Couple reach out to help refugees abroad

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A Buxton couple are preparing to spend two weeks teaching at a refugee camp in Greece with charity ArmandoAid.

The pair made the decsion after getting fed-up watching upsetting news reports about the plight of migrants desperately fleeing conflict zones and feeling powerless to change anything.

Residential children’s worker Tara Mallinson, 35, and her partner Christine House, 56, a teacher, both of Heath Park Road, will be teaching English to chlidren and adults at Oinyafita Refugee Camp.

Tara said: “The whole situation with refugees is so upsetting that I think a lot of people feel quite disempowered by what is going on.

“I am excited about going out there but I think emotionally it’s going to be a difficult experience.

“I’m not sure what it will be like but I know these children and families will have been through unbelievable emotional trauma - I am apprehensive about the impact it might have.”

The school is run completely by volunteers it has about 200 children on its roll, with families living in tents and cubicles.

Tara and Christine, who works at Pinxton Village infant school, are going for two weeks self-funded but hope to raise some money to cover some flight and accommodation costs, with any extra will going direct to the school.

She added: “We also want to raise awareness of the charity and encourage more people to get involved.

“People often think abouit doing this but just don’t always get around to it - sometimes all it takes is a Facebook post.”

A statement on ArmandoAid’s website reads: “Our priority is giving a sense of normality and routine, proviing the children a safe space to learn as well as teaching them English, gardening and basic numeracy.

“Our most important asset is our volunteer teachers who are making a great difference to the lives of the children in the community.”

To sponsor Tara and Christine visit https://www.gofundme.com/education-for-refugee-communities.