Action for Education (AFE) was established in 2018 by a group of long-term volunteers working on the Greek island of Chios. Having taken over the management of the education projects started by Be Aware and Share in 2016, AFE remains committed to supporting marginalised communities in Greece.
Over the past 18 months, we have maintained and grown the reach of our work, establishing ourselves as a respected entity within the Greek non-profit and grassroots sectors.
Whilst thousands of asylum seekers continue to live in makeshift camps on the islands, and those on the mainland continue to face huge barriers to continued learning and integration, we will not stop working to meet basic needs and run our critical safe spaces that foster empowerment and build community.
Find out more: www.actionforeducation.co.uk
After the 2016 EU-Turkey Statement, Chios turned from a transient landing spot into a de facto detention centre. It has since consistently held around 2,000 refugees, 37% of whom are children. On May 23rd 2016 the project’s first school opened its doors to around 25 children. Acting upon the great need, we soon extended our services and since November 2016 we have run schools and a youth centre, reaching up to 250 children and youth per week and over 2,800 participants since opening.
The hotspot camp on Samos has capacity for just 650 asylum seekers, yet currently holds more than 4000. The conditions experienced by asylum seekers are despicable, living exposed to heat and cold, wild animals, and without adequate access to medical, legal, nutritional and educational support. The Banana House is located in the centre of Samos town, set in what was formerly a kindergarten. This renovated space comprises 3 classrooms, a kitchen, a chill-out room, showers and a large garden. The centre is run by a dedicated team of 10 international volunteers and around 30 volunteers from the refugee community, sharing responsibility for teaching, cooking, centre management and student welfare. Students accessing the centre attend classes in English, Greek and other creative subjects, as well as receiving a hot meal, showers and recreational activities.
Gendered barriers to education are high in every society, but in the context of forced displacement, overcoming them alone is an impossibility for women on the run. In plain language: women cannot go to school because they must look after their children, they do not feel safe travelling in the city, and they do not feel safe or comfortable in spaces with men. As result, they either cannot attend or cannot be productive in Athens’ mainstream non-formal education centres. To confront these gendered barriers to education, the Halcyon Days Project's bespoke non-formal education programme directly supports the needs of women from the refugee community in Athens. In the morning sessions, Action for Education volunteers provide childcare, so single mothers can attends English, Greek and Computer classes.
Our projects are led by energetic, dedicated and caring volunteers from around the world. If you have a passion for education and standing up for human rights, consider applying to join our teams. Please note the following important information:
1. Work Ethic
Volunteering with Action for Education is not 'voluntourism'. The hours are long and the psychological demands can be high. We only accept volunteer aged 22 and over. We provide support and training throughout the process.
2. Time Commitment
Due to the nature of our education projects, we invite volunteers to join us for as long as they are able, with a minimum of 6 weeks. This ensures stability and consistency of teachers across our learning centres.
3. Accommodation. We believe it's important that our volunteers are a community. We provide shared accommodation in city-based apartments for all who come. These may not be luxurious penthouses, but they are our shared home.
4. Protection & Professionalism. Since many of our students and youth centre beneficiaries are under 18, we require all volunteers to provide a criminal background check. This is a vital safeguarding measure. Please also note that we have strict safeguarding and boundaries policies. If you would like to find out more about these before applying, email us.
If you're feeling ready to join our team, take a look at our job listings or apply directly through our website: www.actionforeducation.co.uk/volunteer.
Action for Education (AFE) was established in 2018 by a group of long-term volunteers working on the Greek island of Chios. Having taken over the management of the education projects started by Be Aware and Share in 2016, AFE remains…