About the programme

Our partnership with UNICEF at the Skaramagas Learning Centre, supported with funding from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), aims to ensure children’s psychosocial stability, the continuation of their education and their integration into Greek and European society through a variety of educational tools and life skills activities.

Since November 2016, the Skaramagas Learning Centre has been supporting a total of over 250 children with:

  • English language lessons for children and teens aged 12 to 17
  • life skills activities in English for children and teens aged 12 to 17
  • early-childhood learning activities for children aged 3 to 6, along with their parents.

The programme continues to run throughout August and September, offering English language courses and life skills activities for children and teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17, and introducing life skills activities in Greek for children between the ages of 6 and 11.

On average, the children have missed 2.5 years of schooling, while some have never attended school at all.

The core purpose of this non-formal education project is to create a more stable environment for refugee children by providing psychosocial support, and access to and continuity in education. In addition, the programme aims to offer students the opportunity to develop essential life skills which will help them adjust to their new living conditions and facilitate their integration into Greek and European society, as well as the formal school system.

Results

A preliminary, non-formal evaluation found that all the children have made considerable progress in their English language skills, as well as in their communication, presentation and leadership skills. The programme has also focused strongly on cultural diversity, non-discrimination and understanding human rights issues.

Re-entering the familiar environment of a classroom for the older children, and embarking on their first learning experience in the case the younger ones, is having a positive impact on the children’s psychosocial stability and has enhanced their confidence and potential.

Parallel activities

The aim of the parallel activities is to enhance and extend the programme, and provide the wider community with professional development and tools for the smoother integration of refugee children into Greek society. Activities include:

  • World Voice: World Voice is a versatile music and education programme that enriches the lives of children across the world. As part of the programme, we work with teachers from a diversity of cultural and educational settings, ranging from schools in the UK to refugee communities in the Middle East to teachers in the remote highlands of Kashmir, India. World Voice provides non-music specialist teachers with pedagogical resources and techniques to use singing in their classrooms, not only to support pupils’ musical development, but also to enhance their learning in a wide range of subjects. The voice is an instrument available to every child and teacher without additional resources.
  • Living Together: The project includes capacity building for teachers and youth trainers and is based on interactive learning, a methodology which has proved effective in stimulating groups and individuals to get actively involved in the learning process and in significantly improving communication and co-operation skills. Activities are specifically designed to raise awareness of the plight of refugees and immigrants around the world, and clarify concepts and perceptions concerning their legal status internationally, along with their legitimacy. The goal is to motivate students to ask the right questions through enhancing skills such as teamwork, observation and analytical thinking.

 

Children, teachers and youth trainers at the Skaramagas Learning Centre

The British Council and the refugee crisis

One of our aims as an organisation is to make a lasting difference to the security, prosperity and influence of the UK, and contribute to the stability, development and connections of the places where we work: through building understanding, co-operation and tolerance, and by providing alternative pathways for young people at risk of extremism, as well as strengthening resilience in response to crises.

Since 2012, the British Council has been building on over sixty years’ experience on the ground by working to support stability in host countries and increase access to opportunity for host communities and refugees. Since the start of the crisis, the British Council has worked in over 20,000 public schools in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, and has supported over 128,000 children in Lebanon and Jordan to access quality education through our work on improving teacher capacity to address inclusion and integration in the classroom. The Education Activities for the Skaramagas Refugee Camp is the first programme of its kind implemented in Europe and its activities have reached more than 250 students from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Information

For further information, please contact Niki Xenou:

Email Niki.Xenou@britishcouncil.gr
Telephone 210 369 2380