Grade 8 students of the Cabecar Uluk Kicha Rural High School learned from their English teacher Pedro Morales about the crisis Ukraine is facing with Russia’s invasion. The students were inspired to create a solidarity campaign to show their support for Ukrainians.
Founded in 2018 with the support of NGO Raleigh International, the Uluk Kicha Rural High School lacks regular electrical service and is located in the remote indigenous community of Chirripó in Turrialba.
The eighth graders visited their fellow students classroom by classroom to inform them about the situation in Ukraine and to motivate them to join their campaign. They collected messages of support as well as a $30 financial donation that was sent to 18 year old Ukrainian refugee Maria Olmezova who sought refuge in Calgary, Canada.
The teachers of the Uluk Kicha school have been concerned about providing their students access to talks and knowledge beyond academics in order to inspire them to become engaged and responsable world citizens. The school’s social studies and Spanish teachers supported the campaign by teaching the students about Ukraine and Russia and the conflicts in which those countries have been involved throughout history.
Teacher Pedro commented,“ I spoke with the students and told them how nice it would be to create a campaign to support Ukrainians, even if it was symbolic, so that Ukrainians would know that we stand in solidarity with them. I wanted the students to experience for themselves the importance of sharing with others.
In my community, in the school and other indigenous high schools, it is very uncommon for someone to do a project of this kind because we do not have access to much information. Information is limited due to lack of internet and even television signal. Ukrainians are suffering and here in Costa Rica thanks to our democratic system we are blessed. I helped the students appreciate that.”
Student organizer Ivannia Valera had this to say about the campaign, “It was a great idea because it opened our eyes to the fact that the world is so small and so fragile and we need to share and help others.”
Maria Olmeznova, the beneficiary of the Uluk Kicha student fundraiser was touched and grateful to receive the support as she settles into her new life in Calgary, Canada. The gesture of Cabecar good will was perhaps more important than the cash. Maria said, “It was a very pleasant and unusual experience to receive this gift.
I appreciate these students have their own challenges and for them to offer to help others who are in trouble is impressive. I have never seen such heroism.”