A benevolent group of pupils from an Inishowen school have shown their solidarity with the world’s refugees and urged for ‘light, not darkness.’
Fifth class pupils at Scoil Eoghain in Moville recently undertook an inspiring project which explored the current refugee crisis and how the world can help.
They also looked at and recognised the efforts of those who have worked to end conflict and promote peace.
Through the work of their teachers Gary Foster and Rose Kelly, the pupils also explored what peace means to them and how they can help people, just like themselves, who are fleeing from war-torn countries.
The boys and girls wrote poetry and created art on these themes and ideas, as a way of expressing their feelings and what they understand about the situation.
They also gathered at the pier in Moville on International Peace Day which represented how many from these shores had left that location to sail for farther lands. There, they sang the song ‘Human’ and reflected on the positives of peace.
The ‘Journal’ recently visited the school to see their work and to ask what the project meant to them. Many told how they were quite moved by the images of refugees on television, particularly that of young Aylan Kurdi, who was tragically found dead on a beach in Turkey.
Some of the children wrote poems to express how they felt, including Abhey Rana, whose work was titled: ‘No More Fight, Only Peace’ and included the words ‘Peace must begin with you and me. Why destroy what we could create, keep the peace, erase the hate.”
Pupils Dmitry Latishev, Ava Canning and Aaron Ruthword drew symbols of peace. Aaron’s was of the ‘ying and yang’ and he told how the darker side represented conflict and evil.
Many also drew pictures, including Owen Smith and Shakira McDermott, with Owen’s telling refugees how they were welcome to Ireland. Emer McGonagle and Demi Cavanagh’s pieces also pleaded for peace.
Marc Doherty presented his plea to help the refugees across the Irish flag. He said he is proud of Ireland’s response to the crisis.
Cuan Lafferty and Rory McCourt’s posters presented a warm welcome to refugees.
“Everyone of us was a refugee once,” said Cuan.
Rory said he believes the country needs to do more,
He added: “Everyone should be welcomed, no matter where they go.”
Leona Harkin not only wrote a poem but also created a snow globe, which represented an important message.
She said: “When the glitter goes up, it shows how we go up together and when we go down, we all go down together. We need everyone to be the same and treated the same for peace.”
This was a message echoed by Stephen Teles who said: “It should not matter about the colour of your skin or where you’re from” and Evan Hudner agreed, stating in his poem: “Everyone’s equal, rich or poor.”
When the pupils were asked what peace meant to them now, they responded: “For everyone to be happy; where there is no war, for everyone to be equal, for the world to be colourful; ‘For there to be light, not darkness.”
Mr Foster said the pupils “really embraced” the project and its themes.
“We wanted to shine a light,” he said.