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International Projects

United by Music, Driven by Hope

The British International School, Ukraine (BISU) has joined hands and hearts with Liverpool Life Sciences UTC and Global School Alliance to craft a powerful video message of togetherness, hope and solidarity. The timing of this project is no coincidence, it commemorates the Eurovision Song Contest with its values of universality and inclusivity and its proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music.

Since Ukraine’s debut in the song contest in 2003 and the following victory of Ruslana with her Wild Dances a year later, Eurovision has always been a very important event for the country. For 20 years, Ukraine has been a strong Eurovision competitor, with multiple top 10 finishes, 2 runners-up and another two triumphant performances. 

Here are some crucial highlights: in 2016, Jamala topped the list with her powerful ballad 1944 inspired by her own family history, as her grandmother was among the Crimean Tatars who were deported from Crimea by the Soviet authorities during World War II. In 2022, Kalush Orchestra claimed Ukraine’s third Eurovision victory with their famous song Stefania, which became a sort of anthem for the war-ridden nation with lyrics like, “I’ll always find my way home, even if all roads are destroyed”.  

Due to Russia’s ongoing invasion, Ukraine, the winning country, is unable to host the 2023 contest. Liverpool, after last year’s UK entrant Sam Ryder came second, has been elected to run the show on Ukraine’s behalf. 

This year’s motto is ‘United By Music’. An impactful message, it emphasises the power of music that can bridge gaps between people across the globe, bring communities together and foster a sense of unity, understanding and collaboration. Also, it highlights the unique and strong partnership between the United Kingdom, Ukraine, and Liverpool. To promote this idea further, a Ukrainian peace garden is being created in Liverpool. It features plants native to Ukraine and is designed to provide a welcoming and peaceful space to refugees which helps them feel at home.

With a shared vision of a brighter future for all, two schools, BISU and Liverpool Life Sciences UTC have combined their effort and come up with a video that salutes the spirit of togetherness. 

On behalf of BISU, Aisha, Year 8, and Oleksandra, Year 9 presented the school and shared their experience of living and studying in Ukraine in the times of adversity. 

Oleksandra (Sasha) says, “We are proud to present to you our school, our thoughts, our hopes for Ukraine and our hopes for the world as a chance to make an authentic global connection with our friends at Liverpool Life Sciences UTC and schools everywhere. We were delighted to be invited by Global School Alliance to produce this video and we take this as an opportunity to coincide with the Eurovision Song Contest and to celebrate their values of “universality, inclusivity, and celebrating diversity”.    

Aisha says, “My school life is a learning experience for sure, but it is different as wartime has disrupted normalcy. But still, the school provides a welcoming and nurturing environment where we, students, can learn to make connections with our schoolmates and teachers coming from different backgrounds and cultures. So, in short, this school is proving to be a place where I have acknowledged my individuality and uniqueness. It has helped me acknowledge my own potential, the importance of teamwork, and tolerance. It has given me a broader vision of the world and helped me dismiss the differences of people I interact with at school and focus on the similarities. Together, we can do a great amount of good. For me, my school life is no less than a blessing that has given me priceless joys in life.”

John Rolfe MBE, Global Schools Community and Partnerships Manager, Global School Alliance adds, “All of us the Global School Alliance are proud and delighted to be working with the inspirational British International School, Ukraine and Liverpool LifeSciences UTC on bringing together two great schools through the power of song and the spirit of shared togetherness.  The global dimensions of teaching and learning have always been at the heart of our work at the Global School Alliance. This great project, built around Eurovision 2023 and celebrating Ukraine and Liverpool, is tribute to the inspirational commitment of outstanding educators who always seek to bring the wider world into their classrooms and celebrate togetherness; we are proud and privileged to work with you and to learn from you.”

Sara Mallo, Language Hub Coordinator at Liverpool Life Sciences UTC adds, “Students and staff at Liverpool Life Sciences are honoured to be involved in this project, which gives us all the opportunity to share our common values and to do our part in forging friendship through these uncertain times for Ukraine, and would very much like to continue building these bridges in the future. Everyone at our school is looking forward to the Eurovision contest, and this project with The British International School, Ukraine (BISU) and Global School Alliance has given our students in particular a chance to learn about and understand Ukrainian resilience and determination. Our year 12 students have been filming around our school, sharing with you some of the amazing things which are happening in our school everyday, and our year 9 students have enjoyed learning “Oi u luzi chervona kalyna”. All of our students have been inspired by the way in which their peers in Ukraine have continued to flourish. In the spirit of the Eurovision mission to be “United by music”, let’s hope the world follows in the footsteps of John Lennon, and “Give peace a chance”.

David Cole, BISU Principal: “We were invited by Global School Alliance (GSA) to participate in this project. It reinforces, the fact that Ukraine is still very much in the minds of people around the world and support remains strong. The bond between the UK and Ukraine is especially significant; BISU working with Liverpool Life Sciences UTC is just one example of this very special relationship between the two countries. My congratulations to students and staff at both schools, and to GSA, for their contributions to this endeavour and for making it a success.”

We believe this joint initiative implemented by BISU, Liverpool Life Sciences UTC and Global School Alliance will be seen as a symbol of the potential for education to promote collaboration on a global scale. We hope young leaders of tomorrow will do their best – together — to prevent violence, armed conflicts and atrocities from happening ever again.,

Categories: International Projects

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