Approximately 35% of Ritsona’s residents are children under the age of 18, many of whom have not participated in any practice of formal education. As per Greek law, all school aged children are required to attend the formal Greek education system. The problem is having experienced past trauma and an unstable home life, many of them have difficulties with managing extreme behaviors and getting accustomed to a structured learning routine.
Children experiencing displacement need social emotional support, techniques and strategies for how to combat behavior conflicts, language support and supplemental educational support to better support their academic needs. In order to effectively facilitate these needs, they need a safe space in which they can express how they feel and to establish well-balanced learning habits.
I AM YOU established a non-formal education summer camp program in 2018. Safe spaces were created for children aged 6 – 12 years old. Daily classes were facilitated in the areas of English language support and Social Emotional Learning. Children were exposed to 4 hours of non-formal education daily for 3 months. When it was time to go back to school in September, they were better equipped to deal with emotional distress and behavior expectations and prepared for the rigors of learning new skills.
I AM YOU’s program continued into the fall of 2018 in collaboration with the non-profit organization Armando Aid. Together, we designed the foundation of a non-formal education program to include the integration of modern technology. This technology makes it easier to integrate not only English language skills into their daily learning routine, but also Greek, Maths and Science.