imagine a mobile library
With more than 65 million people currently displaced from their homes due to persecution, war or economic hardship, it is difficult to comprehend the immense struggle ahead of men, women and children whose lives are placed on hold while they await asylum. Many will need to endure years of life in an overcrowded refugee camp before they can embark on the next step towards a new life. In such circumstances, opportunities for employment and education are minimal; this is why every initiative geared towards empowering asylum-seekers by providing access to education is of extreme importance.
Imagine a mobile library that services camps, squats and community centers, supporting language learners and assisting with job applications as well as offering the simple pleasure of being able to read a good book. ECHO Refugee Library works in the context of Greece, around the Athens area, where it also serves as a platform for cultural exchange, artistic expression and a welcoming social space inspired by a desire to aid integration and mutual understanding among people from diverse backgrounds.
Over 60,000 refugees were stranded in Greece in March 2016, when access to the rest of Europe was closed. ECHO Refugee Library was formed by a small group of volunteers who are working to maintain this essential service, driven by a belief that everyone deserves a fair chance at education and a means to a better life.
A mobile library has the capacity to build a bridge between an author and a reader, between a teacher and a student, between a peer mentor and a person in need of support, and ultimately between an entire community and the “outside” world. Please take a little time to learn more about this wonderful project at chuffed.org/project/echorefugeelibrary .
Phonetic Planet has recently donated two of our early readers to this unique library, by the way! We place great importance on the potential of education as a means of transforming lives.