DIA-drasis: Child Center for the Development of Social Skills is a program designed, organised and realised by YMCA Thessaloniki Social Action (more here) for young children, refugees or local. At DIA-drasis we foster multilingualism and embrace all cultures bringing out everything that unites us and not what divides us. The basic aim of the program is on one hand to provide quality learning experiences focusing on literacy and on the other hand to develop social skills focusing on communication. The activities take place in a former nursery conceded by the Municipality of Thessaloniki in the area of Ag.Sofias. The premises adapted in a warm and friendly space suitable for various children’s activities with plenty of creativity and of the good and free will of staff and volunteers. DIA-drasis opened to the public in mid-October and the response was immediate not just by refugee families but by local families too in the neighborhood or around the city centre of Thessaloniki.
Getting to know DIA-drasis, one should know the education team working behind…
Let us introduce ourselves…
“I’m Konstantia, basically an educator with postgraduate studies in Literacy Education and, Cultural Studies and Semiotics. I usually work in the field of non formal education developing educational programs or teaching Greek as a F/S language to children and adults. At DIA-drasis we created a friendly space to lay the foundations for quality education while respecting the children’s needs!”
Konstantia Liouza, Coordinator of Early Childhood Education and Care program
“My name is Chrysa or Chrysanthi, like my grandmother and, exactly as hers, my pockets are filled with stories! If I had a magic word this would be ‘communication’. My studies in Pedagogy, Psychology, Psycho-pedagogy of Inclusion, as well as my interest in multilingualism in education at my work experience have constructed everything I bring at DIA-drasis… Communication in any way beyond languages, contact with people and sharing experiences…”
Chrysanthi Panagiotidou, Coordinator of Early Childhood Intercultural Activities
“I’m Olga, I’ve studied Early Childhood Education and Care at the ATEITh. I specialize in School Psychology and continue my lifelong learning with various trainings. Also, I work with Art Therapy, which effectively enables emotional understanding of children. At DIA-drasis I offer the care and love, that I know all children need, and I contribute pedagogically in their first steps towards learning as well”
Olga Dermyshi, Early childhood educator
“I’m Evina, graduate of Arabic and Islamic studies with postgraduate studies and PhD in History and Culture of Arabs. At DIA-drasis I experience the beauty of multilingualism and multiculturalism through the contact with all these pure souls and I attend to fulfil their mornings with sweet notes through an education based on universal values!”
Evina Dimitriadou – Badawy, Arabist – Early childhood facilitator
“My name is Bayan. I’m from Syria. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Primary Education in 2003. My hobbies are cooking and staying lonely. My day is so busy between my job at DIA-drasis, teaching as a volunteer in the Union of Hellenic-Arabic Friendship and lastly taking care of my children, my husband and my house. My dream is to return back to my country, Syria”.
Bayan Rawdan, Early childhood facilitator – cultural mediator
“My name is Drossia. I’m a preschool/kindergarten teacher with interests in drama education and postgraduate studies in Social Psychology. I never hold back my love for animals, music and positive people of any age. My favorite expression, always following me to remind me that “It is not of importance how much higher you get to, but to get as much high as it is possible for you!” At DIA-drasis you can find me either mornings at the Education and Care program either afternoons with my precious Jingili Mingili to keep me company.
Drossia Tzioutziou, Early childhood educator – facilitator of intercultural activities
“I’m Despina, teacher with expertise and great love for intercultural education and various types of Art. At DIA-drasis I find my place connecting these two loves of mine in the afternoon workshops, where we can communicate, express ourselves and wander with dance, music, colors and laughs as our guides!”
Despina Kokkidou, Early childhood educator – facilitator of intercultural activities
“I’m Maya. I’m from Iran. I’ve studied Political Studies and Theatre. In Iran I worked with radio and television as a producer, director and author. I wrote in several newspapers and cinema, theater and music magazines. I have worked as an actress and assistant director in about 20 theaters. I’ve been living in Greece for about a year and working at DIA-drasis with ‘dream team’ made my best moments. I wish I could turn all my aspirations into goals!”
Maryam Sadat Razavi, Early childhood facilitator – cultural mediator
“I’m Fatheme and I was born in Iran in 1989. I’ve studied Electronics and Electrical Engineering and I specialize in teaching Maths to all grades. Also, I have worked as a kindergarten teacher for two years. I’m married but I don’t have any children yet. I’ve been living with my husband in Thessaloniki since last year. At DIA-drasis with Drossia we have fun with our Jigili Migili in Persian and Greek…”
Fatheme Raoufi, Early childhood facilitator – cultural mediator
Everybody is more than welcome to DIA-drasis so that we get to know each other better!