Get to know the newcomers, activists and volunteers we met in Athens, Berlin and London, as they share their personal experiences of refuge, welcome and the digital city.
The school I work at is called the 87th Experimental Intercultural Primary School of Athens. 'Experimental'... intercultural'... these are mostly just the State's definitions. There’s no difference in the syllabus from a normal school, they just try to define a supposed 'care' for cultural diversity. But this is a fact in education, anyways.
In Athens, there are only three intercultural schools and ours, in particular, has a lot of refugee students. There are many schools that are ‘intercultural’ but they don't have this label. In London, half the school population consists of 'other' ethnic groups but you don't need such a concept. I feel that this labelling is discrimination. And that’s why it’s perceived so negatively by local people, who can't accept that we practice different methods and techniques, sometimes non-formal, to meet the needs of so many diversities.
Update June 2020 — Over one year later, things have rapidly changed. I can't find words to describe the situation, which is beyond insecurity. Cleansing could be the one. Precarious, almost futureless people, seem to be on the run again. During and exactly after the Coronavirus crisis, a major State plan was launched to throw people out of camps and home facilities, a pogrom as we know it. There were demonstrations outside Eleonas Camp, where the best way chosen to force people out was cutting off food... There are about 300 people there, mostly families with our students among them. Us teachers also help by collecting basic needs to bring them, but we know it's not enough and summer is ahead...