UKRAINE: Education continues even during war
Many Salesian schools in Ukraine are offering online classes
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries have continued their efforts in Ukraine, delivering food, medicines, clothing and other basic necessities in the hardest-hit areas. They are also caring for people who have been displaced inside the country. Salesian centers in Poland and other European countries are caring for refugees.
Education remains a priority. Many Salesian schools in Ukraine are offering online classes. Inna is a Salesian elementary school teacher. She said, “I live and work in Ukraine, and most of my lessons happen between air raid alerts. To video-transmit the lessons I use my cell phone, which isn’t very convenient. It would help me a lot if I could have a laptop. But I try to do my best for my students, my school, and my country, and even when I’m lecturing with the sound of explosions in the background, I keep on working.”
To help with situations like this, the Salesian St. Thomas of Canterbury Province in Great Britain has launched a fundraising campaign to purchase laptops and computer devices for the benefit of young Ukrainian refugees and teachers left in Ukraine.
The campaign organizer said, “One hundred percent of the funds will be used to support Ukrainian children, teachers and school administration. We’ll start by trying to help students in schools. If we fail to guarantee an education for this generation, then we shall have to acknowledge that war has won.”
Refugee youth who have left Ukraine are trying to acclimate to new schools. Those who are housed in Salesian reception centers receive 24-hour accommodation, food, and all the help they need, such as sports activities and psychological and spiritual assistance to help them overcome the traumas of war. They are slowly being integrated into new schools, but it hasn’t been easy.
Eva, who fled together with her three brothers, Ivan, Vitya, and Petro, crossed the border to Poland on foot. “We escaped taking little with us. I feel the lack of communication very much. I’d like to participate in online classes from our school in Zhytomyr, but it’s impossible. And I can’t believe that I have to stay in another country for a long time. We really miss our past life.”
Salesian organizations around the globe have come the aid of those in need with financial and material support. Salesians are present in more than 130 countries and nearly all have stepped up to help in some way.
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