Central Athens is an area of diverse needs in a densely populated part of Athens, Greece. Because of its proximity to the Acropolis, it is a thriving tourist spot, while also being home to about 70,000 native Greeks and immigrants. In recent years, as the Greek economy has suffered and unemployment has risen, we have seen a corresponding rise in homelessness and people living in poverty. This in turn has led to struggles with addiction and narcotics use as people seek ways to escape their circumstances, further alienating these marginalized people from society.
The lack of viable employment options throughout the country has also led to a sense of hopelessness among the youth of the nation, and Central Athens is no different. With a lack of funds going into public education, and an unemployment rate of around 40% for young people under 25, teens and young adults struggle to find purpose and a way of meaningfully contributing to society, leading to aimlessness at best and exploitation at worst.
In addition to that, Greece has been heavily impacted by the influx of refugees from nearby war-torn countries. Central Athens, because it is the capital, sees many of those refugees once they are released from the processing centers on the islands. Some are given spots in camps, like the Malakasa camp on the outskirts of Athens, while others find themselves falling through the cracks, relying on churches, NGOs and refugee friends for survival.
As part of an effort to help those in our community, whether they be children or adults, gain valuable language skills, we offer English and Greek classes from our ministry center. We’d like to expand our English language ministries because of increased demand. Currently, we have several volunteers that take on one-on-one or small group English lessons, mostly for local high school students and adults. We’d like to expand to offer programs also for children in the area as well as more frequent lessons for refugees. The Goer would be involved in exploring and implementing English tutoring programs, special events and regular tutoring that would strategically address the community's needs in sustainable ways.
Experience teaching English as a Second language is necessary, and a degree in education is preferred, but not required.
Applicants must be comfortable starting conversations from scratch, with the willingness and ability to easily bridge any possible language gaps.
Applicants must also be comfortable with and able to creatively and pro-actively manage any unstructured ministry time.
Flexibility in any ministry is a must, especially in a highly relational, low time-orientation culture like the Greek culture.
Because Athens is a large city and our team lives and works in the city center, relying on public transportation, applicants must be comfortable navigating busy city life with a moderate degree of independence.
Because we as a team want to look at our communities holistically, there will also be some ministry activities that we participate in as a team that don't necessarily have to do with ESL ministry. A willingness to serve in any ways needed that will contribute to community transformation is important and we ask that all applicants have a positivity when faced with new experiences, a teachable spirit, a thriving prayer life, and a heart to learn and engage in local culture, language and life