A few days after the school year started, we were called by an elementary school in Athens to provide interpretation. They had a 10-year-old boy who was in 5th grade and spoke a rare Iraqi dialect.
On our interpreter’s first visit, as soon as the little boy heard someone speaking his language, his face lit up with joy. At last someone understood him! His teacher was thrilled to finally be able to talk to him and to hear his voice for the first time.
On the first visits to the school, the interpreter found that the boy was very scared and shy. He had no friends and did not talk to anyone except his brother. The visits continued on a weekly basis and, within a short period of time, the interpreter witnessed a real transformation: the boy started to learn the language, stopped being alone at breaks, and arrived at school every morning eager to attend classes and hang out with his new friends.
Now, approaching the end of the school year, the school invited the students’ parents to talk to them about their progress. Our interpreter also attended the meeting to help the communication with the boy’s parents. The teacher was excited and told them about the boy’s progress. She listened to him talk incessantly, telling her that he wants to continue school, study, making plans for his future in Greece.
METAdrasi’s certified interpreters are called upon to facilitate communication among teachers, students and their parents, effectively supporting the integration of children in school. Since the beginning of the school year until today, our interpreters have carried out more than 700 interpreting sessions in 20 different languages, in 137 schools throughout Greece (Attica, Central Greece, Macedonia, Epirus and the islands).
METAdrasi’s activity “Interpretation for Education”, operates within the framework of the programme “All Children In Education”, a UNICEF Greece initiative, co-funded by the European Union and implemented by a number of partners, including METAdrasi.