Iliana, the student, and Louisa, the teacher speak about their encounter through education – Tribute: “Before the bell rings”

The 12-year-old Iliana from Syria is a student of Louisa in the “Homework and Creative Activities Center” (HCAC) operating in the Blue Refugee Center of SolidarityNow in Thessaloniki. Through their answers, they share with us the positive imprint of educational procedures in their lives.

Iliana, Syria (Kurdish origin)

What have you learned so far at the HCAC?
I learned to speak Greek and English. Also, I learned that boys and girls are equally capable. The Center is like my home, I feel that I am at home.

What’s your favourite thing about going to the HCAC?
My favourite thing is when I am hugging my teachers. Also, I love doing my homework and learn new things with them.

Louisa Rousomani, Greek

What are the Centers doing for refugee children that wasn’t being done before?

ACE program promotes formal education in accordance with the Convention of children’s rights, since through the program we support and ensure the enrollment in formal education for unenrolled children. Furthermore, we provide psychosocial support and make referrals to other organizations in order to offer integrated support and balance to the children struggling multiple changes. In addition, we establish communication and cooperation among the Refugee Education Coordinators (REC), which is our basis and guide to continue supporting our students efficiently.

Do you have an example of a child who has responded well to the teaching at the HCAC?

It is worthy to mention Iliana! She is 12 years old and she now finishes the Greek primary public school. She also participates in the recreational activities organized based on students’ interests in the Blue Refugee Center’s HCAC almost every day, despite the fact that she lives with her family quite far from the Center. With our support, Iliana not only has improved her school performance, but she has also empowered her identity and boosted her self-esteem. She excels at school as one of the best students of her class and she has acquired strong social skills that support her integration. We are very proud of her and her family that stands by her side!

*The Blue Refugee Center’s operation is supported by UNICEF Greece.

*The project “All Children in Education” (ACE) is implemented by SolidarityNow with support and funding from UNICEF.