“C… like a camel that crosses the desert
F… like the fox that chases a chicken”
Every language has an alphabet song for helping children to learn.
For the Arabic-speaking refugee children that live in Karditsa, Central Greece, this is a chance to enjoy while practicing their native language.
In the non-formal education school that the Development Company of Karditsa’s Municipality (ANKA) created last April, more than 50 refugee children between 5 and 15 years old attend Arabic lessons. Most of them are already attending Greek school. These are children living with their families in the neighborhoods of the city, in the framework of the ESTIA program implemented by the Municipality of Karditsa in cooperation with UNHCR and funded by the European Commission.
The team of volunteer teachers are also refugees who live in the city of Karditsa. Two sisters from Afrin, Syria, Khatoun and Yasmin, as well as Abdul, also from Syria, and Buraq from Iraq, welcome children into the classroom every day, even during the summer months. At the same time, a Palestinian volunteer teaches the similarities and differences between the Greek and Arabic syntax, as well as introducing intercultural elements. “I remember when I was a student in Thessaloniki, I was riding my motorcycle during the Good Friday procession. Later I understood what this tradition means and how the Greek Easter is celebrated. I want the children to learn the same. They are the ones that will then immediately transfer the news to their parents”, he explains.
ANKA’s building, where the school operates, also hosts dozens of activities, multicultural workshops and events that bring together local agencies and the city’s communities.