A Closer Look at METADRASI: “We are fulfilling the dream of many children, through Athens Open Schools"

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Metadrasi is a Greek nonprofit organization that specializes in the fields of interpretation and intercultural mediation, as well as protecting of the rights of unaccompanied refugee and migrant minors. It is one of 150 organizations that offer more than 500 different activities to the neighborhoods of Athens, through the Athens Partnership’s Open Schools program. Metadrasi hosts language classes in Greek, English and German, as well as mathematics, for children aged 6-18 . The program targets refugees, migrants, and Greek children, supplementing learning gaps with the aim of enabling children to succeed in public school.

To learn more, we spoke with Nikoleta Dimitrouka, Head of Training for Athens and Thessaloniki:

What was the motivation to design and implement this activity?

The main motivation came from Metadrasis’ ambition to help prepare children (refugees, migrants, and Greek natives)for  better integration into formal education and into the school community as a whole.

Partnering with Open Schools, we have been given the opportunity to implement an educational program that fulfills the dream of many children: their integration into formal school education.

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How is the integration of children into school and society promoted?

Conducting our lessons in an actual school environment best prepares children for the transition to  to morning school. At the same time, it provides an opportunity for many to leave refugee and migrant camps and visit other parts of Athens.

The large participation of both Greeks and refugees in the program shows that there is a willingness for interaction between the two groups. It is very encouraging that we see a strong desire for all children, regardless of their origin, to play together in the courtyard before, during and after the lessons.

The issue of refugees is a sensitive one. How do the neighborhoods of Athens react to your efforts?

The neighborhoods generally embrace the program, but the degree differs depending on the familiarity of these issues with each neighborhood.

What are your future plans for the program?

Despite the financial difficulties we face, the great success of this activity makes us want to continue in our efforts. With the invaluable help of volunteers, we hope to continue supporting all of our students,who are making tremendous effort to better develop their knowledge and skills.

To support these children through Open Schools and other AP public programs, please donate now.