Building bridges for the coexistence of different cultures in the Northern Aegean
A conversation among young Greek and refugee students, in Samos, reminded us some serious facts about our coexistence with people from different cultural backgrounds..
“It’s on Barcelona’s shirts!”
That was the answer of the 17-year old Pavlos, who is a student at Pythagoreio High School and Lyceum of Samos, to the question “what is UNICEF?” during a discussion between the students and the representatives of the UNICEF Greece Country Office who visited the school.
More specifically, representatives of the UNICEF‘s Education Division, the Independent Department for the Coordination and Monitoring of Refugees’ Education of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and the Regional Directorate of Primary and Secondary Education of Northern Aegean visited Chios and Samos and jointly organized the seminar “Education of Refugees: Investment in people, investment in the future”.
During the seminar which was presented in both islands, the representatives of UNICEF‘s Education Division discussed with the students the Organization’s role regarding the advocacy of the children’s best interests as well as the reason of their visit in the context of the implementation of the programme “All Children in Education*” which aims to support the schools in order to be prepared and to facilitate the access in education for all refugee or migrant children and their successful transition and inclusion in the school environment.
The teachers and the students, Greek and refugees alike, among them Dimitris, Taleen, Sisse and Soukrani, that attended the seminar, had the opportunity to talk about their experiences through the programme.
One of the teachers said: “For the first time we realized that our children were helping other children and they taught us a lesson of endurance and kindness.”
One of the students mentioned that: “Without Sisse, the G4 class cannot exist. Everyday, he brings out the best in us with his smile and kindness.”
*The “All Children in Education” Programme is a UNICEF initiative and is co-founded by the European Union and implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Migration and Asylum and the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, among other partners. In Chios, the programme is implemented by Metadrasi, while in Samos it is implemented by ARSIS and its Homework and Creative Activities Center "Alki Zei”.