Kyrylo, Andrej and others in their Ukrainian class in Rome

20 children who fled their country hosted by Rome school

16 May, 09:00

    (ANSAmed) - ROMA, 16 MAG - A school class in Rome made up entirely of children who fled Ukraine is enabling them to continue their studies in line with the curriculum of the Ukrainian education ministry.

    At the school exit, Irina looks at her two children and smiles.

    "In front of them we have to be strong. We have to do it for them," she said.

    Irina, Julia, Anna, and Oksana are a few of the 20 mothers whose children - between the ages of 6 and 8 - attend an elementary class made up entirely of Ukrainian refugees and hosted since March 28 by the Alberto Cadlolo school, part of the Virgilio Institute in central Rome.

    The project, sponsored by the school and a parents committee alongside the Ukrainian school association Prestigio, was created in collaboration with the Ukrainian embassy and aims to enable the children to continue their studies in line with the curriculum of the Ukrainian education ministry.

    Project to comply with studies program "As an educational community," underscored the head of the Virgilio Institute, Alessio Santagati, "we responded both to the request to host some students in our classes and to that to host an entire Ukrainian class, respecting the natural desire to continue their course of studies. We did this with concordant intentions, certain that this experience will not only help our 'guests', it will also be essential for the personal development of our children, who are already showing integration skills that unfortunately we adults do not always have." "We are very appreciative of what they are doing for us. They are all very kind," said Irina.

    She worked as a baker near Kyiv and has twins, Yhor and Kyrylo and another daughter.

    She arrived with the children and her husband just after the war began.

    "It was my husband," she said, "that said that we had to leave.

    He was able to leave as well because Ukrainian law allows this for fathers with three children." In the morning, the children do online learning with their teachers in Ukraine and then - from 1 PM until 4 PM - they continue with their Ukrainian teacher Elvira in the Rome classroom.

    Online learning is however not easy and not always possible.

    Irina said in relation to another mother that, "Julia is from Kherson and is from an area that has been taken by the Russians who are telling the teachers to teach in Russia, using the Russian curriculum." Hundreds of children in Rome from different regions of Ukraine The children hosted by the school come from several areas of Ukraine - from Kyiv to Kherson and Lviv.

    Tetyana Tarasenko, the head of the Prestigio association - which for 15 years has been promoting Ukrainian culture in Italy and which supports hundreds of children through projects such as this one - said that, "in the first three weeks of war alone, over 200 children arrived. In the last 2-3 weeks the flow has been increasing, especially from areas like Mariupol and Zaporizhia. There is a great deal of pain, nostalgia, and anger that you can feel in them and that only a few manage to open up about." Many of their family members chose to remain in the country.

    "Not everyone wanted to leave," noted Irina, whose parents are still in Ukraine.

    And these mothers working hard and still managing to smile at the school exit left everything there.

    Except their children: Andrej, Victoria, lllya.

    "In front of them I do not cry. But then," admitted Irina, "at home with my husband I do. I left everything. Everything. I have only my children, my husband, and two suitcases. The future? I have no idea about the future." (Ukrainian children in a class of the Padre Lais elementary school of Rome. PHOTO/ARCHIVE/ANSA/MASSIMO PERCOSSI) (ANSAmed).

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