ECHO (Education.Community.Hope.Opportunity) is an organisation dedicated to fostering community and education initiatives in Greek refugee camps. The ECHO Refugee Library is their flagship project. They hope to transform the sites in which they work from places of stagnancy and waiting, to places where dreams and drive remain alive.
ECHO began in the context of the closure of Greece’s northern border, leaving over 60,000 refugees stranded in limbo. 17 months into their wait in Greece, many still faced 3-12 more months before being relocated (and for many, reunited with their families) to another European country. Others, without that option open to them, were left to wait for their asylum claims to be accepted and their status recognized. ECHO Refugee Library was a means to help people prepare for that next step, and to make use of otherwise wasted time.
-Books and a quiet reading space
-Access to online learning
-Language learning resources
-Informal small group tutoring upon request
-Advice on university and job application processes
-A space to develop community-led creative workshops