In-depth feature on a school providing education to refugees on Chios and the ramifications of less EU funding. The situation on the hotspot islands has been neglected in the media eye since Brexit as the UK prepares to wash its hands of EU issues.
First published in The Canary on 9 June 2017:
One charity, Be Aware and Share (BAAS), goes beyond the bare-bones schooling that refugee camps offer. In fact, BAAS wanted its project Refugee Education Chios specifically outside the camps.
Renting two buildings in the middle of Chios City, BAAS gives children some form of normalcy, for at least half a day, several times a week. The aim? To get children familiar with the school system when they’ve never been to school before. To help them integrate into communities when they eventually get asylum and settle in other EU countries. And perhaps most importantly, to allow children to feel like children.
But now, several years after the ‘crisis’ hit the Mediterranean, the Greek government has announced it will take over all refugee services. The Refugee Education Chios project is therefore at risk of losing its EU funding. And without any transition plans to integrate the children into the public education system, BAAS is now crowdfunding to help fund their entire education system on their own.