SPARK PARTNERSHIPS

 

SOS Villages

community centre

SOS Villages’ after-school centre in Kipseli (Χωριά ΣΟΣ - ΚΕΜΠΥ Κυψέλης, "KEMPY") opened in March 2019 to provide educational support and other activities to vulnerable families in Kipseli, Athens. There has been great response from the local community and the centre has grown into a hub for local children. 

We partnered with KEMPY in September 2019, and ran 4 weekly classes to some 40 children for that school year. It has been a very productive partnership, and was renewed for 2020-21, where we offered lessons to an additional 4 classes of refugee children, as part of an outreach program the centre had begun the year before. We renewed our partnership once more for 2021-22, this year with a special focus on children aged 9-12. 

Since the beginning of our 3 year partnership, we have offered classes to approximately 150 children.

approx. 32 children, 5 classes

Teachers: Fotini Markopoulou,

         Yannis Yataganis

Christodoulio Foster Centre

Christodoulio is a small nonprofit foster center in Chaidari, Athens,

offering a home to around 30 girls who can no longer be with their families.

Spark first partnered with Christodoulio in February of 2018, and we have been running a class of 10 primary school children since.

We also ran a small group of three middle school children, who just completed our program, and all passed a Microsoft Certification at the end of 2019. 

 

In the year 2020-21 we completed lessons on a monthly basis, maintaining a supportive role in developing the skillset the girls had already in part acquired. This year we are collaborating once more, offering a more specialized series of weekly lessons to smaller classes, expanding past basic literacy towards more specific skillsets around topics, software, and apps that inspire them. In addition to the children, this year we are also working with the foster centre’s staff, with a series of introductory adult classes. 

9 children, 2 classes

5 adults, 1 class

Teacher: Fotini Markopoulou      

ActionAid
 

The Action Aid Hellas Community Centre offers support to vulnerable groups facing financial difficulties and economic exclusion. They work to empower both children and adults through access to social and financial services, career counselling and educational activities. The Centre has recently increased its focus on the surrounding local community, becoming a hub for the residents of the Kolonos neighborhood. 

 

We partnered with Action Aid in October of 2021, offering computer classes for two classes of children aged 9-12.

12 children, 2 classes

Teacher: Yannis Yataganis

Agia Anna Foundation

The Agia Anna Foundation (Χριστιανική Στέγη Κοριτσιού Αγία Άννα) is a small nonprofit foster centre

in Kifissia, Athens. Agia Anna offers a home to around 25 girls who can no longer be with their families. Agia Anna largely relies on grants from individuals and private institutions.

 

We partnered with the Agia Anna foster centre in 2018-9 and 2019-20, running one to two Spark classes weekly. After a quick pause, we are collaborating again in 2021-22, offering classes on more specialized programs to smaller groups of children, as well as running a series of classes for adults with Agia Anna’s wonderful caregivers  to give them the tools they need to help them both in caring for the children of Agia Anna, as well as in their private lives.

5 children, 2 classes

3 adults, 1 class

Teacher: Yannis Yataganis

METAdrasi
 

METAdrasi is a non-profit organization founded in 2009, focused on the reception and integration of refugees and migrants of all ages in Greece. Among many programs, they run an educational centre where they provide tutoring in languages (Greek, English, German), mathematics and homework support to over 200 children,  aged 6 - 18.

We began a partnership with Metadrasi in the autumn of 2021. At their educational centre in Tavros, we offer classes to refugee children aged 9-14.

13 children, 2 classes

Teacher: Fotini Markopoulou

PREVIOUS PARTNERSHIPS

SOS Village

in Vari

In 2019-20 we ran an ambitious pilot program at the SOS Village in Vari.

Instead of splitting children by age, we created groups based on their SOS “families”, with many SOS “mothers” participating in the activities. We knew the challenges of teaching classes with children of varying age, but we believed in the benefits of turning our technology classes into a joint, family activity. The three classes are ran sequentially on Saturday mornings, which creates a sort of “Spark time” across the village.

 

SOS Village in Vari is a foster centre, run by the greek charter of the international nonprofit organizations SOS Villages.  It looks after children who can no longer be with their families, splitting them into "families", each with each one house and a dedicated" mother".

25 children, 3 classes

Teacher: Yannis Yataganis

Piraeus municipal library

This was an ambitious pilot program to offer Spark classes at the Piraeus Municipal Library, open to children in Piraeus' welfare programs.  The library houses a large computer lab maintained by the University of Piraeus, and we welcomed the opportunity to offer Spark activities there.

