I have been teaching English for 28 years and since 2012 I’ve been running my own Language School in Chalkida a town in Central Greece. Even though I have a very busy lifestyle with a school to run and a family of four to take care of, volunteering is in my blood and I always try to find ways to help people in need.
Finding what I was looking for
When I saw on a Facebook group that LBB is looking for teachers I knew I had found what I was looking for. Using my skills and expertise to help refugees and displaced people was exactly what I had in mind. What’s more I always believed in the power of technology and the internet as a means of connecting people. That was the time to make use of it. The LBB team was of course by my side all the time with support, training and assistance. The coordinators were always in touch with me to answer questions and to solve issues.
My happy hour
I still remember my first student Ramtin, who is now free and happy in Spain, and the excitement he had before the lesson. For me teaching Ramtin was the “happy hour” of the week. His determination made me better and his will to learn made me realize that I had found a cause that I wanted to support with all my heart.
I knew a lot of things about the refugee crisis even before joining LBB. Greece is a host country and in my city there is the refugee camp of “Ritsona” that I had visited a couple of times. However, I was shocked when I started teaching a young man from Manus Island. I came to realize that the situation there was really difficult and these people were helpless. For my student the communication we had and the fact that he could talk to a person outside the camp was one of the reasons to keep trying and have faith.
A fulfilling Experience
Volunteering with LBB is one of the most fulfilling experiences in my life. My students’ excitement, their progress and the fact that they can move on in their life is the best reward for me. No money can replace the feeling I get when I know that I have helped young people pursue their dreams and careers. Especially young people who live in dangerous conditions and they are not as lucky as I am to live in a peaceful country.
Last but not least I would like to mention that volunteering with LBB has changed my life and broadened my horizons. I have met people from all over the world. I have learned so many things about other cultures and countries. I came to realize that our world is a small village and we, the villagers, have very few differences.
One Sunday afternoon while I was coordinating a group of students from Palestine I thought: I am in Greece our students are in Palestine, our teacher are spread all over the world, Spain, Philippines, England, Egypt, Romania, China, Serbia … and we communicate, learn from each other, laugh together, co operate, exchange ideas and thoughts. At the beginning I thought this is a miracle. But then I changed my mind. This isn’t a miracle. This is solidarity, empathy, tolerance. This is what we can do. This is hope!