The international war that is going on after the Russian invasion of Ukraine last February has caused many people to leave the country and a wave of solidarity with refugees, which in the Costa del Sol town of Estepona is taught as a pedagogy with Solidarity Spanish classes to favor the social integration of these people.
The initiative has been launched by a language teacher at Pergamino Academy -located on Camino del Padre Cura street in Estepona-, Mariló Carrillo, who has been teaching for more than four decades and who will altruistically and freely contribute “her grain of sand” to the consequences of the war.
Thus, he has devised create refugee groups to teach Spanish, starting the first of them next Thursday, March 24, at the academic center, and which will be made up of a total of “15 people between mothers and children”, mainly adolescents who have fled from Ukraine. In addition, the classes can be followed virtually by “4 or 5 people” who reside in other cities, and he is forming a second group with “children” while “adjusting some class schedules”, and even, “if you have to work some Saturday.”
A “student of Ukrainian origin” will help Carrillo in his work of teaching Spanish to displaced persons sheltered on the coast in the first sessions for translation and to create a “basic vocabulary”, since he does not know the language but will use others methods such as “gestures, hands or letters” to impart content. “I want from the first moment to make things easy for them and transmit all the love we can give them.”
“I love teaching, I adore my profession and I have been working on solidarity for a long time and it is what fills me as a person,” said the teacher, who has previously collaborated with NGOs to give Spanish classes for “political refugees” from the Ukraine or Venezuela, with whom she acted as a “psychologist”. The experience now is different, and with those fleeing the war the teacher wants to give extra attention due to the “emotional state” in which they arrive. “I want to treat them with a lot of respect because they are people who are psychologically knackered. We are not going to talk about the war or their families and you have to have a little psychology, you have to be very tactful and patient, ”she said.
As assessed, the The role of language is fundamental in social integration of these people, who “cannot communicate with the host families because most of them do not speak English”, for which he has highlighted the importance “to socialize and for their day-to-day life” and to “at least defend themselves, with the advantage that what they learn will be heard in the street”.
His association with various “solidarity groups” has made him contact both several refugee and host families on the Costa del Sol, such as one located in San Pedro with which he communicated through the social network Facebook, or the case of a Ukrainian ex-student of Spanish who “has had to bring her whole family”, among others. “You know her stories, you talk to them and in the end you get involved emotionally,” she stressed.
“Emotionally they come to dust because they arrive in a completely new country, with the horror of war, where they did not come for pleasure and have had to flee, leaving their husbands, their families or their homes. They are very hard stories”, the teacher has empathized, remarking that “this comes from my heart and fills me as a person, helping and for me what I am going to do is like a very big responsibility”.
Another of the actions that it is carrying out is the collect non-perishable food, as well as hygiene products to alleviate the economic burden of foster families, highlighting that “porridge, jars or diapers” are needed for babies. Meanwhile, the school material for the classes will be provided by the academy, where the food is also being disappointed and which can be contacted by phone 620 33 84 85.