Puppets for Refugees 2

The week started with sitting in on an assembly at one of the places I’d made contact with. The meeting’s busy agenda covered housing needs and issues – with translations in Greek, Arabic, Farsi and English. I was introduced and my offer to come along on Saturdays and Sundays to work in the small children’s centre/room was agreed. Around 8 or so children would be likely to come along, aging from young toddlers to 8 year-old’s. The room hadn’t been utilised much and has only a few resources (books, a few soft toys, a plastic rocking horse) We discussed ways – other than puppetry, that would be best suited and have a lasting benefit: a mural being one. I spent the next few days mulling it all over.

Something Athens has, is a lot of people giving their time freely and generously to support refugees. In little over a week, I’d met so many folk with so much to offer and some up for teaming up with me using puppetry and other art/crafts. Which for me makes all the difference. Nothing worse than feeling like you’re on your own.

Robin had decided to stay in Athens a while longer and offered to assist me in delivering my workshops. Perfect! We ran a session at Khora, where Robin had already volunteered at which meant she already had a good relationship with the kids going there and familiar with the set up. We made origami birds and puppets from card and twigs and a cumbersome robot

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I also took two of my glove puppets, Little Gob and Crocodile. The kids took a shine to these immediately and ran off wearing them, not as glove-puppets, but as head-puppets!

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Something else Athens has, (that Sheffield hasn’t!) is a daily abundant supply of free, available – fresh cardboard. Dumpsters on every street, full of it – so best use it! We made a tree and decorated it with leaves and birds that the children cut out and coloured in.

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As it was a public holiday in Greece on 28 October, volunteers from Khora organised a day out refugee families to see the Acropolis. I was invited along and what a great day out it was!

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With Halloween approaching, we (my puppets and I) were taken out for a night out!

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