World Refugee Day

Posted on 19-06-2018

Numbers are rising

Nearly 30 people are forced to flee every minute as a result of conflict or persecution. The amount of forcibly displaced people worldwide is rising (68,5 million according to UNHCR, 2018). The distribution is still disproportionate. Turkey hosted 3,5 million refugees in 2017, Pakistan 1,4 million and Lebanon 1 million. More than 85% of the displaced people are hosted in developing countries. There is an increasing pressure on the facilities in neighbouring countries of conflict areas. Consequently, many people continue their journey and head to Europe, crossing the sea on a dangerous journey. Since the beginning of 2014, more than 1,8 million people arrived on the European continent by sea (UNHCR, 2018).

Nevertheless, at least 16,343 people never arrived: they were reported dead or missing. Even after they arrive, their situation remains uncertain. More than 10,000 children have disappeared from the radar, because they moved to unknown destinations or became victims of exploitation and trafficking.

In Spain, Italy and Greece, around 40,000 refugees arrived by sea during the last 6 months.

More than 53% of the displaced people are children who are losing a big part of their childhood and have to live in uncertainty for years on end, without future prospects and access to a qualitative education.

Meanwhile, European countries are busy discussing how best to deal with this situation, but they have little to show for it when it comes to concrete solutions.

 

Mobile School in Greece

Our Mobile School partners ARSIS & PRAKSIS in Greece are confronted with this situation on a daily base in Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras. A lot of refugees arrive on the Greek islands but have to wait there for a long time till they can continue their journey to the mainland. Some of them are hosted in overcrowded refugee camps, others remain under the radar and try to move on to the North.

In Athens, partner organisation ARSIS has been working on Victoria Square, a central square in the city center, for 3 years now to support mostly Afghan and Pakistani adolescents who are meeting up there. In Thessaloniki, our partners are working near social apartment blocks where refugee families are relocated, but also in refugee camps during shorter periods of time. In Patras, the local team uses the mobile school to establish contact with refugees who are hiding in abandoned factories.

 

What’s our vision?

Mobile School’s main objective is empowering street-connected children by offering educational activities which help them to rebuild their self-esteem and unlock their talents.

Because children on the move stay in one place for shorter periods than other children we meet on the streets, the process started up by street educators is shorter and other needs have to be addressed.

The interventions, therefore, are focused on stress relief and on offering a positive educational environment where children can express their emotions, learn, play together and feel like a child again. Even if it’s only for a short moment on their journey.

Our impact on the refugee crisis is relatively small, but it is important. Every initiative that can help children to find peace, be a child, learn and develop their talents during or after their journey is indispensable.

As always at Mobile School, we strive to increase our impact.

Do you know or do you work for an organisation working with children on the move, looking for a new method? Don’t hesitate to contact us via info@mobileschool.org