As an independent organisation, it is possible for We Are Here to be flexible and try to fill existing gaps within the camp as far as we can. Save the Children recently left Nea Kavala, creating a need for more children´s activities and lessons. We quickly created a much fuller children´s activities programme, and now offer kids activities six days a week in addition to our previous schedules. Our new themed workshops focus on improving English literacy through phonics and story-time, concentration and serenity through yoga, self-expression through creative art time, problem-solving skills through mental games, and team-work using board games. The children are coping well with this change, and are motivated to learn in their new activities.
The children have also been busy with some special Science experiments over the last few days. By testing conditions and coming up with hypotheses, they have learned some basic principles of water density, air pressure, gravity and balance and made rockets, lava lamps, holograms…These experiments have helped to kick-start our children´s activities programme: they are excited to be surprised by Science!
The Women´s Space is doing very well, with high numbers of women attending English lessons and leisure activities six days a week. By painting the inside and outside of the Women´s Space, the women feel more empowered in their Space, and we also give them a lot of freedom of which activities they prefer. Sunday Brunch is so popular our team is starting to do something similar to create the possibility of the women cooking and sharing recipes inside the space: Supper Club. Food is a great way to bring people together and already does so in the Women´s Space very well. We hope the Supper Club will create even more opportunities to unite our multi-cultural women.
Working together with seven other volunteer organisations, We Are Here co-hosted a festival in the main square of Polykastro last Saturday. The Routes Festival is a moving festival along the Balkan route which many refugees travelled on their way to Europe. The festival aimed to help integrate the local Greek community with the refugees and did so wonderfully! We Are Here ran community-building craft workshops for children, decorating the square with huge paper-chains, chalk drawings, weaving with wool around a railing, and individual hexagons creating a beehive together. There was also backgammon, chess, henna, clowns, face-painting, open mic, a photo booth with funny props, kite-making, food, live music and lots of dancing! The festival was a big success, everyone enjoying different aspects of it, and it was great to see the Greeks interacting with the refugees, and having a good time together. We Are Here was knackered for a few days afterwards, but very happy with our efforts! We look forward to a similar event sometime soon.