The first Ukrainian refugee at Ida-Ehre-School supports projects

More and more pennants as a sign of hope for peace in Ukraine and with wishes for the whole world have been waved in recent days on the forecourt of the Ida-Ehre-School (IES) in Bad Oldesloe. As the class reps ground the painted and written flags of their classmates, Maimouna, Tracy, Enna and their 9th classmates sorted and packed the relief supplies that had been donated in two weeks to Ukrainian refugees in Bad Oldesloe. They received the support of Veronika, the first IES student to flee the war zone.

Fleeing the war in their homeland

In early March, the 16-year-old fled with her mother and younger brother from their home near the city of Dnjepropetrovsk in southeastern Ukraine across the Polish border to Berlin. “As it got more and more dangerous, my father said we should leave the country now,” says Veronika. The family had to wait three days before there was room on one of the trains. “In reality, these wagons are intended for sixty people, we were about double”, recalls the sixteen-year-old. During the day you saw bombed cities, once a siren sounded the train had to stop. All the lights had to be turned off at night. “It was really scary.” In their home country, the lights now have to be turned off every day after 8pm for safety reasons.

Each day during the 20-minute break, two to three students from class 9a – such as Maimouna, Tracy and Enna (from left) – stopped in the entrance area of ​​the Ida-Ehre-School to receive donations.
Source: Sandra Freundt

A warm welcome to Bad Oldesloe

The trio’s real target was the Czech Republic, but now they live with a family friend in Bad Oldesloe. “We were very well received here,” says Veronika, who initially spent a week in a refugee camp in Oldesloe with her mother and her brother. However, as Ukrainians are used to working or paying for what they need, it was strange to suddenly accept donations. But it was necessary because the family carried hardly any luggage with them. “Nobody could get on the train with three suitcases, so my mom only made a top for herself,” says Veronika. Her father is still at home and helps on the spot. He is not fighting at the front yet, but it may be possible overnight. Veronika also recently helped out in the soup kitchen in her home country.

Ukrainian well received in the class community

In the meantime she was a pupil in the 9th of the Ida-Ehre-School for almost two weeks and she settled well there. “She can even communicate quite well,” says teacher Christine Raddatz-Zawadzki. With Enna you also have a translator at your side. The 15-year-old is of Ukrainian-Kazakh descent and is fluent in Russian. “Veronika understands this very well,” explains the ninth grade. “In general, the class has accepted the new classmate very well,” Raddatz-Zawadzki points out. In fact, this class is already made up of children from many different cultures, so tolerance and willingness to help each other is generally very high.

Overwhelming will to give

It was also 9a who two weeks ago invited classmates to make a donation to refugees arriving in Bad Oldesloe. Each day, during the long break, a delegation stood at the entrance to the community school to receive basic necessities – from heavy winter jackets and toys to hygiene items and first aid kits. “We thought about putting three to five boxes together, but in the end it was nearly 20,” says Maimouna. She and her classmates sorted and labeled the goods. Veronika was also directly involved in the campaign by writing the Ukrainian terms for the content of the covers. In the meantime, everything has already been brought to the Kurparkschule accommodation.

Rieke and Jelle (from left, both 11) want peace and more environmental protection in this world. The two want to make cookies with other 5th grade classmates again over the holidays and sell them for the benefit of Ukraine’s help.
Source: Sandra Freundt

Pennant as a sign of unity

In addition to relief efforts, the school also wanted to set an example for the community and for peace. The council of art students had invited all groups of the year to paint a banner and label it with their personal wishes for the world. “On the one hand, we wanted to show a feeling of unity and on the other hand, to offer children a forum to express their goals and wishes for this world,” explains art teacher Mirjam Rohde. The idea was well received and a short time later several flags in blue and yellow flashed in the square of the Oldesloer Community School.

Great desire for peace

The desire for peace was therefore already overwhelming on the pennants, along with the hope of greater tolerance – and the protection of the environment was also a problem. “We wanted more environmental protection in addition to peace,” revealed Jelle and Rieke (both 11) from 5th grade. Friends and four other classmates had already baked cookies and sold them to support aid to refugees in their village. They want to start the campaign over the Easter holidays.

Don’t forget the other countries

But also the flags of other countries and the rainbow flag could be seen on the pennants in front of the school. “For us it was important that the other countries, where there was and still is war, were not forgotten, because there should be peace all over the world”, underlined Nilay and Asma from the ninth year. “You have to look at the problems of the whole world and not hide them under the rug,” Emily wrote on her pennant when she was a 10th grade student. Milana also pointed out the same. The girl of Armenian-Russian origins explained: “It’s not our fault if we go to war and we still understand each other – and that’s the most important thing!” So it wasn’t just them who thought of showing this unity with both students ‘big class’ campaign pennant.

By Sandra Freundt

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