30 days for refugees – Day 21

Do you have children, or do you have links to a school in your community? Perhaps you’re a teacher or work in a school in some other capacity?

If you can get your local school involved and interested in supporting refugees, you might be really surprised by the results.

For teachers, talking about refugees provides a way for children to experience the wider world around them, by hearing people’s stories and imagining how they would feel in a similar situation.

For parents, you might be surprised at how engaged the children become with the issues, and just how much they get out of it.

Watch teachers, pupils and parents at Edmison Heights School in Peterborough, Canada, talking about what how they all loved doing their bit for a local refugee family.

Stephanie Benn, featured in the video above, is a member of the Safe Haven for Refugees private sponsorship group that brought the Alftih family, from Syria, to Peterborough. She is also a teacher at Edmison Heights Public School, and alongside her colleague, Laura Smith, has helped the school community rally around the Alftih family.

Mrs Smith’s 3rd grade class heard that Randa Alftih wanted to bring her sister’s family over to Canada from Lebanon, and were moved by the story. So they organised a range of fundraising activities – they hosted a yard sale, selling items generously donated by local businesses and artists; they held pizza parties, selling pizza in the school for a dollar; and several children at the school even asked for donations instead of birthday presents. 

And it paid off – the pupils helped to raise the final $5,000 needed to bring Randa’s sister and family to Canada