DESCRIPTION OF THE SUCCESS STORY
I am an immigrant. I was born in Saranti in Albania, but I was working in Tirana. 10 years ago, I illegally enter Greece and 4-5 years later I managed to get a “green card”. I managed to work hard in order to save money and get a bigger house. My whole family was in Albania, a wife and two girls. The story that I will tell you is for my older daughter, Asli.
Asli is my favorite girl. In Albania, she was really good in school and from the start of the schools, she was really good in maths. School has managed to send her in various school competitions and she was really good. Not a talent, but clearly someone to notice about.
I decided to bring my whole family in Greece, as long as I had a stable job and my boss assured me that there is also a place for my wife to work with. These 10 years I managed to speak Greece, with an accent of course, but I had no problem in my communication.
I had a lot of administrative problems to get the whole family in Greece. So, although my initial purpose was to have Asli in the beginning of summer in Greece, I managed to get her here at the end of September.
Asli went to our local secondary schools. Asli is an easy going person and from the first days in schools she managed to have some Greeks to talk to them during breaks. Even from the first days of schools, she started to study hard especially mathematics.
Mr X was her teacher in maths. Asli really liked him and she tried to impress him with her performance. Asli had problems in expressing herself in Greek. She knew English, but this was not such a help in a Greek classroom. A night, when I arrived late back home, she talked to me about her difficulties in understanding Greek and moreover to express herself in Greek. Although that I managed to calm her down, I would not be able to help her in a long time base. She needed more Greek lessons, that I could not afford to pay for them!
A week or so later, a letter from school came and they informed me that two of their schoolmate parents were willing to take over some overtime in Greek grammar and literature, with no cost! I was surprised because I was not so used to such generosity. Situation in Greece is really difficult and most of the people here are focused in their own problems.
I accepted their proposal with pleasure and some weeks ago, Asli was really part of the class. She was happy and so was our family. I wrote a simple “thank you” message to these people, since my job did not allow me to get to school and really thank them.
For me the most important part was their wiliness to help a “foreign”. It was really something for me and my wife. But it was even more for Asli.
fact that I tried hard to explain potential problems to her, the rest of the classroom
The community is a weapon. If it is used wisely it can provide results. The situation could have ended at a school dropout for Asli. The family could not provide a solution. Asli will progressively end in an isolation from the rest of the classroom and final leave school.
The solution provided made everybody more mature; the headmaster, the teachers and the parents. The successful end created a success story where similar solutions can be provided to similar cases. Maybe the result cannot be always successful, but it created a positive thinking and attitude to immigrants’ problems.