The National Conference of the Schools For All project took place on Monday, June 20 in Athens. This warm, inspirational and meaningful event was an opportunity to celebrate the work of the 64 schools from the project’s network. The conference marked the 3-year cycle of the project but also introduced its next phase, future steps, and launched a new educational tool. The handbook ‘Methods and supportive techniques for refugee inclusion in school communities’ hopefully will prove to be a useful tool for meeting the current needs of schools and societies beyond Greek borders.
44 schools exhibited posters, digital material, and artifacts at the historical building of Marasleio, showcasing the implementation of their action plans. The walk-through exhibition was accompanied by the musical performance of Connect by music group from the refugee facility in Thermopiles.
A few memorable moments from the many:
The Norwegian Ambassador in Greece, Frode Overland Andersen: ‘This is truly an exceptional work to witness. The reward of bringing the children into the schooling system, getting them educated, making sure they that they learn the language, learn the rules of society, bringing them basically into the society, is not only integrational efforts for the students themselves. It is for their families and for the local communities and I think Schools For All certainly underlines this in a very apt way.
Ana Perona-Fjeldstad, Executive Director of the European Wergeland Centre, highlighted the significance of the handbook: “It is compiling your lived experiences of the last 3 years so that they can be transferred to other teachers, other schools in Greece but also in many other countries of Europe. Little did we know, when we planned this 3 years ago, of the relevance of this material in Europe, today.”
The award ceremony of the schools was a unique and emotional moment for all the attendees. The school teams received their ‘diplomas’ and shared a few words. A student of the Εvening High School of Mytilene “Τhank you very much! School is a second home to me here in Greece. I am here, I am happy and I hope I can continue going to school”.
The video is available with English translation here.