Short-term exchanges of groups of pupils – Greece
The week from the 21st to the 25th of March, the CSI Erasmus+ program, students and teachers, were visiting Mytilene – Greece.
The Greek partner welcomed the teams from Italy, Poland, Portugal and Finland in the 3rd Gymnasium of Mytilene where the visitors had the chance to see the school Erasmus corner and start interacting with each other. Later on, they all attended the school gym and worked on activities related to “Mother Tongue Day”. Having already prepared documents with words and phrases in their mother tongue and in English, they all tried to have short dialogues in the mother tongue of their team members. They also had the chance to see and talk to the Finnish students, who were not able to travel to Greece, through a video conference. Next activity for all students was about the International Day of Poetry, celebrated every 21st of March each year. Each team wrote short poems, using words in their mother tongue, about the CSI program. The poems were transformed into word cloud images and then uploaded on a collaborative padlet wall which was then shared on twinspace. The first day ended with a treasure hunt in the center of Mytilene. Using QR codes, each team was looking for clues which lead them to different parts of the city.
During the second day, all groups visited the Refugees Reception Center, Mavrovouni – Lesvos. They were welcomed by the Center Supervisor and guided by authorized staff around the facilities. They were also informed on issues concerning the refugee’s education, by the refugee’s education coordinator. Then all teams gathered in the indoor athletic Centre in Neapoli – Mytilene, where the students had two role play games related to the “Zero Discrimination Day” (1st of March) and the “World Refugee Day” (20th of June). Next came our visit to PIKPA, facilities of a former reception center for refugees.
On the third day, all teams visited the picturesque village of Molyvos, in northern Lesvos. On the way to Molyvos, the first station was Kalloni birdwatching observatories, where all partners were guided by the Kalloni Environmental information Center staff, about the species of birds which visit the area, on their way to North. Next stop was the Museum of Industrial Olive oil Production of Lesvos. Teachers and students watched a video about the history of the building, which is an old industrial olive mill facility and how it was transformed into a museum. In Molyvos the first impression was really overwhelming. The village is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The fourth day started with a celebration of the Greek Revolution at school. All partners were part of this celebration, by watching a presentation, listening to the school choir and dancing Greek traditional dances. Then they cooperated with the “Mosaik” support center staff, working on creating a series of 4 panels, depicting a family of refugees leaving their home and being on their way to a new, safer place. The figures were created by stripes of old clothes, life jackets which were used by refugees, old tents which were hosting refugees’ and migrants’ families and other materials which were re-used for this purpose. The idea was to think what one thing would one take with him/her if he/she had to leave home in case of emergency. Everyone wrote on a piece of cardboard, what this precious thing would be. At the same time, another group of students were creating digital, collaborative posters for the “World Refugee Day” with the students from Finland, using “Canva” web app. The posters were uploaded on a padlet wall and shared on twinspace. Both activities were to commemorate the “World Refugee Day”.
The last day of the mobility in Greece, found all teams creating the Alphabet of Solidarity. Words from all mother tongues, starting with each letter of the alphabet, created a kind of vocabulary of ideas and values which our CSI program negotiates. Then all partners attended the school parade for the celebration of the Greek revolution. A farewell picnic followed, near the hotel area.
Students and teachers had the chance to discuss the mobility tasks and goals, whether they were achieved and how the whole experience could be disseminated. They all concluded that it was a useful experience for all participants, especially for the students, who will keep working on the program tasks until the next mobility in Finland, in May.
(click on image to watch)