Case Study No.10

Twinning action between a refugee camp a Primary School

Greece

University of Piraeus

multiracial-group-young-schooler-wearing-superhero-costumes-having-fun-outdoors.jpg

Key words

EU values

School involved

Primary School

Detailed description of the situation

The following fact, took place at Schistos refugee accommodation Camp, At Primary School of Neo Ikonio, and at the 9th school of Agios Dimitrios

The action was made of the following sub-points:

1) Communication between the teachers of the 9th grade of the Neo Ikonio Primary School and the Educational Coordinators working in the camp: They discussed about how the school could be connected with the children in the camp. At that time (2017-18) the educational coordinators working in the camp, organized a kindergarten and there were many shortages in school supplies. 

2) (Neo Ikonio) Students’ meeting for brainstorming about ways of Communication with the children in the camp. The teachers brought the issue to a class meeting and conveyed the desire for twinning with the children in the camp. It was suggested by the students to raise money through a fundraiser, donation and a bazaar in order to reach the amount required to purchase the missing school equipment. The parents of the students would also actively participate in the action. They suggested to make DIY floor cushions, to make kindergarten children use them for sitting on the ground in order to listen to the fairy tales from their teachers. As it turned out, the children bought tables, stools, school supplies and made one pillow each student, on which they painted or embroidered messages of love.

3) The Primary School students visited the children in the camp. Students from the 9th Primary School visited the camp and offered their gifts. In addition to the equipment and DIY pillows, they sang songs, wrote and read messages and performed a dance. In the open space of the camp, the students played experiential games, introduced themselves and interacted in such a way that common language did not seem necessary.

 

4) Radio competition. The students decided to visit Agios Dimitrios Primary School, because there, at that time, 25 refugee students with Afghan origin, were studying, who came from the camp. In that year, there were evening classes at the school, where the children interacted with the students only 2 hours. 

It seemed beneficial for the refugees’ children to work together on a common project on human rights, with the Agios Dimitrios school students. 

That time there was a school radio competition and students were invited to create radio spots about human rights. The refugee students collaborated with the indigenous students in a series of meetings; They made a spot with a humanitarian message, a song and music where all the children could participate equally in their own language. The spot was one of those that won an honour at the competition.   

 

5) Refugees’ visit to the school. There was a desire to continue the fraternization by constant visits to Agios Dimitrios Primary School and the camp, but unfortunately there were practical difficulties due to the long distance.

Are you aware of similar initiatives in your country? Which measures would you use?

Share your ideas and suggestions on TEACHmi online Forum!

Here are few questions for self-reflection:

  • Have you ever used Arts as an instrument for social inclusion? How can you integrate it in your work?

  • Which other measures could you adopt in similar situations?

  • What competences and resources do you need?

  • How can you promote values of openness and interculturality in society? Can you think of any methods to include parents and the entire community?

Initial reaction

The children at the camp had difficult times, lacking the necessary resources. Therefore, local teachers and students decided to help them by making them feel welcomed and creating a friendly environment, as much as they could. Through active cooperation and provision of equal opportunities, they managed to create a friendly connection to the youngsters of the camp.

Suggested solution

Visits at the camp and at the school, inclusion of migrant students through local activities, organization of donation, bazar.

Topic 2 and the good practice of storytelling can be a good starting point for activities aimed at the creation of a friendly and respectful environment. Moreover, Topic 5 faces the question of active citizenship so it can offer practical solutions.

Why is this case-study relevant?

Similar initiatives can help spread EU values and promote social inclusion among students from non-native migrant backgrounds and indigenous students, by creating a friendly school environment.