Stand By Me Lesvos

A guy, in this case Michaelis Avaliotis, sees a need, in this case school for kids and women at Moria Camp. He knows a guy with some land near Moria. He asks if he can use it to make an English and Greek School for people in the camp. The guy lets him use the land, and voila – a school is born. This place is truly a work of love and shipping palettes. It is much larger and improved since I visited last January. Thanks to small donations here and there, 800 children and women are now taking classes at the school. On the same property is Fenix, a legal aid organization. (There is so much red tape and complicated paperwork to getting residency, and waiting. So much waiting.) There is a sewing room with four working sewing machines. Stand By Me now has a director and an academic coordinator, and they are developing a curriculum of classes towards proficiency certificates in English and Greek. Our volunteer Lois has worked here every day during her month’s stay, and I have driven her out every day. She has amazing stories, including a visit by a world famous magician, DMC, who thrilled the audience of children. Here’s the link to a video of his visit:

DMC visits Stand By Me, Moria Camp, and One Happy Family

REAL volunteers have contributed sewing machines, sewing supplies and English textbooks to Stand By Me. I have sent out a request to the publishing house in Thessaloniki for 100-200 more beginner texts for the new sessions. I hope they will help again. But there is such a need, and so many ngos asking for help, that I fear these sources will finally say, “Enough. We can’t provide any more materials for free.” A new eight week session has just started at SBM. Lois helped scrub desks, organize supplies, sweep floors, decorate the sewing room, and is now part of the team out there. She never knows what she will do from day to day, but it is always inspiring and uplifting… and sometimes exhausting.

For more information and photos, here is Stand By Me Lesvos’ website:

The big classroom
The stairs to the hillside play area and ampitheatre
The hillside ampitheatre
Lois in the newly redecorated Sewing Room at Stand By Me
The treehouse classroom up the hill, and, well, an old car…

3 Replies to “Stand By Me Lesvos”

  1. Ii loved my one day there in January and would love to have continued. Perhaps some time in the future. It looks as if it is really moving forward a lot. Congratulations to al involved.

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