UNHCR in Greece launches annual student contest on refugees

A refugee girl from Syria shows her sketches at the apartment she shares with her father and family in Kilkis city, Northern Greece. © UNHCR/Υοrgos Kyvernitis

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in cooperation with the Youth Awareness Committee, announce today the 22nd National Student Contest, which has been held annually since 1994. The theme this year is “A home away from home”.

Primary and secondary school students, including refugee students attending morning or afternoon classes, throughout Greece, are encouraged to participate, working individually or in groups to share ideas, views and messages. They will create imaginative and constructive texts, posters, sketches and comics.

All entries must be submitted by school principals to UNHCR’s Athens offices at Michalakopoulou to the attention of the Communication/Public Information Unit. The deadline is 15 March 2019. A special committee will assess all entries and winners will receive projectors for their schools and gifts from UNHCR. The UN Refugee Agency and the Youth Awareness Committee will publicize the best efforts on the Internet and elsewhere.

Every two seconds, one person is forcibly displaced as a result of conflict or persecution and human rights violations. A post-World War II high of 68.5 million people around the world had been forced from their homes as of the beginning of this year. They include 25.4 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. Many children spend their entire childhood away from home, sometimes separated from their families.

As many countries, Greece has welcomed thousands of children and their families who are trying to rebuild their lives here and make a new home away from their homeland. The children taking part will be asked to consider what home means for each one of us.

Refugees fleeing conflicts and persecution very often leave everything behind, their school, their job, personal belongings but they carry resilience, hope and memories in their belongings while seeking safety abroad.

The Youth Awareness Committee includes members of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, National Centre for Educational Research of Primary Schools, Greek Council for Refugees, Hellenic Theatre/Drama and Education Network, Marangopoulos Foundation for Human Rights, Centre for Intercultural Education of Athens University, Research and Documentation Centre of the Federation of Secondary Education Instructors, Panhellenic Association of Arts Teachers, Panhellenic Association of Literature Teachers, Greek Ombudsman and UNHCR.

See more on the contest’s categories here: