Hello friends, I am Elliot Ray, a music specialist at Blue House International Preschool in Singapore. I am raising the necessary funds to travel to Greece’s island of Lesvos where I will have the honor to volunteer at The Nest. The Nest is a haven for refugee children from the nearby Moria camp, an enclosed refugee camp which has earned global notoriety for its badly overcrowded and impoverished conditions. The Nest is only a few miles away from Moria and receives children from among the families in the camp. It offers a safe environment for learning, exploration, and belonging for these children, designed in a very similar spirit as my own Blue House school—both draw from the Reggio Emilia approach to education and seek to create an environment with beautiful and natural materials and a community of teachers and specialists who nurture each child’s creative impulses and points of curiosity.
During the two weeks that I will be at The Nest, I will be running a classroom by myself with the aid of two translators, and I will also bring in the element of music to the children. One of the wonderful qualities of music is that it can transcend language and culture, and it can also help to heal the soul. My hope is that I can help these children who have come from traumatic situations to experience beauty and the healing powers of music, even if in a small degree.
This will be the first trip to The Nest that Blue House has ever launched and hopefully will be the beginning of future trips for our teachers to strengthen the bond with The Nest and the refugees there. It is truly an opportunity to extend the loving arm of our community into a far and vulnerable corner of the world.
This is also part of a larger initiative which has been launched this year by Blue House’s founder, Shona Sanosi. Starting from the belief that education is built around a community rather than one school or school system, The Bridge Initiative is an effort to work alongside organizations around the globe which work to impact the lives of children who need it the most.
Please visit this link to learn more about Blue House’s Bridge Initiative:
The funds raised will cover my flight tickets and all other costs of travel, room and board. I kindly ask you to stand behind me in this new venture with any amount you feel you can give.
Here is a breakdown of estimated costs (in Singapore dollars):
Roundtrip ticket: $1500 - $2100
Hotel cost for 16 nights: $1000 - 1500
Excess baggage fees (for bringing resources to The Nest): $500 - $1000
Daily expenses (groceries, etc.): $1000
$7000 is my target, as a buffer in order to cover any unforeseen expenses. Any leftover amount can be used for resources The Nest may be in need of (there is a lot of need!)
I will keep an account of all costs, with receipts, available for any who have donated so that you can know exactly where the money has gone.
Please take a few minutes to watch some video links below which will help familiarize you with both the refugee camp and the organization, "One Happy Family," which The Nest is a part of.
And I thank all of you in advance for supporting me in this venture!