In light of the growing refugee crisis and the numerous children fleeing from civil wars, Israeli youth group members established a school for refugees on the Greek Island of Lesbos. “Our task is to inspire hope and stimulate positive action,” one of the social activists explained.

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In February 2017, the Israeli HaShomer HaTzair youth group set out on an extraordinary journey when it established a school for refugee children in Lesbos, Greece. The island of Lesbos is located near the Turkish coast, where many refugees arrive each day. Only 48 out of 900 children and teenagers on the island are integrated into the local Greek schools.

HaShomer HaTzair’s educational aid delegation enlisted to provide a solution: together with professionals, who are refugees themselves, they established a school that runs an Arabic class for Syrian refugees and a Persian class for Afghani refugees in the morning. In the late afternoon, various courses are held for adults.

From refugees to students - School for refugees in Lesbos

From refugees to students – School for refugees in Lesbos Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

“We believe that our task is to inspire hope and stimulate positive action among the refugees themselves and not to create a dependent relationship that preserves the weak position that they are in,” the school for refugees’ coordinator Yair Libel told Channel 2 News Online, emphasizing the volunteers’ commitment to invest in each person who arrives following his or her traumatic journey. Libel also stressed the importance of providing education that will successfully change an aspect of the students’ refugee experience.