Monday afternoon, 18th of March, there was a surprise visit at the child center “DIA-drasis”! Students from Arsakeio private high school participate in the educational program “Human Rights” of the Greek Youth Parliament. The program aims the young students to participate in Action Groups and not just approach the concept of Human Rights on theory. We would like to thank the teachers of Arsakeio, responsible for this action, Maria-Amalia Vergoula and Ifigeneia Anagnostou.

YMCA Thessaloniki has proven its support towards human rights and children’s rights especially. Therefore, the basic aim of the action “DIA-drasis: Child-centre for the Development of Social Skills” is to enhance the right in education of early age refugee children and to promote social integration through interaction among refugee families and local community by joining various intercultural activities.

Students from Arsakeio High School had the opportunity to join the early childhood intercultural activities, specifically the music workshop, and to be concerned on the right to keep our personal identity and all the cultural elements that form our identity, such as our mother tongue, at the same time to understand the needs of the “Other”. Main concept of the activities were the interaction/ contact of languages and the realisation of the common elements among cultures. The example of “DIA-drasis” proves that cultural contact and everyday unforced expression can act essentially towards inclusion, empower human relations and educate ourselves in acceptance, equality and respect.

Aristi Tzoni, Head of  YMCA Thessaloniki Social Action, highlights:

“The two institutions, YMCA Thessaloniki and ARSAKEIA SCHOOLS OF THESSALONIKI, have shown distinguished sensitivity, and their cooperation in the field of social action and volunteering consists example of best practice in forming positive attitudes and behaviours for the protection of human rights”.

Katerina Sapanidou, student from Arsakeio High School, shares her experience from this visit:

“Our visit at DIA-drasis child center gave us the opportunity to get to know better the young refugees. We had music-motor activities together and we cooperated all together to complete a puzzle with pictures and words in many languages, such as Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Kurdish, Greek, etc. The ice had broken and then we moved to some craft making. This moment was very moving, because children showed us their love dedicating their crafts to us. Our farewell was a rhyme in Greek, Turkish, Farsi etc. During this visit we learnt not only foreign words but also the concept of love and solidarity. We were sensitized and had time together with these children. Although the life of refugees seemed as something faraway since then, these moments made us understood that in reality is an issue that matters directly our country and its citizens”.


Project: “Enhancing the right to education and access to schooling for refugee children” | Under the auspices of the Municipality of Thessaloniki  |  Lead partner: Major Development Agency of Thessaloniki |  Action 1: “DIA-drasis for Early Childhood”  |  Design, organization and implementation: Y.M.C.A. Thessaloniki | Funding: Foundation Open Society Institute