"It's not a hard decision to help a people in need."
That is how Mrs. Kristi Hiltibran, ICSB's Director, explained her decision to accept several new Ukrainian students enrolling to our school this spring.
War, which broke out in Ukraine at the end of the February, changed the lives of millions of Ukrainians. They were forced to move abroad to run from the horrific and destructive consequences of the war. Hungary, as one of the closest countries to Ukraine geographically, became the destination for hundreds of thousands of refugees. Most of them are women and children. Thousands of children needed to go to school here in Hungary to maintain their education process and to distract themselves from the terrors of the war. ICSB was one of the schools that opened its doors to help these people in need.
"We are in good position to help," said Mrs. Hiltibran. "It's an interesting situation for the school; it's kind of a new experience," Enrolling over 20 new students was a challenge for a small Christian school in Budapest. "It's has been challenging for the teachers, but it has worked out," said Mrs. Hiltibran. Despite the spontaneity of the situation, all new applicants, especially in the high school, had to take the same test as the applicants of the previous years. New students are being helped in various ways. ELL classes help students to catch up in their English proficiency. Also, "the students might have experienced some kind of trauma, and we offered some resources to the teachers for dealing with it," commented Mrs. Hiltibran.
The ICSB community responded to this crisis with great grace. Every teacher and family reacted with understanding and did their best to help refugees. "Extraordinary times require extraordinary response," said Mrs. Hiltibran.
In addition, several packages of humanitarian aid were delivered to people who were affected by the war. "The community pulled together really well," said Mrs. Hiltibran.
Undoubtedly, the crisis in Ukraine affected whole world, and the actions of our small Christian school in the suburbs of Budapest demonstrate that Ukrainian people are not alone and can trust not just in themselves, but also in the other loving and caring people around the world.
In thinking about the situation that we faced, Mrs. Hiltibran recalled one of the Frodo and Gandalf's conversations in the Lord of the Rings: "I wish we wouldn't have to live to see these times... And so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."