Launched in October 2016, our Mobile Library project provides access to learning resources to teenage and adult refugees living in the Attica/Athens region.
It all began with a sketch.
In the fall of 2016, having set up a library in Vasilika camp in Northern Greece, we set out to acquire a van which could be transformed into a mobile library and education hub. A mobile library would not be limited to one camp; it would enable us to take the library project to multiple camps in Northern Greece. In so doing we could service a much larger population of teenagers and adults.
Thanks to the incredible support and efforts of the talented Keoma Zec, we were able to find a van in the UK which travelled 2,800 kilometres to Greece, and transform it into a mobile library.
By October 2016, we were mobile. We were soon servicing 7 camps in the Thessaloniki area.
In January 2017, a bitter winter hit the north of Greece, making living conditions in the camps even more dismal than before. In response, many camps were closed down and its residents moved into alternative accommodation, scattering the population we were working with all throughout the country. How long these arrangements would last was unclear, most of all for those being moved often without more than a day's warning.
We spent a few uncertain months continuing our work in Northern Greece, teaching 8 English classes for youth and adults a week and bringing the library to new locations in Polikastro and the Thessaloniki region. As many refugees were moved down to Athens for the next step of their asylum process, we made a decision to switch regions and move south.
In May 2017, the mobile library moved its operations to Athens. We visit 6 sites on a weekly basis, though are schedule is constantly being updated with new sites. Despite the scorching heat of Greek summer we continue to bring learning resources to wherever we can. We are always on the lookout for new partnerships, locations, and initiatives to collaborate with.