The Education program offers non-formal education and a variety of activities to community members of all ages living in Ritsona refugee camp. The purpose and aim of the different divisions within the program is to restore a sense of normality to people’s lives while countervailing fear, anxiety and frustration. In a setting where the individual is often forgotten and personal dreams and goals are put on hold, we aim to nurture ambitions, talents and skills of all who wish to participate in meaningful and stimulating classes and activities.
The pre-school serves the 2-5 year old population where they have both playtime activities and also basic learning activities. The daily schedule at the pre-school is broken down into 15-minute intervals where the children learn for 15 minutes and then play for 15 minutes. The space has been divided into four corners. Each corner is dedicated to either a learning or playtime activity and the children rotate from space to space. This allows for the children to learn basic discipline and time management, which better prepares them once they are 6 years old and go into formal education.
English Language Classes
The adult education classes have continued to focus on developing language skills. English language classes are running at four different levels (ABC, Beginner, Elementary and Intermediate), as well a mixed level female only class. Currently one of the classes is run by a resident teacher, who's using both Arabic and English to teach the class.
Greek Language Classes
As part of our Adult Education program, we run Greek classes for adults, with the help of a local Greek teacher, who volunteers her time in order to help the residents learn the language of their host country. The classes also aim to teach Greek culture and history to assist the students with integration.
Children's Learning PROGRAM
Summer 2018 Program
Over the summer of 2018 we are running a Summer Camp program for the children attending Greek Primary schools during which they will be taught English and Greek as well as Social and Emotional Learning, based on a program developed by the International Rescue Committee.
IT Learning Program
In October 2017 I AM YOU welcomed a PhD researcher from the UK Open University. He came to Ritsona to design a project for IT and Technology education for displaced children, with the aim of increasing interactivity in learning. His program was a great success with the young representatives of the community. We are currently working on establishing a sustainable program taking into consideration the findings and good practices of his project.
When some of the Ritsona residents expressed the desire to create a library, we jumped to help! Together with support from Lighthouse Relief, we sourced a container then began the hard labour of metal-grinding, painting, sanding, scrubbing to get it up and ready. It was launched in November 2016 and is now managed entirely by the resident community. It is a great source of entertainment for everyone and a calm place to take some time out. The majority of books are available in Arabic, Kurdish and English.