Ilona Taimela taught Finnish children living in the al-Hol detention camp using WhatsApp messages.There were 23 pupils in all. Kuva: Outi Pyhäranta / HS
The Secret Teacher of Al-Hol
For almost a year, a Finnish teacher covertly taught children in the al-Hol refugee camp in Syria using WhatsApp messages. According to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Kurdish administration has delayed the repatriation of the Finnish children and their mothers.
At the beginning of April 2020, Ilona Taimela, who is a teacher, received an unordinary private message on Facebook.
The sender was Tuija Tammelander, school director of the Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation (Kvs Foundation).
Tammelander was contacting Taimela to ask if she would know of a teacher who had experience in multiculturalism. In addition, they should have experience with teaching Muslim students in particular.