THE children at Goggins Hill National School are hard at work practising their Ukrainian in preparation for the commemoration of the Chernobyl disaster which takes place on April 26th at Bishop Lucey Park in Cork city.
The school community has already shown their support for the children of war-torn Ukraine.
‘The children and their families filled the school hall with food, nappies, sanitary items, clothes, camping equipment, medication, sleeping bags and countless other vital supplies,’ Fiona Corcoran, the Fountainstown-based head of the Greater Chernobyl Cause said.
‘Then the 6th class children boxed and labelled everything, which was a huge feat of organisation in itself. They were so passionate about helping those suffering far away, that these children insisted on carrying the heavy boxes and loading the vans themselves. This aid filled two vans from floor to ceiling and the Latvian drivers looked on in amazement. It went by container to the Polish border with Ukraine, to support those who had fled from war and were forced to leave everything that they owned behind.’
Fiona also said that she was amazed, when she arrived at Goggins Hill National School to the strains of the Ukrainian National anthem.
‘The 5th and 2nd class were singing in Ukrainian, trying to master pronunciation in time for the Greater Chernobyl Cause Commemoration of the Chernobyl Disaster, Fiona said.
‘The problem is, that because of the Easter holidays, they have just two days to prepare, but Goggins Hill children are determined to show their love and support for the less fortunate children of Ukraine. The pupils cannot change what is happening in Ukraine, all they can do is show how much they care about those who are in trouble, especially other children. At the Chernobyl commemoration, they will show that support, as this year the focus will be on the ongoing tragic and senseless war in Ukraine.’
The children also raised money with the support of the Ballinhassig community. In total, more than €1,600 was raised which was gratefully accepted on behalf of the Greater Chernobyl Cause by Fiona.
‘From a school of 223 children, their generosity and that of their families was astounding. Goggins Hill National School staff also played their part, by opening the school on Saturday to accept aid. This was genuinely a team effort,’ Fiona said.
‘Children may not be able to change a war created and pursued by adults, but they are an example of what the world should be like – a place dominated by love and not hate.
‘We need to listen to children, like those of Goggins Hill National School. They are the future and they will show us the way.’