Summer school

Giving refugee children a real home

In Samos we have not opened a formal school because the students are transferred by the authorities randomly.

When this happens, we hope that wherever in mainland Greece they will be transferred they will find support, resources and a better education.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

During a trip in the spring of 2019, one of our coordinators visited some of our previous students in their new accomodations. The situation they witnessed was devastating and dangerous. Many reception localities for asylum seekers are isolated and remote, far away from services, hospitals, schools and markets. The unstable homes are infested by insects and have no access to medical care in case of emergence. The camps are overcrowded and dangerous with acts of raw violence executed out in the open. We witnessed a stabbed man in the middle of a common path, in front of the children we were meeting. In these camps, the arrival of the nights carries with it only fear and darkness. While speaking with students’ families, we asked: “how can Still I Rise help you?”.

A parent looked us in the eyes and asked us to take their child to a safer place for learning.

We understood that we had to create a summer program for the summer of 2019.

When we realized that our former students after leaving Samos did not have access to education, especially during summer months, we created our Summer School Project in Samos.

We always strive to be flexible and to respond immediately to our students’ needs and the Summer School project was an effective solution.

Due to some legal and logistical reasons, we were not been able to offer this project to all our former students, but only to the few who obtained all the necessary documents and permits from their parents. The selected group of students once again gained access to education in Mazí and its activities six days a week for their entire duration of stay. They also received extra support and tutoring in the summer house where we hosted them to maximize their educational earnings. The house offered a familiar, safe and supportive atmosphere, under the careful supervision of Still I Rise coordinators. During the weekends we accompanied them to discover the most beautiful places on the island, places until then were unknown to them: beautiful beaches, waterfalls and excursions. We saw students thriving in a safe environment; learning how to swim, reading English books, riding a bicycle and writing.

The benefits were unique and the students called it "the best summer of my life".

We will never stop doing the best for our students and former students and we are immensely grateful to all the donors who made this priceless experience possible for our children.