Together for a livable future
School is decisive in every child's life. Here they learn the basic knowledge that will later play a key role in their development. If these basic skills are not mastered, it will be almost impossible for the children to integrate into society and later to start an independent life.
We, at Dorcas, consider school inmensely important. The children living in the Refugee Center have not been in a school environment since they crossed the Ukrainian border. What's more, there is also a small number of residents who have not attended an educational institution at all. We created a community room at the campsite, where they could study in small groups or take part in sessions taught by volunteer teachers. However, in addition to these, we wanted to place even greater emphasis on education.
To start the catch-up project, we entered into a partnership with the Hungarian Interchurch Aid . Since the start of the war in February, the aid organization has helped nearly 120,000 people in both Ukraine and Hungary, contributing with its various programs to the financial security, mental, spiritual and physical health of those forced to flee Ukraine. In the joint program of the two organizations, great emphasis is placed on the acquisition of knowledge that helps them to settle in Hungary. Our goal is to help their progress in school on order to be able to integrate to Hungarian schools.
The joint cooperation lasts from July until the end of August. Our mission is to give the children sufficient knowledge during this time, which will help them to fit into the school environment. The teachers have prepared a serious curriculum so that the kids living here are ready to start studying in the Hungarian education system by September. Three days of intensive training await them each week. In order to teach as effectively as possible, the instructors conducted a preliminary survey of the young people. Knowing this, the students were assigned to different classes. At the moment, age was not the determining factor in the classification, but knowledge, as there were also young people who, although they were over 8 years old, barely knew the letters.
The teachers hold catch-up lessons in five smaller classes. Each time, the groups switch rooms between them, so the young students can learn in a varied environment. The classes are marked with five different colors: yellow, orange, green, red and blue.
Ervinné Kelemen (Andi teacher), who works as a kindergarten teacher, deals with the yellow group.
"The children are very enthusiastic! We sang together and played developmental games. In addition to these, the young people also filled out worksheets. I prepare my group for school, so they can't read and write yet. They were also introduced to numbers, as well as different mathematical symbols, e.g. addition, subtraction, relational sign. It was a particularly good feeling to see that when we went for a lunch break, they didn't want to leave the room!"
To make the children even more excited, they were given school supplies, notebooks, a pen holder and a bag for starting school. The first day of school began on Monday at 9:00 a.m. Here, games and conversations were even more typical. The teachers talked informally with the little residents in order to get to know each other as well as possible. Then on Tuesday, a full day of serious education awaited the students. Practicing reading and writing, as well as repetition of numbers for the beginner groups, were typical. However, taking advantage of the good weather, the teachers also prepared outdoor games. The jumping school for example, is a perfect developmental game for repeating numbers.
As is usual in a school, they will keep their results in a checkbook. Red points can be collected, which will motivate them to learn. The teachers will reward the most active little one with a little surprise at the end of August.
This initiative lays the foundation for young people's later life. If we let them languish without fixing the problem, there is a high chance that they will remain in poverty for the rest of their lives. In many cases, the greatest support is to give knowledge to the needy.