Ukraine-Russia: Edinburgh school children are getting creative and raising funds to support Ukrainians impacted by Russian invasion
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Over the next two weeks primary six and seven pupils at Towerbank Primary School in Portobello are raising money by taking on the mammoth task of collectively walking 1,800km – the distance from the school to the Ukrainian border – to support Ukrainian refugees.
Primary four and fives are also getting involved by walking 450km, the distance from Kyiv to Poland, and primary one to three’s are going the distance from Kyiv from Smila, a city 200km south of the capital.
One of the pupils, Daisy, said they thought of the idea after feeling “helpless” while watching the situation develop on the children’s news programme, Newsround.
They have organised a Just Giving page for donations which has surpassed the £4,000 mark in the four days since it was set up.
The money will be donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee which raises funds and responds to overseas disasters. The pupils particularly liked this coalition of charities because it isn’t just supporting Ukraine, it helps all those suffering from wars in places including Afghanistan, South Sudan and Syria.
The headteacher at the school, Alasdair Friend, said: “The children have started this walk to try to raise money for refugees coming out of Ukraine, but also refugees from other countries across the world.
"The children here at Towerbank really wanted to do something to respond and they felt they wanted to do a walk along the prom, collectively the distance from this school to the borders of Ukraine while raising as much money as possible.”
Another school working to show their support to those impacted by the war is St Mary’s Primary school in Leith. Pupils have been creating cards filled with love and well wishes which are being delivered to the Eastern European warzone with the help of a Ukrainian pupil’s family.
Headteacher, Nicola Kehoe, said: “One of our pupils in primary five had the lovely idea of making a card for her friend from Ukraine and that girl’s mum came in and said what a lovely gesture it had been and it was really nice to know that children in our school were thinking about children in Ukraine.”
Isla, the pupil who made the very first card, said: “I made a card for my friend Gabriela because she is from Ukraine so she knows people are thinking of her and her family."
Gabriela said she thought it was “very nice” that the other pupils are making cards to try cheer the Ukrainian children up.
Gabriela's mother asked if the gesture could be extended further across the school and offered to help send the cards to Ukraine.
One of the cards features the Scottish flag and the Ukrainian flag, while others include heartfelt messages written in Ukrainian.
One primary six pupil, Ava, said she made the card to show the Ukrainian people that Scotland will stand with them no matter what.
She wrote a message in Ukrainian which translates to: “Hello my name is Ava, I am thinking of you. I am sending all of my prayers and wishes to you.”