At Vienna International School, we strongly believe in the power of a global community. When one of us hurts, we all hurt. Our VIS community is a home to around 112 different nationalities and in these difficult times it is more important than ever to support each other and foster connection instead of division. As an international school and in harmony with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we aim for students to become compassionate leaders and advocates for a more peaceful world. Our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine who are affected by these terrible attacks and stand with the many Russian citizens and community members who oppose this violence and seek peace.
The VIS community started multiple initiatives to support the families displaced by the war in Ukraine. As a result of the generous donations of the VIS families, the school's Octagon has been filled with boxes, sacks and bags containing essential items such as hygiene and sanitary products, baby food, clothing and sleeping bags. Many community members stepped forward to organize the effort and ensure that all the materials were sorted, sifted and packed. Donations have been passed to charitable organizations assisting the refugees who fled Ukraine (Ukrainian Red Cross, Ukrainian Church in Vienna, House of Hope, Nachbar in Not).
Furthermore, the School Board of Governors has approved some temporary enrolments until the end of the current academic year of displaced families from the Ukraine under specifically outlined conditions. Ultimately 12 students got enrolled. The school University Counsellors have offered pro bono advice to Ukrainian students needing it when taking the next step forward towards university or college.
Understanding that the current events can trigger feelings of shock, helplessness or anger towards the situation, the school further encouraged the students and staff members to take advantage of the counselling services to cope with the spiral of negative news coming from the region. Additionally, the school community has been forwarded crucial information, such as emergency hotlines, legal assistance hotlines hotlines and information for families who are able and willing to take in refugees.
The school library collected Ukrainian books for the refugees, while the secondary students organised a bike collection and bake sales for support, and the PTA set up a coin collection during the emotional concert for Peace put together by the primary and secondary choirs,
We thank the entire VIS community for their generous support and involvement!