The Learning for Integration Project: Quality Learning and Non-Formal Education for Refugees and Migrant Children
ELIX is promoting voluntary service and education since 1987, realizing international voluntary actions, for the protection of the environment and our cultural heritage, intercultural exchanges and social service projects.
The aim of the activities is to provide non-formal education and homework support for refugee and migrant children aged 3-17 years, as well as for their parents. The project contributes to the smooth integration of children into the formal educational system through innovative educational methods and supports the social inclusion and smooth integration of their parents into the society. ELIX responds with this project to the increasing influx of refugees in Greece who remain in the country for prolonged time periods while waiting for reunification/ resettlement in another European country or with the prospect of being integrated in the Greek and European society for migrants and refugees.
The project addresses refugee and migrant children aged 3-17 years, and their parents coming from various linguistic backgrounds (Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Kurdish). They belong to the vulnerable population groups, face integration problems in their school and social environment and reside either in refugee accommodation facilities or in urban areas. The project also provides non-formal education to unaccompanied underaged minor (UAC) refugees.
Ongoing since 2015.
The project provides tailor-made non-formal education for all refugee and migrant children in need:
Homework support for 6-15 years old: in coherence with formal education, providing homework support and remedial education through Greek and mother tongue teachers
Mother tongue education
Language and life-skills education for out-of-school children, including unaccompanied children: for those who are still on the move, and those who are not accessing formal education
Early childhood education: much needed psychosocial support, cognitive and socioemotional development and school readiness
Promotion of parents’ integration: through sensitization, language course and social integration activities for parents
Each beneficiary attends 2 hours of lesson per day (10 hours per week), in the morning or afternoon. The educational support of the children is based on both Greek teachers and Community teachers coming from the refugee and migrant communities. Social workers identify vulnerable cases and provide additional support to children and their parents.
• The smooth integration of children in the formal education system in Greece and the harmonious social integration of their parents.
• The project supports comprehensive educational approach providing unaccompanied minor refugees (UAC) a safe learning environment and sense of normalcy helping them to focus on language learning and integration in Greek and European culture and society.
• More than 30 different nationalities with additional 5 minorities as well as people speaking 19 different languages participated in the activities.
• More than 4600 refugee children, and 500 of their parents, have been provided support in a flexible and reliable non-formal education framework.
• The average rate of attendance for each child is 65% for the period of participation in the educational project.
• More than 2,000 families benefited from the project.
• A total of 27 569 hourly lessons (Greek, English, Mathematics) were provided to children.
• More than 35 training sessions were delivered to participating teachers in order to advance their skills and better understand the population they serve.
The activities are being implemented in the wider area of Attica, currently in three school building of the Municipality of Athens, in Eleonas and Skaramangas refugee camp, and the Educational Center of ELIX in Patission (Omonia). While in the past ELIX had also developed actions at a Primary School of Intercultural Education of the Municipality of Athens and in 7 different locations in the region of Central and Eastern Macedonia.
ELIX has received funding from the Church of Sweden, Finn Church Aid, Unicef and Tides Foundation. The actions are supported by volunteers from the following organizations: Teachers Without Borders/Finland, ICYE Austria, VJF - Vereinigung Junger Freiwilliger/Germany, Concordia/Great Britain and Portuguese Refugees Support Platform (PAR).
248 Educators and Social Workers have been employed in the project and supported children and their families.
Benefits for Οrganization
• Enhancing social cohesion through the development of actions that support vulnerable groups such as refugee children and their families.
• Developing and strengthening ELIX's know-how and experience in managing non-formal educational projects.
• Empowering new generation of educators in the organisations and raising their competences in the knowledge and skills needed to act as trainers of non-formal education activities with refugee population (communication and presentation skills, facilitation and debriefing skills, conflict resolution, challenging teamwork and barriers to learning skills, intercultural approaches etc.)
• Empowering youth workers’ competences for quality development of different non-formal education activities for inclusion and acceptance of diversity.
• Developing creative models of teaching Greek language to foreigners, children and adults.
• New partnerships with other national and international organization has enhanced the social capital and status of the organization especially in the field of non-formal education.