A Safe Space - Dollar for Dollar Match

By Sustainable Markets Foundation

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A little bit of context

I AM YOU Humanitarian Aid first arrived at Ritsona in 2016. Ritsona is a refugee camp in Greece which has been constructed on the site of a former air force base, and houses over 850 people but has the capacity for up to 1000 people. The Ministry of Education recently added additional early childhood education services for 4 and 5 year old children and I AM YOU supports them by facilitating a safe space for the camp's youngest residents aged 2 and 3. This is our third year operating preschool and it runs just like a typical Greek preschool year-round. Our aim is to support social, mental and emotional skills as well as cognitive development. We serve approximately 20 children daily Monday through Friday divided into two age groups. With at least five languages present in the classroom, we learn from each other and focus on the social, emotional, and creative skills that transcend language barriers.

But there’s a problem...

Although no longer in the headlines, the refugee crisis continues. People who are living in displacement arrive daily at Ritsona and no one is ever turned away. This year, I AM YOU's preschool is looking to secure funding to continue to operate as if it were a regular Greek preschool, year-round. At the moment, we are lacking the resources needed to continue providing this service without gaps. The importance of providing consistent and stable programming is paramount. Our preschool is funded largely through the generosity of donors. Today we need your help to reach our target of €8400 which converts roughly to $9500. If it's met, every dollar will be matched! Yes, every dollar. That translates to 6 months of non-stop preschool for the youngest residents of Ritsona.

Can you sponsor a 2 or 3 year old child for a day or maybe a week? For the same cost as lunch out with friends you can make that happen.

€7 sponsors a child for 1 day of preschool

€35 sponsors a child for 1 week of preschool

€140 sponsors a child for 1 month of preschool

We can make this happen! Can you help us get to our target?

Where will those funds go?

- A competitive monthly stipend for a qualified preschool teacher that would be dedicated full-time to the needs of Ritsona's preschoolers for 6 months.

- Training and development opportunities focused on post traumatic stress suffered by children living in displacement when available.

- Teaching materials such as resources that facilitate lessons which meet childhood development standards in the areas of motor, social, emotional and creative skills (puzzles, educational toys, educational posters, playdough).

- Craft materials for curriculum (construction paper, glue, child-sized scissors, art supplies, etc).

- Breakfast biscuits and snacks

- Drinking water

- Printing paper and printer ink

- Replace furniture that is overused due to wear and tear *if necessary

- Technology resources such as internet top up cards to access educational videos and music for children online.

- Transportation to and from camp for the preschool staff.

- Direct support from the Education and Field Coordinators in the areas of curriculum development, staff management, safety and security, community outreach and engagement.

- Maintenance and cleaning supplies to maintain the isobox in which preschool is held (replacement light bulbs, replacement breakers, silicone, cleaning products - when needed).

Be the change.

The pulse that beats at the heart of I AM YOU has always been its volunteers and supporters. As a grassroots organization, it’s been YOU who have kept us going, YOU who have always believed and YOU who continue the conversation by raising awareness about this crisis. In January, we reconnected with all of you LIVE from the heart of our volunteer base in Stockholm Sweden. This month, we ask you to share your love of I AM YOU with your friends. Help us continue funding I AM YOU’s preschool without gaps to ensure consistency and stability in the lives of Ritsona's youngest residents by reaching our target of €8400. If it's met, every dollar will be matched! Yes, every dollar. Donate today and help us reach 9,500 to activate the gift match.

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Team Members


Katina Saoulli

Sabrina Figueroa