Refugee Education in Greece: Call for Oriel Support
Action for Education is a UK-based NGO providing education and safe-spaces for refugee youth and women in Greece. Co-founded and coordinated by recent Oriel graduate, Jacob Warn, the NGO is now fundraising for 2019 to continue their essential projects in Chios and Athens that work to build pathways into education for refugee communities in Greece.
Jacob says: ‘I read Classics and English at Oriel College between 2013 and 2016. With an academic focus on cross-cultural and translation-based issues, a love for music and the college’s choir, as well as a passion for grassroots media (as then-editor of the college’s newspaper: The Poor Print), after graduation I began teaching English and music. These interests led me in turn to Chios in January 2017.
‘Since then, I’ve been based here, firstly volunteering as a teacher, and then coordinating our projects. In December 2017, the outgoing NGO responsible for our education services on Chios left, and along with other volunteers, we founded a new UK-based NGO, Action for Education. But to continue for another year, we do need help.’
The project on the island of Chios operates a Youth Centre and High School for children and young adults currently living in dire conditions in the refugee camp. The institutions offer them a chance to build resilience, learn new skills, integrate into a new society and prepare for academic and vocational futures.
The second project in Athens, The Halcyon Days Project, is an education centre co-run by Action for Women, for female asylum-seekers and refugees. The centre offers English, Greek, and computer literacy classes alongside a livelihoods programme to help build core competencies that equip them to find jobs, return to education, and integrate into Athenian society.
Jacob continues: ‘I am truly grateful to Oriel College for the support we’ve already received from fellow students, tutors and the college who have donated and volunteered with us. I recognise that many requests are made of us all to support disasters and crises around the world, but I also sincerely hope that the urgency of our current campaign and our ongoing work can in turn be recognised. Together we can make a huge difference. Stand in solidarity with refugees this Christmas and uphold the fundamental right to education. Thank you.’