Our sister-organisation, Still I Rise, was born from Samos Volunteers to fill the gap in youth education here in Samos. The 'Dreamers Programme' began life in the Alpha Centre as the only source of education for 13 and 14 year olds living in the Hotspot, on the island. As the population of refugee children on the island increased, we decided that there was a need for their own centre.
Still I Rise, formed of volunteers originally with Samos Volunteers, created a youth centre for refugee children aged 12 to 17 years. The centre, named Mazi (meaning 'together' in Greek), is created with the input, ideas, and voices of the students attending. Specifically designed to provide informal education in a safe environment, Mazi supports individual strengths and builds student resiliency as they are in transition on the island. Currently, Mazi has 50-60 students attending classes per day, in English, Greek, science, culture studies, geography and biology. Mazi also provides multiple activities based on student interests and volunteer skills. Currently we have carpentry, art, relaxation, dance, music and computer science.
With a large downstairs reception area, Mazi provides a safe place for refugee learners 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 growing 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.