Refugee Education Support in Athens
We are delighted to once again be partnering with the fantastic Refugee Youth Service (RYS) as they extend their experience and skills to support young refugees living in Athens, Greece. In association with the Velos Youth Centre, RYS are creating a unique Education Engagement Hub in the City with the aim of increasing the uptake of education programmes in young refugees living in the area.
With Fonthill's support, RYS and Velos will be delivering a long-term programme of education-focused mentoring provision, with young people aged 16-21. UNICEF have identified this age group as being particularly vulnerable. After the age of 15 whilst education is free in Greece, it is not-compulsory and is also only taught in Greek. So, any refugees arriving in the country at this age first need to learn Greek before they can engage in any form of education. Velos are working hard to bridge this gap and support as many of these young people as possible to engage with education.
This new project, aimed at doing just this, is being spearheaded by Tim Birtwistle, a trained teacher and former Calais Jungle School co-ordinator, in conjunction with Stavros Psaroudaskis, a Greek national and trained psychologist. Working one-to-one, mentors will develop and implement individual 'Learning & Education Action Plan's' (LEAP's) sensitive to each young persons' needs, whilst at the same time offering realistic and challenging education targets and outcomes for them.
By providing individual caseworker support and ensuring the young persons' needs are at the heart of their IEP, the aim is to increase engagement with long-term education, reduce drop-out rates and empower young people to aspire and achieve.
Whilst the key focus will be on the mentoring and support aspect of the programme, the project will work to bring together education and support providers in Athens to strengthen connections and networks. Providing a more connected arrangement of service providers can only assist in offering young people a more productive support system.