LTT and TM in Lesvos June 2021

And yes dear friends! We finally did it! We managed to meet in Lesvos and implement our Learning Teaching and Training Activities and our Transnational Meeting despite all adversities! The outcomes were so encouraging and positive that we felt from the first moment that this meeting was worth all the trouble and anxiety we have undergone in the covid -19 era. 

But let’s take things from the beginning. On Monday, 14 of June began our adventure, which was so enlightening from the first moment as our first meeting took place at the Kara Tepe Camp in Mytilini, under the guidance of Mihalis Aivaliotis, the headmaster of the Second Chance School of Mytilene. We went to the space of the STAND BY ME (Lesvos) Organisation after a long walk in the Camp. We met students from Afganistan and volunteering teachers , many of which were also refugees and we discussed about the conditions under which the lessons are conducted. The information we gathered from this encountering  was really valuable, as it is closely connected to the TTT-I program. Talking to these people in situ and really seeing the way they live there and the difficulties they face day to day was for us  a big punch in the stomach and a reminder that the refugee issue still stands even if it is not first news propagated by the media anymore. People are still struggling in the camp of Lesvos and Europe must not forget this. In the afternoon we went to the Second Chance School of Mytilene ,  housed in a beautiful building of the 19th century, where the Spanish team – led by Maria Ventura- made their first presentation, followed by a vivid discussion. Our evening ended with a stroll in the historical parts of the town of Mytilene and a delicious dinner inspired by the traditional greek cuisine.

The second day we went to the other part of the island and visited the Museum of the Petrified Forest of Sigri, a unique geological phenomenon which took place 20 million years ago and is still visible in the environment of western Lesvos. Then we moved to the majestic village of Eresos, the home town of the lyric poetesse Sapho, and of Theofrastos , the most beloved disciple of Aristoteles.  Giorgos Bekiarides  from the ACP made a very clarifying presentation of the cyber café there  and helped us consider many  intelligent ways in which we can present and communicate the knowledge we have gathered from TTT-I to as many people as possible.

The third day we moved to the north of Lesvos, the most spectacular place on the island, Molyvos. In a super modern space kindly provided by our friend Aphrodite Vatis ,it was time for the members of ACP  who were with us to present their work. Our good partner Athanasia Defingou was also connected with us and led the presentation, which was very interesting , empowering  and had a lot of interaction. A very stimulating conversation followed the presentation and made us think that this meeting was going to be really fruitful. After this hard work, dinner in the restaurant with the best view of the village and the sea was truly rewarding.

On the fourth day we had the psychological part of the TTT-I, addressing trauma in the classroom –presented by Katerina Efstathiou- Selacha, from the SCS of Mytilene. The aura of the positive psychology activities, as well as minfullness techniques and ways of helping students –but also teachers- who struggle in the classroom has helped us to communicate better -and deeper- with ourselves and with each other. 

The fifth day was the Polish language day, during which, the incredible polish team taught us  basic words in Polish using both the language café and the ad Meritum techniques and , although we had already read the theoretical background of these ways of informal teaching, we could not believe how effective and fun they were during the implementation. Finally, Shirin Emilie made a very useful and -to the point- presentation on the refugee issue. In the end we could not stop discussing and raising new issues regarding this so crucial subject. Ewa Belle, the president of the Ad Meritum organization was also connected with us, as she did all the previous days and we were really glad for this.

The last day , the day of the transnational meeting finally came. In a breath-taking natural scenery with a magnificent view of Molyvos, we managed to stay focused and organize ourselves, set our next goals and evaluate our work in Lesvos. It has been a wonderful experience of people , knowledge, places , and so much more : we felt really satisfied for having done so well regarding the implementation of almost two years’ hard work  and having had so much fun at the same time. 

  Our next meeting is already set for September and we all cross our fingers once more so that we can meet and work together again! 

To freshen up the memory to the old ones and to inform the newly interested Train the Trainers of Immigrants- funded by Erasmus+ under Key Action 2, Strategic Partnership in the field of Adult education- is a project that focuses throughout its two active years on the development and implementation of a training methodology on non-formal learning of languages for immigrants.
During the project’s life cycle there will be developed a series of non-formal learning techniques such as cybercafé, language tandems, and methodologies about dealing with traumatic situations, raise awareness on cultural differences, different socioeconomic environment as well as cultural mediation of immigrants.
Two trainings will be implemented too– a first one in Greece and an advanced one later in Spain.
The partnership of this project is composed by the coordinator of the project Fundacja Ad Meritum (Poland), Jaume I University Business Foundation (Spain), Active Citizens Association (Greece), Second Chance School of Mytilene (Greece).