Πριν από μερικούς μήνες, η ΑΡΣΙΣ – Κοινωνική Οργάνωση Υποστήριξης Νέων διεύρυνε το εθελοντικό της δίκτυο, υποδεχόμενη έναν αριθμό νέων εθελοντών στο πλαίσιο του προγράμματος κινητικότητας, Erasmus+ Ευρωπαική Εθελοντική Υπηρεσία. Η ΑΡΣΙΣ στη Θεσσαλονίκη υποδέχθηκε πέντε ευρωπαίους εθελοντές από διάφορες χώρες, για να προσφέρουν την εθελοντική τους υπηρεσία σε δομές της για το διάστημα μεταξύ Απριλίου – Νοεμβρίoυ 2019. Ειδικότερα η Cristina από τη Μολδαβία, h Saadia και o Alexis από τη Γαλλία, o Dario και η Paola από την Ιταλία συμμετέχουν ήδη στις δράσεις του «ΚΥΝ Πτολεμαίων», στο «Σπίτι της ΑΡΣΙΣ», στον «Ξενώνα Ασυνόδευτων Ανηλίκων Ωραιοκάστρου» και στον «Ξενώνα Πυλαίας».

Σε τακτά χρονικά διαστήματα θα δημοσιεύουμε εδώ τις μηνιαίες αναφορές των Ευρωπαίων εθελοντών μας στα αγγλικά με σκοπό να μοιραστούν όλα όσα βιώνουν στα πλαίσια της Ευρωπαϊκής Εθελοντικής τους υπηρεσίας.

A few months ago, ARSIS- Social Organisation for Youth’s Support, expanded its voluntary web, by receiving a number of new volunteers under the mobility program, Erasmus + European Voluntary Service. ARSIS in Thessaloniki, welcomed five new volunteers from different countries to offer their voluntary service to its structures, for the period between April – November 2019. Especially, Cristina from Moldavia, Saadia and Alexis from France, Dario and Paola from Italy have already participated in the activities of “KYN Ptolemaiwn”, “the House of ARSIS”, “the House of Unaccompanied Minors of Wraiokastron” and “the House of Pylaia”.

At regular intervals we will be posting here the mothly reports in English of our European volunteers so they can openly share their experiences during their European Voluntary Service.

Alex Galand_September

Reflecting on the role of the volunteer

What is the purpose of the volunteer in such an environment? This question might be simple to answer for some, but it actually needs more reflection than it seems. The volunteer is not a psychologist or a teacher and thus sometimes it feels difficult to find the right place in the shelter.

Alex Galand_August

Recreational activities with unaccompanied minors

Recreational activities play a big part of the welfare of the minors. Sports favour team spirit, physical activity, respect of the other and communication. Board games are a good way to teach vocabulary and communication in group of diverse backgrounds, nationalities and religions as well as to check the wellbeing of the boys without them knowing. Regular field trip to the beach, camping, amusement park or city centre are also a way to get out of the close environment of the shelter which can burden heavily the minds of both the minors and the workers. During these field trips, the challenge is to canalize the energy of the minors and avoid any problem with the local population, here again the trust created previously plays a great role in keeping the situation under control. The unpredictable behaviour of the boys, as well as the rudeness of some locals are a challenge for the staff, the presence of a good cultural mediator/translator is then paramount to avoid any complication.

Alex Galand_July

The double purpose of teaching

Once a bond is created with some minors the first activity carried out was English language courses. This was identified as a gap very early, the minors having Greek courses for 3 months but nearly no English courses in the shelter.

Alex Galand_June

First look at the Shelter environment

The shelter of Pylaia was created operates accommodation for a total of 30 UAM. It is located in the suburbs of Thessaloniki approximately 1 hour of bus ride from the centre.

The shelter has 9 bedrooms with bathroom, they can accommodate up to 4 UAM. The other important rooms are the classroom, the computer room, the office, the small kitchen, the living room, the eating room and the garden.

The shelter is staffed with a coordinator, an education officer, a health officer, a social worker, an administration officer, two psychologists, three translators, several caretakers and a person responsible for the cleaning. It is important to mention that the latter actually wield much more authority than many workers due to her prolonged and continuous presence. A lawyer, a Greek teacher and a roving French translator are also regularly present.

Download the whole report here.