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Ready to welcome Ukrainian refugees


Staff and students at St Mary’s College have banded together to provide much-needed material assistance for Ukrainian refugees who are expected to arrive in South Australia in coming months.

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Last month Justice leaders at the city school conducted a three day ‘drive’, collecting hundreds of items that will be included in welcome packs being organised by local group Adelaide Refugee Support.

Items requested for the packs ranged from toiletries and underwear to colouring-in books, teddy bears and treats such as chocolate and biscuits.

Some of the donated items for the welcome packs.

Humanities and Social Sciences teacher Peter Batty said the response from the college community was overwhelming, with more than 20 large bags of items collected.

“The student and staff community here have a high priority to responding to justice and humanitarian needs, issues and situations and this was another example of students having a genuine thirst for making a difference in the world in any way they can,” he said.

To further show their support, a prayer wall was established and yellow and blue ribbons were sold. The $450 raised was donated to support Caritas’ work on the ground in Ukraine.

In addition to fundraising efforts, more than 100 students from Years 5 to 12 attended a lunchtime gathering hosted by the History and Politics Club to understand more about the situation between Russia and Ukraine.

“We met around the time of threats of nuclear violence and fear of a developing crisis to reassure, explain and hopefully provide some context to what was happening,” explained Year 11 coordinator Steve Todd.

“We discussed national boundaries during and at the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union, the development of NATO and how we were looking at (hopefully) Cold War II, rather than World War III.

“We also tried to give some insight into the situation the Ukrainian people were in and to get the students to think about the wider implications for the Ukrainian refugees who had begun to flee the violence.

“The students were interested, engaged and ready to ask questions to get a clearer understanding.”


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