Refuge Schools: safety and dignity
In 11Onze Podcast we spoke with Miguel Acebrón García de Eulate, from Better Shelter, to learn how the Shelter Schools change the dynamics in refugee camps. The objective is to create 50 classrooms so that 1,750 boys and girls affected by the earthquakes can resume their classes.
11Onze stands up for the creatures of northern Syria by collaborating with Better Shelter. The Swedish entity’s shelters have been internationally recognized for changing the concept of refugee camps. In this case, the typical tents that we associate with temporary camps are not installed, but a more resistant and durable solution is provided.
In a conversation with Better Shelter’s Technical Customer Success Manager, Miguel Acebron Garcia de Eulate, he explained what they wanted by designing this type of shelter: “We were looking for a different solution. For us there are two pillars, safety and dignity”. That is why it is a rigid shelter, not made of cloth. They are designed to last and guarantee the security and privacy of their users.
The change of education
11Onze has specifically requested that the shelters that the community send to Syria be to build classrooms so that the boys and girls can return to class. From Better Shelter, this action is highly valued because education, they say, changes the dynamics in the camps. According to Miguel Acebron García de Eulate: “There is a substantial change when there is an education system. When children have access to education they begin to have routines, play with other children, learn and continue their education. But it is also good for parents, because they have time and know that their children are safe. Schools change the dynamic.”
The transparency of donations
A differential fact of the 11Onze s’Arremanga and Better Shelter project is the absolute transparency of the costs. The 11Onze s’Arremanga page lists the prices of each of the elements needed to make a shelter. As Miguel Acebron García de Eulate explained: “This way people have an orientation that will translate the amount they give us.”
In the conversation that you can find on the 11Onze Podcast, Miguel also explained that the refugee camps must be more and more resistant because this apparently transitory situation tends to last longer. In fact, in central Africa, there are already cases of people who have been born and have spent their entire lives in a camp. As he indicated, the hardest thing for refugees is uncertainty: “Refugees live in great uncertainty. They don’t know how long they will be in that situation, if they will have to migrate again or not, where their relatives are, what their livelihoods are… They have many doubts about the future”.
When a Better Shelter arrives at a camp, you have to imagine that a box arrives like the ones you receive when you buy furniture from Ikea. It is not trivial that the famous Swedish company is one of the main promoters of Better Shelter. Then, the construction of the shelter begins: text-free instructions and simple assembly make it possible for the refugees themselves to participate in the construction of their shelters. It is a way of feeling useful and being paid for a day’s work.
The shelters promoted by 11Onze s’Arremanga and Better Shelter seek to give a dignified and safe life to children in northern Syria who saw how their lives changed abruptly due to the earthquakes. Donations of any amount can be made, the goal is to reach 100,000 euros to be able to install 50 shelter schools to care for 1,750 children.
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