Thodoris and Eleni, SolidarityNow employees, Blue Dots program
Thodoris: Occupational therapist with postgraduate studies and trainer of the Sherborne method (pedagogical method), with large experience in storytelling and team empowerment.
Eleni: Psychologist and art historian, also with experience in storytelling and group empowerment.
From the very beginning of their professional acquaintance, Thodoris and Eleni felt that “we match, ‘we are birds of a feather’”.
“From the first moment we realized that we would have an interesting and effective cooperation”, they confide.
photos: Giorgos Moutafis for SolidarityNow
Our dream was to create a safe space (both psychological and physical) for the children, where they can play and mainly express themselves. Through discussions and study, we set our core goal, since we concluded that the greatest need for refugee children is to win back their roles in life; the roles of the child or adolescent, son or daughter, student. Thus, we developed a program to primarily achieve this goal. The key component of our work is to be honest and direct in our communication with the children, paying attention to each one of them personally.
So, imagine our joy…
In the case of the concert held in Elefsina camp by the children’s choir, when their parents were telling us that it was the first time after years that they applauded their children.
Or when, after a quarrel, the two teenagers involved, asked us to discuss the incident with the adolescent group.
Or when, on our excursion to the adventure park, the children dreamed of reaching the sky!
Or the moment when the camp was no longer a hall of shadows, but a building full of toys and children’s voices.
Or when, on the first day at school, our children proudly showed their bags and asked us to help with their homework.
Or … or … or … we could mention so many more beautiful moments!
For us, every child is unique and special. Each one of them has their own story, personality and future. If we manage to support them, we are proud of our work. We do not believe in heroes; we believe in the power born when people meet and interact honestly“.
*Thodoris and Eleni share with us their experience and emotions during their work at the Blue Dots Unit operated by SolidarityNow in the Elefsina accommodation structure. The structure remained open until October 2017.
Τhe Blue Dots program is implemented by SolidarityNow, supported by UNICEF, with funding from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO).