The project “DIA-drasis” has been running since October 2018 and in this short time period the achievements were precious. On the 15th of April a half-day conference was co-organised by Major Development Agency of Thessaloniki, YMCA Thessaloniki and SolidarityNow, supported by UNICEF (NFE Sector, Cities Network for Integration) and the Municipality of Thessaloniki, at 5 pm at the City Hall, Manolis Anagnostakis room.

The main issue raised at the conference was inclusion, hence the title “Best Practices of Inclusion through Education in the City of Thessaloniki: The experience of DIA-drasis”. Teachers, volunteers and other persons participated in the realisation of the project had the chance to share their views.

First, greetings by Sofia Aslanidou, Municipal Councillor and Head of the City’s Council for Integration of Immigrants and Refugees, and Georgia Ranella, Head of Management Board of Major Development Agency Thessaloniki SA.

Keynote speakers were Sofia Avgitidou, Professor of the University of Western Macedonia and vice president of the Hellenic Observatory for Intercultural Education, and Giota Gatsi, UNICEF Non formal education advisor for Cities Network for Integration.

Action 1 of the project was showcased by YMCA Thessaloniki. We focused on the intercultural dialogue that we can reinforce at the Child Centre “DIA-drasis” and how we can capitalise on the multicultural background of the families and build educational practices that respect and include bothways. The speakers were teachers, cultural facilitators, coordinators, volunteers and other associates that supported our work all the way. To make possible for all these voices to be heard and experiences to be shared we devised short video testimonies.

Action 2 of the project was showcased by SolidarityNow. Domniki Georgopoulou, Education coordinator Northern Greece and the teachers of the program pointed out lessons learnt and coping mechanisms for classroom management and differentiation.

The last part of the conference was very interesting. A round table where parents could share and discuss their views and experiences and what does it mean to participate in such a project where refugee families can get in contact with families of Greek background and how a common ground is built.