Education, Love, and Safety for Refugees

TeachBeyond member Aubrey McQuade is teaching refugee children on the Greek island of Lesvos, the destination of refugees fleeing in small boats from North Africa. She recently related a story telling how much parents appreciate the opportunity their children have to receive an education through our Beyond Borders project on the island. Read a portion below, then click on the link to read her full blog.

A week ago our learning center held a parent meeting. We invited the parent’s to join us after school. After serving tea and seeing the students perform several songs for their parents, we went upstairs to meet.

A parent wanted to share a story. She told us she has been asking her daughter if she likes going to school and her daughter’s response was “Oh yes, my teachers LOVE me!” Everyone burst into laughter including myself but I was so touched. Touched that this little girl could see how valued she is!

A father raised his hand and waited for a quiet moment to talk. He stood up and started speaking fervently in Farsi. Doris and I looked at each other with a little trepidation. Was he going to criticize something we were doing? Or command we change something?

We waited until he was done and turned to our interpreter who said. “He wants to say he has so much respect for you teachers, and for what you do, he is not a teacher, and he does not know what to do to help his child but you can help them learn, and they love coming to school! It makes him so happy to see that they can come and learn in a happy and safe place and he is very, very grateful.”

I looked to the back of the room and saw my team lead wiping tears away from his face after this declaration. I was close to tears myself, so moved and encouraged by the fact that we are making a difference, that our love is seen, these kids are learning and growing.

Read Aubrey’s complete blog to see more stories about teaching refugee children: