Education for Refugees in Lesvos

Our partners in Greece transforned two old busses into a school for refugees to improve informal education inside the new camp


Since 2017 Wadi is supporting the local Greek organization Stand by me Lesvos (SBML) and it’s partners in the refugee camp, the Moria White Helmets and Moria Corona Awareness Team (MCAT).

One of the main missions of SBML is to support non-formal self-organized education inside the camp. It started in 2018 with a school near the old camp, the Acadamia and since then this program has grown as Stand by me Lesvos explains:

The Academia Program is working on the solution by giving structure to non-formal education. At SBML we have divided the informal education that prepares refugees to be able to later participate in formal education into 10 units. This is a curriculum, and has measurable outcomes and inputs. This also allows internal consistency so that two classes being taught by two different teachers are learning the same things.

When we created a non-formal learning curriculum in 2019 it was a powerful tool that SBML as an organization shared with other similar organizations – we built a network where we know exactly what refugees are learning. So a person, who completed units 0-5 in Lesvos, could now go to Athens and continue at a partner organization learning units 6-10 and not waste time starting at the bottom again. That person would then go on to start the formal learning much better prepared to succeed.

Self organized classes with and for refugees supported by our partners in the camp 

After Moria Camp burned down in 2020 lack of space has been the biggest problem for new classes. They found an amazing solution to solve this problem

SBML just announced how they managed to turnd two old Busses in a small school:

Unfortunately, also in the new camp in Lesvos educational program for refugees are poor. Until now just some tent-schools exist and they do not cover the huge needs. Since last autumn Stand by me Lesvos is working hard to find new solutions in co-operation with our self-organized network of Moria Academia. Therefore, we purchased two old busses and during the last months they were transformed into four classrooms. Thanks to the support of Low-tech with refugees and so many volunteers from our partner organizations they are now ready: Powered by solar energy, each bus is separated into two classrooms.

sbml bus

A team of refugees and local Greeks transforming old busses into a school

We started a co-operation with the Greek NGO ELIX/Ελιξ- Προγράμματα Εθελοντικής Εργασίας which implements a non-formal education project in the island with the support of UNICEF. After long discussion and a lot of effort we finally received the OK from the Camp Management to place the busses inside the camp under the auspices of ELIX which covered also the costs for the appropriation of the plot. This happened last week and still some smaller works are needed until everything is finalized and classes can start. One bus will be used by us and Moria Academia teachers the other by Elix to improve non-formal education for children and adults in the camp. We are very glad we can finally announce these good news and ask all of you to support this important improvement with your donation:

The purchase of the busses was made possible with extra money left over from the Christmas gift project. We would like to thank the Office of Displaced DesignersLow-tech with Refugees / Low-tech & Réfugiés and Solingen hilft e.V. for their wonderful support and assistance. Without them this would not have been possible.”

These unique projects in Greekce urgently need further support! Please consider supporting them with a donation, Subject “Greece”.