Maynooth Post Primary School

Croatia: Petrinja/Zagreb Solidarity Initiative by Rawak Atmeh (Junior Ambassador for Europe)

Croatia: Petrinja/Zagreb Solidarity Initiative by Rawak Atmeh (Junior Ambassador for Europe)

On 22nd March 2021, a solidarity initiative was launched between EPAS (European Parliament Ambassador School) schools across Europe to show solidarity for people in Croatia after an earthquake struck the country. Several schools from France, Spain, Ireland and Croatia attended this online event. MEPs from these countries also attended the event. Students from Croatia talked about how their lives had changed because of this earthquake. One girl mentioned how she lives in constant fear of another earthquake devastating her life. Despite this earthquake Croatian students in final year of secondary education will still sit their Matura exams. Their entire school has been destroyed and many have had their lives badly impacted, yet still have the courage to get up and sit their exams, under all that stress.

The next section of the event had students from several schools asking the MEP’s questions about the EU response to this event. The MEPs mainly focused on the European solidarity fund, which allows emergency funds to be transferred from member states to a country which has been devastated from a disaster. The topic of Coronavirus was raised and the importance of keeping a healthy mental state. Despite it being a struggle, the end was in sight as the European vaccine program ramped up.

After every school had asked the MEPs a question, an open discussion took place where each school could put questions to the students in Croatia. They talked about how their lives had been ruined and how they were forced to adapt to the post-earthquake circumstances. One student had been living with a friend and has to drive 30 minutes to get to her school. Many of these students will not return to see their school rebuilt as they are graduating shortly. The young people from Croatia also told us that the best way to support them is through monetary contribution.

Although it is hard for us in Ireland to empathize with people in Croatia, as Ireland is a nation that does not experience natural disasters often, it's very important that we do. As a member of the European Union our government is expected to send aid to Croatia, as Croatia is expected to help us when we need it. The least we can do is express solidarity with them.

Maynooth Education Campus, Mariavilla, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, W23 X6X8
01 628 6060
© 2024 Maynooth Post Primary School