Supporting Learning in Traumatic Conflicts: Innovative Responses to Education in Refugee Camp Environments

Alan Bruce
Universal Learning Systems, Ireland

Imelda Graham
Universal Learning Systems, Ireland

Maria-Antonia Guardiola
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain


The issue of mass migration and population movement has dominated European discourse for at least 40 years. Since the invasion of Iraq and the various destabilization efforts against countries like Libya, Syria and Afghanistan, however, an entirely new phenomenon has erupted onto the centre stage – millions of people fleeing failed States, violence, terrorism and despair.Especially in the case of Syria (now in its fifth year of war) the problem of millions seeking to depart from the chaos has become huge.We are now entering a period of real transition however. Far from the malicious impact of war and violence, new problems arise around family fragmentation, emotional trauma, and the need to rebuild lives. Education provision for refugees is simply not being done in a consistent and qualitative manner in Europe. In this paper, we outline how creative measures have been implemented in Greece, through work originating with the team of Lesvos Solidarity, initially solely operating in the Pikpa Camp on Lesvos. This initiative reflects the engagement of the authors at theoretical, design and implementation levels in addressing conflict resolution theory with practical steps to support learning in crisis or traumatic environments. Lesvos Solidarity began as a response to the crisis that developed on the Greek islands, especially Lesvos, in 2015. It is a self-organized autonomous space, run with a small core team and many volunteers. Lesvos Solidarity is the only open camp in Lesvos and its main objective is to workin active solidarity with refugees and address European immigration policies. Awareness and advocacy work is undertaken in cooperation with local people to promote community and sustainable action, and services have developed and expanded since 2015 to provide other supports, particularly in the educational sphere.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.