Project update – Nea Kavala, 2nd May


We’ve been busy as ever this week at Nea Kavala! Naturally the camp is constantly evolving, but it seems to be going through a period of big changes at the moment. A few days ago, the military distribution of pre-made food stopped, being replaced with an increase in money on the cash cards. Many people welcome this change and the freedom of choice to buy and cook what you like. However, there is no plan in place to transport people from the camp to local shops, and of course many cannot physically walk the 5 km to Polykastro, the nearest town. The summer heat has arrived, which makes it even harder to buy food supplies, walking under the hot sun. We do our best to help, but are also very busy running our activities.

Our activities and lessons continue as usual: we now begin the week with Satartday. This week we made paper kites and then ran around the nearby field testing them out, very pleased with ourselves. We also upcycled plastic water bottles to make colourful spirals to twirl in the wind. The under fives worked collaboratively on a paper patchwork quilt, which created great results. We hope to display the quilt prominently in the Community Centre, and make more collaborative art with older children soon too.

In the last few days and weeks, we’ve also been busy with some construction projects. The last two weeks we primed and painted the chipboard walls in the classrooms, using light rainbow colours – they look great! This week we focused on painting pallet benches with the community and arranging them in the Open Community Space. It was great to see new friends and old getting involved and expressing themselves by designing and painting the benches. We also repaired some broken tables and older benches: the sturdier the better! The benches can be moved around the space depending on the event, but are especially useful for our bi-weekly film screenings.

These screenings are a definite success, and we are improving on gauging our audience. Naturally, when there is a lot of dialogue in a language people don’t understand, they become bored. Despite our best efforts to be fair, there are always people who don’t understand much of the language. So for the children at least, we aim for little dialogue/a lot to look at. We hope that regularly watching a film together with friends or family as a community is a simple and enjoyable form of entertainment, and adds something to look forward to in the week.

Our adult English students are doing really well, especially those who attend lessons five days a week. As we gain experience in teaching methods specific to the camp and establish relationships with the students, confidence grows and learning increases. Happily we have some trained and experienced teachers on our team, and they are sharing this experience and have started teaching English in the Women’s Space too.

Thanks for reading everyone and thank you for supporting We Are Here. Don’t forget to donate, to help us continue our work

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