One hopes that in their first week in a new job things will be pretty calm. This cannot be said for my introduction to RefugeeEd. I’ve joined the team as the new Field Coordinator at one of the most chaotic and dramatic times of 2020, or perhaps even the last 50 years, as like everywhere else the world adapts to dealing with a global pandemic.
Greece has been in ‘lockdown’ since my first week on the job. Everyone has had to rapidly adapt to this new situation. While it hasn’t been calm, it has been exciting and the last few weeks have been filled with online meetings and calls to find new ways to reach students on the ground. Everyone has sprung into action, and despite the challenges are finding creative ways to reach their students.
I came to Greece as a traveller in my home made camper van called Evie in the summer of 2018. We had travelled across eastern Europe together, something which was a dream of mine, and we ended up in Greece. It was only by chance that I ended up staying here. I had a job as a teacher, and a flat lined up in Spain where I was living but in the end I decided that my fate lay in Greece. I went to We Are Here, a community centre in Nea Kavala camp. I started as an Education coordinator and committed to three months. Three months turned to six, which turned to nine. In that time I had become Field Coordinator of the project, while teaching at the same time and without realising it, I had made a home for myself here in Greece.
Being a teacher in this context is wonderful; your classes are full of surprises, laughs and warmth. You have more freedom to develop your lesson plans how you see necessary. It is so rewarding to create your own resources and activities and then be able to execute them in class to see how your students react. But the best part about teaching in this context are your students. They are incredible people, full of motivation to learn and resilience which keeps them driven.
That’s why I was so excited to join the refugeeEd team. I can’t wait to support incoming volunteer teachers and mentors by giving them the opportunity to teach in this context. I also look forward to working with our partners to develop great educational programs, and to provide training for teachers in the field. I love working with projects on the ground here, everyone has so much enthusiasm and passion to help others, it inspires me everyday.
Corona might be here for a while, but that won’t discourage anyone here...