The pilot ran in the 2019-20 school year, with participating children came from a range of nonprofit organizations, specifically ΚΟΔΕΠ, Kivotos and  the SOS Villages center in Piraeus.

Regretfully, operating restrictions as part of COVID-suppression measures, do not allow us to continue for a second year.

We would like to thank the city of Piraeus, the Director of Culture, the Library Manager, and ΚΟΔΕΠ, for their support and substantial help in setting up, as well as the Dept. of Digital Systems at the University of Piraeus.

41 children, 5 classes

Teachers: Panagiotis Psomos,

          Manos Karekos

Schedia
 

Schedia is a non-profit organization seeking to improve the living conditions  of marginalized social groups, defend children's and women's rights and promote artistic expression and experimentation as a means for social intervention.

Schedia, in partnership with the municipality of Drapetsona-Keratsini, has built a program to fight social exclusion in children in Drapetsona.

In the spring of 2018, as part of that program, and in particular in order  to help support teenage children-at-risk, we ran Spark classes  for approximately 20 children. With the help of Schedia, we ran an intensive program to match the particular needs of the classes, aggressively adjusting the curriculum and using two teachers per class. 

16 children, 2 classes

Teachers: Panagiotis Psomos

                     Fotini Markopoulou
 

Chatzikiriakeio Foundation

For ​the school year 2018-9, we were able to partner Chatzikiriakeio to run a weekly class of 13 middle school students. 

Chatzikiriakeio (Χατζηκυριάκειο Ίδρυμα Παιδικής Προστασίας) is a venerable foster care foundation in Piraeus, offering a home to 60 girls aged 6 to 18 who can no longer be with their families. Chatzikiriakeio runs additional programs, including. support for their graduates transitioning to adulthood, and  children-in-need living with their families and graduates.

 

13 children, 1 class

Teacher: Manos Karekos

Municipality of Iraklio 

With help from the municipality of Iraklio Attikis, we were able to run Spark classes in 2018-9 and 2019-2020 to include children from the city's welfare programs.

Spark offered classes at the 6th Primary School of Iraklio Attikis (6ο Δημοτικό), open to all children in Iraklio's welfare programs, with remaining positions open to children of the 6th Primary School on a first-come basis.

The program would not have been possible without the help and support of  the Deputy Mayor for Welfare, the city's welfare services agency, and the school's parents association.

16-35 children, 2-4 classes

Teachers: Panagiotis Psomos

        Manos Karekos

                Fotini Markopoulou

Evropaiki Ekfrasi
 

European Expression is a non-profit organization that works with civil society to promote European values and civic responsibility. In recent years they have been active in refugee issues, through their two hospitality centers for unaccompanied minors, as well as through their presence at Eleonas Refugee Camp. 

In September 2020, we launched an exciting pilot program to offer Spark Classes to Centers for Unaccompanied Refugee Minors, marking the start of our collaboration with the Evropaiki Ekfrasi ("Ευρωπαϊκή Έκφραση", which means European Expression). We provided lessons to boys aged 14-18, of various cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

 

approx. 32 children, 4 classes

Teacher: Yannis Yataganis

other PARTNERSHIPS

Socialinnov

Socialinnov is a non-profit organization committed to building the best learning experiences, enabling youth, underserved communities, educators and SMEs to fulfill their social and professional potential, by offering them the opportunity to develop digital & competitive business skills. Socialinnov began its operations in 2013 and since then, has developed into an organization that plays a leading role in the field of CS and ICT upskilling and reskilling in Greece, having trained more than 35.000 beneficiaries in digital skills across the country.

 

We began our partnership with Socialinnov in 2021, at KEMPY, SOS Children’s Village’s educational center in Kipseli. Based on our continuing partnership with SOS Children’s Villages, and Socialinnov’s experience in providing digital skills lessons for adults, we created a 3-month program of classes, aimed for the parents of the children participating in Spark’s computer lessons. Socialinnov’s educator and expertise on the topic have been key for this exciting pilot program.

14 adults, 2 classes

Teacher: Fanis Papachristopoulos (Socialinnov Instructor)

Musikarama

Musikarama is a Spanish registered association operating in Athens, aimed at building bridges between cultures through music. They run a communal music instruction space and recording studio in Athens, offering free music lessons to all levels and promoting musical collaborations between people of all cultures.

We partnered with Musikarama for ‘Song with a Spark’ in September and October of 2021, a program aimed at bridging the gap between children of different cultures through music and technology. Musikarama kindly hosted us and gave us access to their instruments, providing the perfect space for the realization of this project. We thank them!