Summer School for Ukrainian children in Warsaw: learning to live in peace

50 children, mostly Ukrainians, but also Afghans, Chechens, Iraqis. It is the Summer School that in the first half of August was held in Warsaw with the support of a group of the Community of Sant'Egidio of Livorno. Every morning Polish language lessons, drawing and theatre workshops, but also sports games and excursions in the woods. But especially the occasion to spend several days in an atmosphere of serenity and friendship.

The Ukrainian children come from Kharkiv, Kiev, Cherson, Mariupol, Zaporizhzhya and Kramatorsk, cities that have been hard hit by the war in recent months. They are experiencing many difficulties: they are far from their fathers and older brothers and sisters who are still in Ukraine; they do not know what the future will be; they have not been to school for six months, staying mainly in reception centres. During the Summer School period, they became more peaceful and cheerful. "They started to smile again," the organisers wrote on Facebook, "smiles that mean a lot. These children have really suffered: they lost their homes, spent weeks in basements and warehouses, around them only violence and destruction. Even at their age, they say they are no longer afraid of anything".

Vanja, 12 years old from Mariupol, asked: "Why is it called the 'school of peace' if everyone is now fighting?" "You go to school to learn new things. And now we all have to relearn how to live in peace'. The answer of the Polish youth of Sant'Egidio is also a commitment.