Imagine you are fleeing your country because of a war, you cross a sea on a dinghy boat to set foot in Europe. When you arrive, you are placed in a system that operates in a language that you cannot understand and an alphabet that you cannot read. It is difficult to communicate with the people around you as they come from diverse countries, speaking a variety of languages. Isolation and depression can easily become an everyday reality. The refugee camp on Leros, currently hosting nearly 900 refugees, is no exception. Scarcity of translators and the necessary European language skills makes it so that refugees are mostly spoken about rather than with. Learning European languages is the first step for refugees to help themselves, integrate into societies and make a positive difference.
Here at ECHO100Plus we have hundreds of refugees coming in each week for English, Greek, German, French and Italian classes. We see their enthusiasm for learning, their enormous potential and constant progress. We encounter the happiness that communicating in new languages brings to them everyday. Many students end up sitting the ESB examinations in the English language and some even go on to study at the American Universities of Athens and Thessaloniki.
We love running these classes for the positive change they make in the lives of the refugees on Leros. However, we need your help to maintain them by raising funds for class materials, examination fees, teachers’ salaries and heating for the class rooms now that winter is around the corner.
With only 5€, you can contribute to school supplies for our students: a pen, a notebook and a folder. This will allow our students to read and write, providing a gateway to their future education in colleges, universities and the workplace.
With 10€, you can provide for an hour of our local teachers’ salary. Our teachers’ support on an academic and emotional level is vital on a daily basis. They are an essential part of the everyday life of refugees on Leros.
With 20€, you can buy a table that our students can use to study their language skills on.
With 30€, you can contribute to textbooks for our teachers to use for their language lessons. These are essential in providing our students with the resources they need in order to study, and consequently giving them a voice to better communicate.
With 40€, you can contribute to one of the 3 whiteboards needed for our classrooms.
With 80€, you can pay for the exam fee for one of our students. They will then receive a certificate verifying their English levels and providing them with a recognised proof to get into universities or jobs.
And 100€, will cover the monthly bill for heating in our classrooms are the weather is deteriorating fast.