Our sister-organisation, Still I Rise, was created by former Samos Volunteers to fill the gap in youth education here on the island. Currently, minors living in the refugee camp have no access to public education.
In late 2018, a group of volunteers joined together to form Still I Rise, and opened a youth centre for refugee children aged 12 to 17 years. The centre, named Mazi (meaning 'together' in Greek), was created with the input and ideas of the students.
Designed to provide informal education in a safe environment, Mazi supports individual strengths and builds student resilience. Mazi currently has 150+ students attending classes every day, in subjects such as English, Greek, Science, Culture Studies, Geography and Biology. Mazi also provides multiple activities based on students' interests. We currently offer carpentry, art, relaxation, dance, music and computer science.
Mazi provides a safe space for students to relax and be children. A growing multilingual library, board games, cards, puzzles, movie nights and guitars all provide Mazi with a reception environment rich with friendships and laughter. Students have the chance to interact with their teachers outside of classes, and learn at their own pace from books in their first languages.
Samos Volunteers and Still I Rise continue to work closely together, pooling resources and sharing the time, energy and talent of some of our volunteers.