Every human has the right for education. This is one of the major factors that affects their life in every way. We all deserve a chance, regardless of age , and this is the main reason why ”React for Life” came to the surface.

When I heard about this program and the ability of helping refugees to learn English and Greek, I sent my application for volunteering to YMCA Thessaloniki and now after 3 months of teaching English to adult refugees from Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Mοrocco… I’m even more excited and I didn’t regret it at all.

At first, it was difficult to communicate but this difficulty didn’t last more than 2 weeks thanks to  some students  who were willing to translate in Arabic to the others. Their strength and willpower made the whole effort much easier for me in the class. When I noticed the happiness and satisfaction reflecting on their faces for every single new thing that they learned, honestly that was my reward!  I’m very grateful for this opportunity!

Some people are not as lucky as we are, and they need our help. I encourage everyone to engage in volunteering programs of YMCA or volunteering in general and I guarantee you, you will have an amazing experience and you will get more back than you ever imagined.


Theodoros Koumis

English Teacher

YMCA Volunteer

React for life is a voluntary language learning program for adults organised by the YMCA of Thessaloniki. Until now, 11 volunteers teach Greek, English and German on a daily basis. The beneficiaries are parents who bring their children to the other refugee programs running at the YMCA Thessaloniki (React and SolidarityNow programs).