This morning in assembly, I was talking to the children about the continuing plight of the Ukrainian people. Their war with Russia seems set for the long term and, after an initial surge of support for refugees, it will be important to maintain aid for the huge numbers of adults and children who have been displaced from their homes.
According to UNICEF, over two million Ukrainian children have been forced to leave their homes and the majority of their belongings. Indeed, many refugees are being told not to bring suitcases of their belongings because the refugee centres do not have the capacity to store them.
In April, a friend of mine called Jane went out to Krakow in Poland to volunteer in one of the many refugee centres there. The stories she has shared with me are both heart-breaking and heart-warming. She said it was devastating to see so many people who are afraid and seeking safety but the warmth and gratitude of the Ukrainian people were humbling.
Jane is planning a further visit to Poland on 7 June and I am keen for school to support her work there. I would like us to donate two suitcases full of essentials for children which she can take with her next month and I am hopeful that families will donate generously to this cause. The items needed are cheap for us to buy and you may even have these supplies in your cupboards at home.
Items needed for the children are:
Girls’/Boys’ packs of underwear
Small packets of sweets
There is a JustGiving page which explains what Jane is trying to do. You can access the information here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jane-sloane4ukraine?utm_term=7nYn4mJw6
Also, if you have an old suitcase which you are willing to donate, please do let me know directly. Jane will be charged for excess baggage costs with the airline which we also hope to cover so any monetary donations are also gratefully received. Any surplus will be put towards the JustGiving crowdfunding. Jane self-funds her flights and accommodation so any donations you make will go directly to the people of Ukraine.
We need all donations to be in school before the half-term holidays so please bring in what you can before Friday 27 May.
I thank you all from the bottom of my heart; I know Jane will be delighted with whatever support we can offer as she embarks on her next trip to Poland.
Mrs Catherine Dodds