Archive Edlumino Projects
Edlumino Basroch, France
November 2015 -March 2016
We worked at Basroch from November 2015 through to its closure on 10th March 2016. The camp was an informal collection of tents in a wet ‘boggy’ area of forestry in Grande Synthe at Dunkirk. There were 2000 people in the camp at its peak and up to 350 children who were mainly Sorani speaking Kurds from Iraq. The population was constantly changing, with several hundred new people arriving some weeks.
We worked with 300 children aged 5-15 during the duration of this project. Initially we worked from informal facilities and taught ‘outside.’ We progressed to a serious of tents and then benefited from the donation of school furniture from a school in Belgium and donations of school supplies from several UK schools.
We found that many of the children had been out of school for considerable amounts of time. We encountered 10 year olds who had never previously attended a school. The focus with the youngest children was upon acquiring mastery of the Western alphabet and number system. With older children we worked to try and bridge gaps in their learning so that they would be at the same Age Expected standards as European children in Maths, English and Science.
Edlumino La Liniere, France
March 2016 - August 2016
We worked at this camp from 10th March until August 2016. During the summer we worked with local French teachers to open up local French schools to the children in the camp. We accompanied them to the schools and worked hard to ensure a successful transition. We then withdrew from the camp as the civil administration took up responsibility for education.
The camp was built to UNHCR standards for a refugee camp and the conditions were therefore much better than the predecessor camp which we had worked in at Basroch. In this camp we started working in small tents and sometimes had to teach outside because the numbers of children outstripped the capacity of teaching spaces. As the numbers of children increased we used 72 square metre tents for large classes until a wooden building was available.
We worked mainly with Sorani Kurdish speaking children, although there were also Arabic and Farsi speaking children. We worked with around 400 children aged 5-18 during the duration of this project, working to ensure that all children had a sound grasp of the European literacy and numeracy characters and that they were as close as possible to the expected European standards for their age in Maths, English and Science.
Edlumino Calais, France
October 2015 - Jan 2016
Over a 4 month period from October 2015 to January 2016 we deployed a team of 3 teachers and a Coordinator to work in the Calais Jungle Migrant Camp. The camp consisted of an informal set of tents, structures and caravans spread over a disused piece of wasteland next to Calais port. In this camp we worked with 120 Muslim Kurdish, Afghan and Syrian children between the ages of 8 and 18.
Rather than establishing our own classroom facilities we used already existing facilities, including classrooms maintained by L’ecole Laique du Chemin des dunes and a space maintained by Jungle Books Library. We also used an informal community space maintained by some Syrian families.
We taught the youngest children in traditional class groupings. The older children, especially teenage unaccompanied minors, were keen to spend time with adults who they felt could protect them. We therefore ran classes with flexible age ranges so that the unaccompanied minors could attend with adult friends. It was not a model of education which we would normally have used, but it enabled us to re-engage potentially very vulnerable children.
This project came to an end when the Northern part of the camp was cleared and the population in the camp decreased by several thousand. This meant that local provision was sufficient to meet the needs of the remaining children, so we withdrew.
Edlumino Faneromeni, Greece
September 2016 - January 2017
We worked in Faneromeni camp from Sep 2016 to January 2017, when the camp was closed and the population were moved out to quarters which were more suitable for the winter weather.
This camp housed Yazidi families speaking Kurmanji (Badini) Kurdish. The camp had been set up hurriedly in temporary facilities following disturbances in the neighbouring Katsikas camp and claims that Yazidi families were being targeted by others. The camp was therefore extremely basic and facilities were very limited.
We initially taught in the open air. As the weather worsened a tent was made available and in due course a lean-to structure was erected by CalAid which enabled us to use more formal classroom furniture.
We worked with a shifting population of children between 5-15 and benefited from support provided by a number of agencies including Northern Lights Aid which took the pre school children and thus enabled the older teenage girls to engage in Education. We worked with about 100 children. The educational needs of the children were extremely diverse. Some 15 year old girls seemed to have had no prior experience of school and even amongst the children who had previously attended schools, most children had been out of education for up to 2 years. Even taking language difficulties into account, some of the 12 year olds’ mathematical skills were more than 5 years behind what would be expected for similar aged pupils in leading EU countries.
Further Edlumino Work:
Northern Greece Education Support
Between October 2016 and January 2017 we provided discreet support to service providers and educators in the Northern Greece area. This involved some training and professional development for educators, as well as the provision of advice and guidance about curriculum, academic matters and classroom materials. We supported the monitoring and evaluation of programmes in two camps by carrying out visits and giving feedback on how programmes were being delivered in their settings.
During this period we also provided occasional emergency ‘cover’ so that programmes could continue in remote locations when other providers’ teachers were ill or suddenly unavailable.
We have not published any particulars about the camps or providers which we supported during this period, in order to avoid inadvertent impressions of judgements about the quality of education provided in any particular contexts.
Curriculum Design Project (Global)
One of the problems which we have encountered in several educational projects is the difficulty in finding appropriate educational materials which will work effectively with children from different backgrounds, linguistic traditions and educational contexts.
We have used a wide variety of resources and we have been directed by educational professionals to a number of different types of materials. However we have not yet been able to find off-the-shelf resources which we are confident are the most effective and fit for purpose in refugee education contexts.
We have therefore begun working on the production of materials in English (ESOL), Maths, Science and ‘local language’ for use in our educational projects. The local language curriculum takes the generic cognitive and communications skills from mainstream international 1st language programmes and puts them into a framework so that it is possible to take local language skills in the field and relatively quickly provide a temporary ‘Emergency Education’ model which applies them to a curriculum which can extend pupils communication and cognitive skills in their first language.
Curriculum development work is complex and is ongoing. This work is carried out by teacher volunteers individually who collaborate online and meet occasionally to discuss ideas and share feedback from trials of materials with pupils.
Whale Wharf Project, uk
This is a project for which we have provided educational advice since Summer 2016. Whale Wharf is a large site in the countryside, owned by Blue View Properties and situated near to Bristol. It was previously a business centre but now has planning permission for a 400 pupil residential school.
We initially worked with a proposal which suggested that it could have been part of the capacity needed by the Dubs Amendment, to take unaccompanied asylum seeking minors who were in difficulties outside of the UK. When the Calais Jungle Camp was closed in Autumn 2016 the site was put on short notice standby. But the UK government ended up only needing a site for 70 migrant children and so a site like Whale Wharf with the capacity to take 400 children was not needed.
This facility has significant potential for creative solutions to meet the needs of disadvantaged children and we therefore continue an interest in seeing the site used for innovative educational purposes.