On 3rd and 4th March 2022, a group of Form 4 (year 10) Religious Education students at St Margaret College Secondary School Verdala, celebrated the beginning of Holy Lent by committing themselves to think more of people in Ukraine in their daily prayers. Senior teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc invited his students to reflect upon Pope Francis’ message for Holy Ash Wednesday.

On Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis said that the Lenten season provides an opportunity for conversion and interior renewal. “Let us prepare ourselves with confidence to follow the Lenten journey that begins today as an opportunity for conversion and interior renewal in listening to the Word of God, in prayer, in the daily exercise of charity towards one’s neighbour,” said the Pope.

Pope Francis also reminded pilgrims gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall that March 2 is a global day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine. Pope Francis also said, “Our prayer and fasting will be a plea for peace in Ukraine, remembering that world peace always begins with our personal conversion, following Christ.”

So while reflecting upon Pope Francis’ message, St Margaret College students painted solidarity cards for children in Ukraine. This campaign was launched by teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc who said: “Just as Jesus showered His love on us, we are also called to love and express that same unconditional love with others (John 15:12). So inviting our school students to paint a solidarity card for Ukrainian children is a noble act of charity that makes our students more educated and sensitive to human needs. Children in Ukraine are surely in need of our support and just a simple card of solidarity can make a big difference. ”

During this exercise, students used their imagination and creativity in painting the cards using the Ukrainian word ‘solidarnist’ (meaning solidarity) as a card title. The rainbow of colours and flowers symbolise a message of hope for Ukrainian children.

Sent to Ukrainian children

All the solidarity cards will be passed on to the Ministry of Education of Malta so they can be officially sent to Ukrainian children who are experiencing the suffering of war.

This school project aims to reach five of the main goals proposed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Good Health and Wellbeing, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Reduced Inequalities, and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. 

Written by students Matt Camilleri Lagana and Yanique Gambin