All great parenting books echo the idea:

“If you want to change your child’s behavior, you must model it. Don’t fall into the trap of ‘do as I say, not as I do’.”

Our work as NGOs on the Balkan Peninsula with displaced communities is challenging, rewarding, important and can be incredibly frustrating at times on many levels. Because of this, we might not even realize that some of our behavior can come across as negative to others. In these cases, we need to think about the message we send to those we are trying to help if we can…


(We recommend that you read Part 1 and Part 2, before continuing)

After standing back and looking at all the data points scattered along our journey map, revealing the ‘pains’ and ‘gains’ of teachers working in a camp or community center with displaced learners, opportunities for improvement started to emerge. In order to maximize the positive output of teachers in providing quality learning experiences for their students, we needed to identify ways to turn those ‘pains’ into ‘gains’ along each stage of the journey.

Starting at Stage 1, we found that even though organizations struggle with recruitment on a micro…


(We recommend that you read Part 1, before continuing)

Every process, program, or procedure can be illustrated in a journey from start to finish. Whether it’s buying a car, selecting a master’s program or volunteer teaching on Lesvos, the person in the center of that process is on a journey where they experience highs and lows that can reveal opportunities for improvement through capacity building. Journey mapping is standard in innovation toolkits and despite all the recent talk about innovation in education in humanitarian contexts, we haven’t seen much use of this simple tool in our community of NGOs on…


Wiki Commons File

In the context of non-formal education (NFE) for displaced students, teachers both volunteer and hired, are usually expected to design their own differentiated lesson plans, assess the varying needs of their students and build a curriculum as they go. This is a lot of work in normal circumstances for trained teachers. So, imagine this scope for inexperienced or undertrained teachers starting from scratch with minimal direction, no official curriculum to follow or overall support to ensure they are doing it correctly.

One teacher described his teaching experience in a refugee camp outside of Athens as:

“It’s like trying to fly…


In 2015, over 1 million people moved swiftly across the Mediterranean, through Greece, along the ‘Balkan Route’ and into Western Europe. When the borders closed in March 2016 after the EU-Turkey deal, the movement stopped and time stood still. NGOs offering non-formal and informal learning opportunities scrambled to meet the growing needs of their students, young and old, who were now stranded and confused. As the reality set in, strategies shifted from crisis to recovery and the long, slow process of healing, building and starting over in a land that was never in the plan — began.

My partners and…


Refugee education is a complex topic. And even though the situation in Kenya’s Kakuma Camp is vastly different from the situation at the Zaatari Camp in Jordan or at Moria Camp on Lesvos, the topic of refugee education oftentimes is lumped together into one, big complicated discussion that ends up going around in circles.

Because of this, Team Up 2 Teach Refugees focuses specifically on the 60,000+ persons currently stranded on the Balkan Peninsula waiting for their asylum claims to be processed. …

Team Up 2 Teach Refugees

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