International School of Peace closed

The International School of Peace (ISOP) has made some understandable and difficult decisions over these past months. Since March 2020, when the school burnt down and the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, many things changed and shifted from what we knew and how we worked.

Their ability to fulfil their role in people’s lives they way they used to became almost impossible with to these changes.  The room for trying different approaches and manoeuvring is shrinking each and every day. With almost no ability to communicate and meet students, they have been adjusting the school’s activities to a reality that has changed again and again in the last year and a half. This has brought them to making a difficult and painful decision to end the activity of the ISOP at the end of the year 2021.

Below are words from ISOP themselves: 

“We will continue to stand in solidarity with people under attack. We will continue to educate for peace and insist that it is possible. The school community, with its thousands of teachers and students, will continue to exist. Our school has never been a building of bricks, walls, or chairs. It is a building made of hearts, which will continue to beat all over the world. In the past couple of months, we created a transition process and handed over our activities to the partner organizations that will carry them onwards.

The ISOP community is spread all over the world today. We are in touch with our teachers and students all over Europe and we intend to create a platform that will enable us to continue the mutual support for its people, spirit, and great partnerships.

Together with the entire school community – teachers, students, families, volunteers, and partners – we will continue to carry the belief and knowledge that coexistence is possible, that we are not so different from one another as we have been told for so many years in the places we came from.

The chapter on the world refugee crisis is far from being written in history books of humanity. Yet our time in Greece has come to an end. We couldn’t have done it without you, Thank you. We are proud to serve as peacemakers in times of great darkness”.

No words can describe how much all of us at One Happy Family appreciate the beautiful and long-lasting collaboration with the International School of Peace.

Over the years, ISOP has had a huge impact on the Island of Lesvos. ISOP started with activities in the former squats near Kara Tepe, and has risen to be one of the main Education actors on the Island, with more than 250 children attending school, in 4 different languages, in 10 classrooms. After suffering an arson attack, and the destruction of the whole school complex, they then established and supported a network of community schools. 

December 2021 was the last month of operation of ISOP. We want to take this opportunity to say an incredible thank you and goodbye to all the teachers, coordinators and volunteers who – with the students – made this school so special. They were one of our first supporters and partners on the Island. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, we will miss you!