The efforts of the students of the "Integration Learning Center (ILC)" of MDAT SA and YMCA
Thessaloniki who participated in the examinations held on May 23 for a Greek language
certificate were crowned with absolute success. The eleven (11) Ukrainian beneficiaries of
the HELIOS program obtained diplomas of A1 and A2 level and saw all, without exception,
their many months of dedication and the excellent work of teachers and other staff pay off!
Yuliia K. expressed her satisfaction with the effectiveness of the course, thanking HELIOS for
giving her the opportunity to participate in the exams free of charge: "I came to Greece in
April 2022. I had been to Greece before as a tourist and I didn't know a word of Greek. When
I attended the first lesson, I felt that I would not make it. But thanks to the amazing
organization and the fantastic approach of the teachers, little by little I learned to read, then
to understand and now to speak Greek! In addition, I really appreciated the inclusion in the
curriculum of courses related to the history, geography, customs and traditions of Greece, as
I believe that the contact with the culture of a country is a necessary part of learning a
Before she was forced to leave her country because of the war, Oksana L. had also visited
Greece, loved the language and was trying to learn it on her own, stating that "I could not
say that I had achieved much. But now, after 6 months at the YMCA, I started to understand
grammar and learned so many things about the history of your country, a big thank you to
the teachers and staff of the program!"
Yevheniia B., who comes from a Greek family of Azov, was enthusiastic about the
professionalism and skills of the teachers, saying characteristically that thanks to the efforts
of the latter "an unexpected success was possible. For me it's a miracle and miracles only
happen when there are people who love what they do and want to help."
Thanking HELIOS program for its support, its help and the unique opportunity it gave her to
take part in the exams free of charge, Oksana S. did not fail to comment on the actions that

took place during the year in the framework of the program: "I am very grateful for all the
events organized for children and parents, for the excursions and the guided tours to sights
of Thessaloniki, for everything. I was able not only to get to know Greece but also to love it. I
wholeheartedly wish success to your organization so that it can continue its wonderful work
in the future."
Yuliia C., originally from Mariupol – a city with a strong Greek element – says that "at
university I studied Greek, but since I never used it since, I completely forgot about it and it
was a big shock for me to arrive in Greece, everything started from the beginning. But now,
thanks to the program and my very capable teachers, I can feel human again, I am not
But also beneficiaries who had never been in contact with Greece before, managed to make
remarkable progress. Inna M. says: "Before I came here, I had no idea about the Greek
language. But after 6 months, not only did I love Greek but I was also able to take my first
step – taking exams! This may not seem like a great achievement to anyone, but for me it is a
very great joy. A big thank you to all the teaching team that supported us for so long, to
these people who passed on to us their love for language, history and culture." Finally,
Natalia D. was happy to state: "I want to thank you for your Greek lessons, especially our
teachers. Thank you very much. Your school is the best!"
After their success, many students expressed a desire to continue their Greek language
lessons. We are confident that even at level B1 -for which the course is already in progress-
their dedication and enthusiasm will reward them with similar successes and happy
YMCA Thessaloniki in collaboration with MDAT SA, and the School of Modern Greek
Language of AUTH (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), is a partner of IOM Greece
(International Organization for Migration) in the implementation of the integration program
HELIOS Project, which has been funded by the Ministry of Migration & Asylum since 2022,
operating as one of the Integration & Learning Centers for Refugees in Thessaloniki.