2017, the doors of the “International School of Peace” (ISOP) for Syrian
refugees on the island of Lesvos in Greece were opened by two educational
organizations from Israel: A Jewish organization - Hashomer Hatzair, and
an Arab-Israeli organization - Ajial.
currently 15,000 refugees on the island of Lesvos. 4,000 of them are children
and youth, and 250 of those are attending the ISOP weekly. The island is the
first stop for the refugees in Europe. Most of them remain there for many
months, with great uncertainty and with no educational framework whatsoever.
For this generation, to begin to
fulfill their full potential - a basic education and adult support is crucial.
The lack of supportive educational frameworks in refugee camps throughout
Europe and the Middle East leaves them and many other children without basic
human rights – among them the right to acquire a proper education.
Our school on
the island succeeded beyond any imagination; at first we planned to be there
for only a few months, and then we realized that we could not let this safe
educational space close and that we must continue. The ISOP has a direct and
unprecedented impact on the lives of hundreds of students and families..
Our motto is
“Working WITH the people and not FOR the people”. All the teachers at ISOP are
refugees themselves. The lessons are taught in the children’s mother
tongue. This approach made our school more
than just a school – ISOP is a community development project where hundreds of
people a day have the platform to share their talents and join hands in
model we have developed has been highly commended by the authorities and
agencies on Lesvos, as well as by many factors in Israel and abroad. Our
success is the result of the cooperation of Israeli Jews and Arabs, who
together Demonstrate good neighborly relations and cooperation that comes from
a place where conflicts are a daily reality.
become the largest educational program on the island. Our low-cost/high-impact model based on local
empowerment and Israeli volunteers, with a small professional coordinating
team, allows us to sustain a full weekly curriculum for hundreds of children a
Join us on this journey, help us inspire hope.