My husband Mark and I signed up with refugeeEd to volunteer for two months (November and December) in Athens.
We were allocated to Hestia Hellas – an organization that provides mental health and education opportunities to refugees. Mark, my husband has recently retired as an Executive director for university professors. He worked with the Executive Director of Hestia Hellas on grant applications for the funding of the organization and potential sources of new funding. He found the experience very rewarding and felt he had a new perspective on the critical importance of fundraising for NGOs.
I am a retired ESL teacher and my duties included testing all the incoming students and organizing the school into five different levels. I also taught two adult conversation classes and one class of teens.
The adults were for the most part teachers themselves. They had all been through horrific experiences but they were optimistic and very keen. Their progress within the two months was astonishing.
Altogether it is an experience that has left me with warm, wonderful memories. The staff were very kind and supportive. I learned a lot from my students and am filled with admiration when I think of their courage and strength of mind in overcoming such terrible obstacles.
I also gave a seminar and shared my materials from Canada with volunteer teachers at another organization, METAdrasi. It was stimulating and rewarding to meet such dedicated and caring people.
We would both thoroughly recommend this experience to others.
It was eye opening and we feel significantly changed by what we have seen and learned.
Mark and Leora
If you'd like to find out more about how to volunteer with us please see here: Join us: www.refugeeed.com/get-involved.