Or how “The Resilient Roots Initiative” helped young refugees express themselves
Omar is one of the SolidarityNow beneficiaries who took part in the photography and radio trainings organized and completed by the organization under the program “The Resilient Roots Initiative”.
Radio, podcasts and photography are powerful tools of modern media. Words and images, if they are used properly, can express feelings, ideas, opinions and constructive criticisms. SolidarityNow chose this innovative way to train and enable its beneficiaries to jury the organization itself in order to help its evolution towards a more effective operation mode and a more efficient programs’ orientation upon their real needs.
“Through this seminar, we learned to express our thoughts and our opinions. I wanted to inform and prepare all the people who are leaving their country for what difficulties they will encounter“, Omar from Algeria confesses. Omar comes to the organization’s Blue Refugee Center and make use of the pro bono services. He is currently hosted in the Thessaloniki homeless dormitory along with other Greeks, refugees and migrants.
Many students already have very busy schedules because they attend school and Greek and English lessons, but these students still chose to participate in these seminars. “I always want to learn something new. Whatever I learn, I think it will be useful“, says another student of the seminar.
A total of 60 young people, refugees and asylum seekers from the organization’s programs in Athens and Thessaloniki, had the opportunity to attend these photo and radio trainings as means to help them express their needs and desires.
“The beneficiaries themselves have to express their needs”, notes Danae Kapralou, the project’s coordinator, adding that the notion of accountability is something missing in Greece. “It is important for people who are trying to build their lives here, to learn that only they can talk about their problem well”.
In Athens the “students” were all beneficiaries of the organization’s accommodation program; some of the youngsters live together at the organization’s Youth Hostel. In Thessaloniki, the students were beneficiaries of the Blue Refugee Center. In Athens the photography lessons were taught by the photojournalist Giorgos Moutafis and the radio trainings were held by the radio producer Katerina Kafetzi. In Thessaloniki, Alexandros Avramidis was the photo instructor and Christos Kiousis was the one who introduced them to the magical world of radio and podcasts.
Starting from today and for the next few days, we will share with you, through the SolidarityNow social networks, the students’ and teachers’ stories, developing a dialogue among them. We can all learn from these stories of other people improving themselves.
Follow the stories!
*Since July 2018, SolidarityNow has been implementing the pilot project “The Resilient Roots Initiative”. The program, co-ordinated by the CIVICUS network in partnership with Keystone Accountability & Accountable Now, aims to improve communication and interaction channels between SolidarityNow management and its beneficiaries. About 60 young people beneficiaries of the organization, from Athens and Thessaloniki, are involved in several activities.
* The Blue Refugee Center is supported by UNHCR and funded by the EU.
*The Youth Shelter operated by SolidarityNow in partnership with the Society for the Care of Minors and Youth in the framework of the organization’s Accommodation program, is part of the ESTIA- Emergency Support to Integration and Accommodation of the UNHCR GREECE and funding by DG-Home.