2022 has come and gone and a new year has started!
Our Multilingual Library project continues to serve the residents of the Mavrovouni camp and the local community by providing a vast and diverse selection of books and materials. Last year, 835 books were borrowed, both from our OpenSpace Library in Mytilene and our pop-up library inside the camp. Farsi, English and Somali have been the languages that have been requested and sought out the most.
While 2023 has only just begun, in these first two months around 270 books have already been borrowed.
Our efforts are always directed towards making sure that needs are fulfilled. Hence, in the new year we are aiming at expanding our catalog to provide more alternatives as well as more language options, such as Amharic, for the different communities engaging with our project.
Since the last days of December 2022, our project was forced to adapt to changing conditions in the camp. The Library container that we used for children’s recreational activities and as a support to the pop-up library was removed from the Education Zone by the owning organization in order to be repurposed elsewhere. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to secure another container in the Education Zone. While our impact has diminished due to this external factor, we promptly adapted by diversifying the activities carried out at our Games Station. Now, children’s board games, such as puzzles and memory cards, coloring and drawing materials, and children’s books, are available there and are actively used every day.
Moreover, in the last weeks of December, we started a partnership with Eurorelief and their staff working in the New Arrival Zone, to provide a selection of books (fiction and language learning) and recreational activities (such as children’s games, cards, dominos and the board game called Carrom) for the population housed there. They are currently carried out successfully and monitored weekly!
At the beginning of January 2023, the Parea Community Center kindly donated to us plenty of books and crafting materials, helping us expand our library collection and provide more material to our beneficiaries. We are immensely grateful for their support and contribution to the project!
Moreover, on the 24th of January, we organized and hosted an event at OpenSpace in celebration of International Day of Education, called “OpenDay at OpenSpace”. Many organizations and private schools participated and provided activities and workshops for both the local and refugee community. At this event, our Library Manager, Isabella, held a creative workshop with the aim of crafting bookmarks in different formats and different artistic techniques. The workshop was hugely successful and received great feedback from its participants! We were so excited to host such activities, and have the opportunity to engage and connect more with our community through the power of books and art.