The KEDU school offers classes, museum trips and a sense of normalcy to young asylum-seekers on Greek island.
Thirteen-year-old Bahez from Iraq carefully sketches an ancient marble head. His skills – and interest in Greece – are taking shape thanks to a school set up by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, on the Greek island of Kos.
“I enjoy it because I’m learning something about Greece,” explains the teenager, who fled the fighting in Iraq with his family last year.
Bahez is one of around 100 child asylum seekers attending KEDU, an informal school on Kos, supported by UNHCR. Today, they are learning about the island’s history during an outing to the Archaeological Museum of Kos.
The school teaches displaced children aged between seven and 18 years old. Almost 400 youngsters, who might otherwise have no education, have passed through its doors since they opened last April under the management of UNHCR’s partner, ARSIS.
Offering a range of subjects from mathematics to Greek, it provides a welcome respite to children in the nearby Pyli reception centre on the island, whose lives have been upended by flight. Sixteen-year-old Mohamed, who fled conflict in Yemen, never misses a day.
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