UNHCR and Youth Awareness Committee announce “Things that don’t fit in a suitcase” national contest results

Awarded collage by the 3rd Kindergarten of Mytilene, Lesvos

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in Greece and the Youth Awareness Committee1 are pleased to announce on today’s World Refugee Day the results of “Things that don’t fit in a suitcase,” the 23rd  National Student Contest on refugees, organized for the school year 2019-2020.

Over 1,300 primary and secondary school children, including refugee students attending reception classes from 36 cities throughout Greece, participated in this year’s contest. Students of all ages across the country were invited to discuss, explore, share views, and work in groups to answer questions such as, “What would our world be like if so many people in history had not found refuge in other countries, when their own could no longer protect them? How much would our societies lose if refugees lost the opportunity to pursue their talents and skills?”, through their texts, collages, posters and sketches.

“I have heard a lot of negative comments for these people. Instead of verbal fighting with others, I decided to act. That is why I participated in the contest,” says Melina, a 16-year-old student from Chios island who excelled with her essay in the contest.

Results of the contest are announced on World Refugee Day, a key moment during the year to remind the world that each day, people are forced to flee their homes in search of safety and protection. This year we have an opportunity to emphasize how refugees are part of the bigger picture, part of society. Although refugees are part of the vulnerable groups within society, they are also assets and have proven to be valuable contributors in any society, given the opportunity. The students’ works submitted to the contest are a strong voice supporting this cause, while celebrating the resilience and courage of people forced to flee their homes.

Primary School of Lakki & LEDU_Leros (1)

Students of the Primary School of Lakki on Leros cooperated with refugee students of the non-formal education centre LEDU, coordinated by Arsis with UNHCR support. Their collage received an award by the Contest Committee.

Primary School of Lakki & LEDU_Leros (8)

Awarded students from the Primary School of Lakki on Leros island and the non-formal education centre LEDU, used the instant cameras they received as an award to send their unity messages for this World Refugee Day.

Primary School of Lakki & LEDU_Leros (7)

Awarded students from the Primary School of Lakki on Leros island and the non-formal education centre LEDU, used the instant cameras they received as an award to send their unity messages for this World Refugee Day.

Primary School of Lakki & LEDU_Leros (6)

Awarded students from the Primary School of Lakki on Leros island and the non-formal education centre LEDU, used the instant cameras they received as an award to send their unity messages for this World Refugee Day.

Primary School of Lakki & LEDU_Leros (5)

Awarded students from the Primary School of Lakki on Leros island and the non-formal education centre LEDU, used the instant cameras they received as an award to send their unity messages for this World Refugee Day.

Primary School of Lakki & LEDU_Leros (3)

Awarded students from the Primary School of Lakki on Leros island and the non-formal education centre LEDU, used the instant cameras they received as an award to send their unity messages for this World Refugee Day.

3rd High School of Chios (1)

UNHCR staff on Chios island delivers commemorative diplomas to the students of the 3rd High School of Chios who participated in the contest, as well as the award for Melina Apostoli, one of its students who excelled in the category of written essay.

3rd High School of Chios (3)

UNHCR staff on Chios island delivers commemorative diplomas to the students of the 3rd High School of Chios who participated in the contest, as well as the award for Melina Apostoli, one of its students who excelled in the category of written essay.

3rd Primary School of Thessaloniki (2)

Students of the 3rd Primary School of Thessaloniki who excelled with two entries in this year’s Student Contest, used their prizes, which were instant cameras, to capture and share their World Refugee Day messages.

3rd Primary School of Thessaloniki

Students of the 3rd Primary School of Thessaloniki who excelled with two entries in this year’s Student Contest, used their prizes, which were instant cameras, to capture and share their World Refugee Day messages.

 

Today, 1 per cent of humanity is displaced due to violence, conflicts and persecution. People are leaving behind not only many of their valuable personal belongings but also things that don’t fit in the suitcase they carry: skills, talents, knowledge, dreams and hopes, no matter where they currently reside in. Students stand with refugees and call us to embrace this potential.

The committee would like to thank all the students and schools for their works, notable for their talent and originality, as well their teachers for their valuable support of their participation.  The members of the Youth Awareness Committee evaluated the entries based on their expertise. All participants received commemorative diplomas, while awarded entries received instant cameras.

 

The list of award-winning schools:

  • 1st Kindergarten of Evosmos, Thessaloniki
  • 3rd Kindergarten of Mytilene, Lesvos
  • 1st Primary School of Arta
  • 3rd Primary School of Thessaloniki
  • Primary School of Kampos, Chios
  • Primary School of Lakki, Leros, in cooperation with the Non-Formal Education Centre for refugee children LEDU (Arsis)
  • Primary School of Chanioti, Chalkidiki
  • Experimental Primary School of Athens University (Marasleio)
  • 7th Junior High School of Korydallos, Athens
  • Junior High School of Efxeinoupoli, Magnesia
  • 3rd High School of Chios
  • Greek- French High School of Saint Joseph, Athens

All awarded entries and details on the contest results are hosted here.


Members of the Youth Awareness Committee are the following: National Centre for Educational Research of Primary Schools (IPEM/DOE), 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 (KE.ME.TE) of the Federation of Secondary Education Instructors (OLME), Panhellenic Association of Arts Teachers, Panhellenic Association of Literature Teachers, Greek Ombudsman – Ombudsman for Children’s Rights and UNHCR.