Sep 21, 2021

Our Multilingual Library Supporting the Community

Dear friends,

Since May, we have been very busy! But the most important thing is that the library is open and people are coming. We have up to 15 visits a day, which is pretty much the maximum number of visitors that are allowed in at the same time due to COVID-19 government restrictions.

After one particular visit we received the most heartwarming communication from two social workers, which we would like to share with you:

"We had the opportunity to visit and get to know better the We Need Books Library and Community Centre, the organization and its people, as part of our work in a shelter which supports and protects abused refugee women.

Our constant goal and preoccupation is to introduce and familiarize the women with important entities and organizations in the city in order to contribute as much as possible  in a holistic and meaningful integration and empowerment for themselves and their children.

In our search for such synergies, we learned about WNB, which operates in the center of Athens.

The people of WNB throughout our communication demonstrated admirable professionalism and were from our first contact open and willing to organize a visit that would be meaningful to the women of the shelter and their children.

When we visited the space we realized that it is a living and accessible point of reference in the city where refugees, migrants, visitors and local Athenians meet to participate in the various activities that it offers; reading different types of books in many languages, language lessons, relaxing in the backyard or the sofas, creative play in the specially designed corner of the library and a plethora of cultural activities. The women from our shelter immediately felt welcomed and promised that they would return.

After our collaboration with WNB, it’s our strongly held opinion that the Library/Community Centre constitutes an original and much needed project that is coordinated by caring, mobilized, and able people. Despite the short time it has been in the area, it has already become an inseparable and most valuable part of the community of Kypseli and the center of Athens in general. It's a project that not only deserves to continue, but which, if it’s gone, it would deprive professionals and activists of a dynamic tool in their arsenal and would strip the city of a space that is truly open and constructive for everyone without any barriers and discrimination."
It was with your support that the dream of Greece's first multilingual library materialised and we are forever grateful! We hope you will remain by the side of We Need Books so that together we can continue to offer valuable services to the refugee community in Athens. 
In solidarity,
Ioanna Nisyriou
Managing Director and Co-founder
May 25, 2021

Good news to share!

Posing with teacher and hard earned certificates!
Posing with teacher and hard earned certificates!

Dear friends, 

Thank you for your support. We are delighted to share with you news of our students' success!

All five of our students passed the official A2 language exam and have in their hands a certificate that testifies to their dedication and commitment to learn Greek and become active members of the community!

S. is Syrian, married, with five children and has been in Greece for 18 years. Family life and helping her husband with their shop took up all her time and energy. When she saw the announcement for our lessons, she decided it was about time she did something for herself. She enrolled in our class and never missed a lesson. She did her homework in the shop and in-between choirs. When her daughter’s school teacher noticed that that her Greek had improved, she felt so proud she immediately called her teacher, Georgia Fountoulaki, to share her enthusiasm and thank her.  

Georgia would ask the group to meet fifteen minutes early, have some tea and share all the day's joys and frustrations. During the lockdown we couldn't have any lessons in the library and this loss of physical, personal contact came at a great cost to our students. For the women the lessons were their time away from home, their opportunity to socialize. For the men it was a way out of the confined spaces they are living and a step forward in the process of integration.

The day of the exam all were very nervous but Georgia was there to offer her support. When the results came, everyone was thrilled beyond words and eager to know when the B1 class would begin! 

This, dear friends, depends on you, too. 

Although the demand for Greek lessons is very high among refugees and migrants, We Need Books insists on having small groups of students where personal relationships can be built. As the every day reality of our students' lives is a very harsh one, and often comes in the way of their education, it is only in a warm, supportive environment that they can really thrive. And thrive they did!

For We Need Books to be able to offer quality services, we need to compensate qualified teachers for their time, provide educational materials to all students for free and be able to cover their exam fees. For this group of five students, all costs were covered by GlobalGiving and by your individual donations. 

So on behalf of S., N., G., M., M., Georgia and the whole We Need Books team, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR ONGOING SUPPORT! Your contributions really transform the lives of refugees and migrants in Greece!

In solidarity,

Ioanna Nissiriou

Managing Director & Cofounder

We Need Books

Class visit to the Museum of Illusions!
Class visit to the Museum of Illusions!
May 13, 2021

Good news to share!

Posing with teacher and hard earned certificates!
Posing with teacher and hard earned certificates!

Dear friends, 

Thank you for your support. We are delighted to share with you news of our students' success!

All five of our students passed the official A2 language exam and have in their hands a certificate that testifies to their dedication and commitment to learn Greek and become active members of the community!

S. is Syrian, married, with five children and has been in Greece for 18 years. Family life and helping her husband with their shop took up all her time and energy. When she saw the announcement for our lessons, she decided it was about time she did something for herself. She enrolled in our class and never missed a lesson. She did her homework in the shop and in-between choirs. When her daughter’s school teacher noticed that that her Greek had improved, she felt so proud she immediately called her teacher, Georgia Fountoulaki, to share her enthusiasm and thank her.  

Georgia would ask the group to meet fifteen minutes early, have some tea and share all the day's joys and frustrations. During the lockdown we couldn't have any lessons in the library and this loss of physical, personal contact came at a great cost to our students. For the women the lessons were their time away from home, their opportunity to socialize. For the men it was a way out of the confined spaces they are living and a step forward in the process of integration.

The day of the exam all were very nervous but Georgia was there to offer her support. When the results came, everyone was thrilled beyond words and eager to know when the B1 class would begin! 

This, dear friends, depends on you, too. 

Although the demand for Greek lessons is very high among refugees and migrants, We Need Books insists on having small groups of students where personal relationships can be built. As the every day reality of our students' lives is a very harsh one, and often comes in the way of their education, it is only in a warm, supportive environment that they can really thrive. And thrive they did!

For We Need Books to be able to offer quality services, we need to compensate qualified teachers for their time, provide educational materials to all students for free and be able to cover their exam fees. For this group of five students, all costs were covered by GlobalGiving and by your individual donations. 

So on behalf of S., N., G., M., M., Georgia and the whole We Need Books team, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR ONGOING SUPPORT! Your contributions really transform the lives of refugees and migrants in Greece!

In solidarity,

Ioanna Nissiriou

Managing Director & Cofounder

We Need Books

Class visit to the Museum of Illusions!
Class visit to the Museum of Illusions!
 
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