Elahe is a 14-year-old Afghan girl who has been living in the Moria refugee camp since 2019. Elahe understood the importance of learning English and so in response to the lack of school in the camp, she created her own class. Under a tree, and with her limited knowledge of English, Elahe began teaching the alphabet and some conversational phrases to children in the surrounding tents.
The children who attended Elahe's classes were enthusiastic, but also easily distracted by the incessant noise around them and the fickle weather of Lesvos island. I met Elahe by chance while she was giving her class. The heat of summer was approaching and the outdoor conditions were becoming more and more difficult. After a short talk with Elahe’s father, a carpenter, we decided to gather funds so he could build, with basic materials, a covered room for the class.
Two weeks later, we opened this small school which was built in the hope of teaching about 40 children. Today we have had more than 600 people of all ages sign up for classes.
This was the beginning of Tolou...