of our strategic plan is to expand our projects to other  EU and non EU countries where access to education is limited or impossible due to the current humanitarian crisis. We aim to continue motivating more educators to actively participate in our mission and work towards creating sustainable education systems within the communities we work for. 


If you are part of an organisation that works with education for people on the move and would like to partner with us, please reach out to coordination@refugeeEd.com.

Image by salvatore ventura
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It was good to have a space to talk about the experience of teaching as an informal teacher and to listen to the viewpoint of qualified teachers. It was nice to have the positives of informal teaching experiences acknowledged as well.