When Ukrainian refugee children enter the country, they'll be met with colourful drawings and kind words from Stratford High School students.
Last term, student council chairperson Keisya Gunawan (17) organised for each form class to submit a poster or a letter to Rise for Lives.
"Rise for Lives is a movement of young people from across New Zealand who promote worldwide peace by organising educational and fundraising events," she says.
Keisya is a student co-ordinator for Rise for Lives, and in her group chat with other co-ordinators, the information for the Aroha for Ukraine book was shared.
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"It's a project for Ukrainian refugee children coming into New Zealand. I thought it would be a great idea for Stratford High School students to get involved with the project. With the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, Rise for Lives wanted to do something positive to help the Ukrainian refugee children."
Keisya put up posters around the school, included some information in the school's daily notices, and gave a poster to each form class.
"I also told the student council about it and they helped to drive the message across that this is something positive we can do."
The project took about two weeks, and by the end of it, Keisya had a wonderful collection of posters and letters to send to Rise for Lives.
"I was very impressed with each poster, and Rise for Lives was as well. The organisation was so impressed with our efforts, and it was nice to know we've done something positive," Keisya says.
Principal Cameron Stone says as a school, staff and students are empathetic towards what is happening around the world, and always strive to help in a positive way.
"Keisya is a natural-born leader. What she does in the community is fantastic. What I love the most about our school and the wider community is the empathy we share for ourselves and others. This project was positive, and to have one of our student leaders drive that project is outstanding."