We are providing a multilingual library for people living in the refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece. Our library is also available to refugees and locals living in Mytilene, but a strong focus is reaching camp residents. There is little to no access to education for many of those living in the camp, one-third of whom are children. We aim to address this by offering our library - a wide selection of fiction, storybooks and learning resources - to all the residents of the camp.
Over 20 countries are represented in the camp's population, and due to this diverse setting, there are also many different languages spoken: the most common ones being Persian (Farsi), French, Arabic, Somali, and English. This makes it necessary to have a multilingual library that embraces all these languages and all the necessary resources to bring it to the camp.
All of our books are catalogued on an online library website. Residents of Lesvos can place their orders via the website and either pick them up in Mytilene or we will deliver them to the camp the following day. We have a library stand in the camp where we assist residents in ordering books and understanding how the library system works. Today, we have 6500 books in more than 20 different languages for children and adults.
The library addresses a significant gap in educational and recreational access for the approximately 2000 people living in the RIC Lesvos refugee camp, while also serving the local community on Lesvos. By providing literature, educational and skill-building resources, we aim to promote the long term educational and social wellbeing of the refugee and the local community alike.