“As a member of the volunteer team of React for Life, I hope that through my English class the students will get more acquainted with this language that is useful for their future.”
Vasiliki Sakellariou volunteers by teaching English to adult refugees. Read her experience as it follows:
I am glad that this year I volunteer for the English classes organised by the voluntary program React for Life.
My students are adults mainly from Syria, Irak, Afganistan and Turkey. What is very characteristic in everyone is the intense desire to learn English either because they plan to settle down in a new country or to feel relaxed at their communication in Greece till they learn Greek. It is very moving to see the students attending the classes consistently knowing that they have family or other kinds of responsibilities. One very characteristic example of this was a couple from Irak that used to come to class with their 3month baby-daughter.
Regarding the challenges of the English lessons at React, I thought that the biggest but nicest one would be the multicultural and multilingual background of the students. The use of English, however, at the interaction with students has been the tool to help leave aside every language barrier. This has been achieved to a great extent due to the large number of Get-to-know activities included in my first classes. In general, all the lessons have characteristically been based on activities for oral practice due to the students’ urgent need for everyday communication.
As a member of the volunteer team of React for Life, I hope that through my English class the students will get more acquainted with this language that is useful for their future.
YMCA Thessaloniki 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).