| Jan 6, 2024
A Brand New Year!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
2023 was a great year for ECHO100Plus! Since our last report in September, we introduced more integration opportunities to support the refugee and migrant communities in Athens. We implemented new programs, hired additional staff, and registered more students.
The popularity and demand for our Greek and English classes remain unchanged, resulting in fully booked classes and more and more students reaching C-level examinations! Our computer literacy classes were also completed successfully at both beginner and intermediate levels. Our bi-weekly English and Greek conversation classes were well attended and allowed our students to practice their language skills while also socializing and sharing their experiences. We are very excited about our second vocational training in Senior Care Giving, which is well underway. Michaela from the Malteser Hilfsdienst trained 12 candidates over the last 3 months, completing all theoretical work. 40 hours of hospital training and an 8-hour First Aid Course will be completed at the start of 2024. Equally exciting; our former student Abed finished another Coding/Programming boot camp with 8 candidates. To host these vocational training workshops comfortably, we expanded the HUB by renting an additional space opposite. Renovations are underway to make the second HUB fully wheelchair accessible to accommodate students with disabilities as well. Our German teacher Sophie’s WeEducate project is thriving, equipping more students with the skills and certification to teach English in a variety of mother tongues.
Our Social Integration Team has done incredible work supporting our students and other vulnerable communities with navigating the Greek bureaucratic system including access to healthcare, schooling, higher education, employability support, and job placement. We have intensified referrals to the Social Integration Team to offer holistic and personalized support in employability and higher education for our HUB students. Throughout the year, we hosted workshops regularly on requirements regarding employability, labor rights, bureaucratic hurdles, finding accommodation, etc.
Our field trips and cultural outings were highlights throughout the year. Not only did these facilitate a greater understanding of the environment, but also fostered a sense of belonging, identity, and acceptance in Athens.
We ended the Year with a very successful fundraiser on Giving Tuesday where we managed to raise enough funds to finance a third Senior Caregiving Training Course this spring! We want to thank everyone who contributed to our cause. First and foremost, a big thank you to the ECHO team: our amazing staff and our wonderful volunteers and interns who tirelessly dedicate their time and energy to our mission. Second, thank you to everyone who donated and helped make our work possible. Last but not least, thank you to GlobalGiving for creating such a unique platform and supporting our work. Without all of you, we would not be able to offer this variety of services and education. Your contributions make it all possible so from all of us at ECHO, THANK YOU!
Gabi, Catharina and Gabriella
Fieldtrip to Cape Sounion