Project update – Nea Kavala, 22nd February 2018

We’re busy as ever providing our regular educational and recreational programme to the residents of Nea Kavala. Attendance levels are high: everyone has adjusted well to our newest timetable changes. The worst of the winter seems to be over, and the sun has helped us by encouraging people out of their warm containers and into our lessons and activities! We’re glad to enjoy this period of pleasant weather before the intense summer heat sets in, boycotting our activities!

We Are Here is also hard at work behind the scenes to develop the services we provide. One big project we’ve been working on together with Drop in the Ocean is a survey of the camp. We created a survey to receive feedback on our current services, as well as ideas on possible future camp services. Over the past few weeks, we’ve spent hours and hours visiting as many of the residents as possible, and compiling data on their needs. Now we are in the process of assessing this information and seeing which simple changes we can immediately implement in our current programmes, as well as think about long-term solutions to try to fill the bigger gaps to the best of our ability. A very big job!

Another area which we are focusing on at the moment is improving our adult English classes. We currently have four levels of English classes at the Community Centre, as well as a conversation class five times a week. In addition to this, there are two levels of English in the Women’s Space five times a week. As well as being invaluable to our learners’ future lives in Europe, our English classes provide structure to the day, week, month, year…Learning anything boosts confidence levels, and creates motivation to learn more. Unfortunately, and understandably, many people in Nea Kavala have lost motivation. Their current situation is so disheartening that it can be difficult to get up in the morning. In order to maximise motivation and progress, our English teaching team is working on the English Learning Masterplan! We are formally assessing all of our students, levelling them into the appropriate class, improving our syllabus and creating progress books for the learners. We hope with these positive changes that our learners will have a better understanding of their level, what they have learned and what still needs to be learned, generating the incentive to complete all the topics and move up.

The school-aged children are now attending the local Greek school five days a week, as well as receiving homework support from a new educational group on-site. They are doing very well and have adjusted to their new daily routine, but we are glad to spend some quality fun time with them at the weekend: art, music lessons, choir and sports. The children enjoy various recreational activities which the adults often miss out on, so we are aiming to adjust this imbalance, allowing the adults to release some energy, learn a new skill, and just enjoy themselves. We’ll keep you updated on the progress of our new adults’ projects as they develop.

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