• Underground school for Ukrainians
The first of September, the day children in Eastern Europe return to school after the long summer break, is traditionally a day of much celebration.
Children begin the school year dressed in their best clothes, with special flowers and gifts for their teachers. The day is referred to as the ‘Day of Knowledge’. Salvation Army corps throughout the region help supply children needing assistance with back-to-school supplies, including backpacks, books, stationery and other essentials.
In Ukraine this (northern) autumn, for the second year in a row, students are beginning their school year in the midst of Russia's full-scale invasion of the country. And around the world, thousands of young Ukrainian students who have fled to other countries with their loved ones to escape the war will start school outside their homeland.
The Salvation Army, both in Ukraine and in nations where refugees are living, is assisting students and their families, as they are able, with school supplies and clothing to help them start the new academic year.
The nation is grateful to all who are helping to build a Ukrainian future – teachers, parents and countries who are assisting Ukraine and Ukrainians. In honour of the start of the new school year, in Ukraine and in many countries, the day began with the playing of the Ukrainian national anthem.
The word ‘knowledge’ in the Bible is found over 150 times. “Also, the Bible teaches us to acquire knowledge and to seek wisdom,” said Salvation Army leaders in Ukraine. “Wisdom involves acting according to the Spirit of God’s commandments; with wisdom comes the will and the courage to continue living according to the wisdom of God: ‘And everything you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father,’ (Colossians 3:17).
“The future will be built by today’s children, schoolchildren and students. We are praying for a happy future for children in a kind, just world and wishing all who have begun learning, teaching, supporting and protecting new beginnings with faith and prayer in their hearts.”