maanantai 17. joulukuuta 2018

Letters to Santa

Erasmus+ "Leading Lights" Equality Letter to Santa

Erasmus+ "Leading Lights" Student task no 1 by email by the end of November 2018.
"Three Wishes" to Santa 
Write a letter (150-250 words) to Santa with your most important wishes on equality 

a) in your city/country
b) in Europe
c) in the world.

While in Finland, 

a) be prepared to read it out loud to our Erasmus+ group on the bus on our way to Arctic Circle and
b) be prepared to personally hand it to Santa on 12th February 2019.

Dear Father Christmas,

I have 3 wishes on equality for Wales, Europe and The World. I hope that you will help solve the problems of equality that we are facing in our world today. Here are the 3 wishes.

A wish for Wales:

Improve gender equality in Wales, the UK ranks 25 out of 30 for gender pay gap (no figures for Wales). However Wales lacks a shared vision of gender equality, we need strong leadership from Welsh Government to deliver change.

A wish for Europe:

Stop the rise of extremist intolerant religious beliefs such as Wahhabism an extreme form of the Islam. Saudi Arabia has been using its money from oil to promote Wahhabism around the world, building mosques and paying for TV channels etc. Wahhabism has been accused of being "a source of global terrorism"

A wish for the world:

An improvement in many countries around the world of the following :

· Poverty
· Religious extremism and practices
· Political corruption and inertia
· Education

So that equality can flourish and or improve.

Yours sincerely,


X     X     X     X     X     X     X     X     X


In order to make our world a better place, we would like to send our best wishes for all the ones that are struggling with something. But especially we have three petitions for this Christmas and this New Year:

For our city, Melilla, we would appreciate a lot if there could be a solution for all the immigrants’ problem. We believe that if we help people in need, then they will not have the necessity of leaving their country to improve their life quality.

For all Spain, where the number of dead women by gender violence is around 40 since this last January, we would like that people finally understood women and men as equals so everyone would have the same opportunities, would earn the same wages for the same job, no woman would fear walking alone at night and no child would lose a mother.

Four Europeans, we wish that all the homophobia and the transphobia were gone and that everyone understood and accepted that there is not just one way of living that everyone is different and still precious in their own way and that someone´s worth is not related to their sexual orientation.

Of course we know that the humanity has a lot more issues that need to be solved, but those three are the ones that we consider more important and more urgent. But the thing is that no matter where you come from, what your gender is or who do you feel attracted by, everyone should be accepted, and that is something that all the people haven't realized yet.

Belén, Pablo, Rafa and Rocío 

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Dear Santa,

I come from Reunion, and here there are a lot of people who don’t have much money and I don’t think the government understands this. Here, a lot of things are more expensive than in France, and so many people aren’t happy and are demonstrating in the streets. Also there is too much unemployment. So Santa, could you give a decent life to these people?

In Europe, people talk of the migrant crisis. Migrants are people who flee their countries because they can’t live there because of wars or famine, but when they arrive in Europe they don’t have anything: no food, no home, no job. They end up in the streets and people reject them. Santa, my second wish if for you to stop these wars so that these people can live good lives at home, and make them accepted in our countries.

In the world, there are so many inequalities. We must all do something to help all these people who are suffering, especially you Santa. Can you bring more tolerance and love to the world?

Thank you,


X     X     X     X     X     X     X     X     X

Dear Santa,

I know that this period is very difficult for you because you have a lot of work and you are very busy to please each of us... I have always loved Christmas! Because it's a time when we can afford to dream more than usual... This is probably the magic of Christmas... Yet I never dared to write to you. And here I am, at almost 17 years old, finally deciding to take the plunge! It never seems too late! Santa Claus from above you probably noticed that at this moment the world is in bad shape, that there is a lot of misery, war and inequalities... For once I would like this Christmas to be celebrated with joy, happiness and tolerance. Santa Claus, would you please grant my wishes? I would be very grateful!

I have chosen 3 wishes that are really close to my heart: As you know, I live on an island lost in the Indian Ocean, Reunion Island, which is very beautiful my island but unfortunately it is confronted with a scourge that is domestic violence against women. Thus this year there were many women who lost their lives because of this violence. Too many sad families, too many orphaned children... I wish all this would stop.

Then my 2nd wish would be that there is no more discrimination and racism in Europe... I would like people to be more tolerant towards their neighbours...

And to finish, my Santa Claus, I wish there were no more children starving to death in the world. One in 10 people suffer from famine while the world continues to grow richer and food waste is often talked about. It makes me sad!

So Santa Claus I don't know if I'm asking you too much but if only you could put a little love, joy, tolerance and solidarity in this world I would be very happy and grateful.
I thank you in advance and wish you all the best.


Santa Claus
Rovaniemi, Finland

Dear Santa Claus,

I wish you a Merry Christmas! You must be very busy preparing gifts for everyone, with the help of the elves :)

This year I’ve been very nice to people, I’ve helped with the chores and so on.

So for this new Christmas day that will come I have three wishes:

First of all I want equality of gender in the whole world, I want men and women treated equally, because we’re all human.

For my second wish, I want equality between rich countries and poor countries. I want rich countries to stop taking the goods of poor countries without giving them what they deserve.

And finally my last wish would be for everyone to stop only thinking about themselves and more about ourselves, humanity. Everyone must help people in need, without wanting something in return. It will be returned to them anyway if everyone helps each other.

Fine, that’s all I want for Christmas, thank you for reading,


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Hello Santa,

My name is Eline, I'm sixteen years old and I live in Reunion Island. I know I'm a bit old to do a Santa's letter but dreams forge personality and happiness so I will ask you to transform my wishes into reality. I won't wish boring things because I want you to know how I think and what my priorities are. Reunion Island is very little and some countries don't even know its existence. People can have prejudices about my island like the fact that Reunion Island is poor with inequalities between men and women and discrimination. I've got three wishes.

My first wish is to transform people who won't share money with strangers and to give this money to homeless people.

My second wish is to match salary between men and women because it's still an important problem.

My last wish doesn't represent my island because here we regroup a lot of religions like Islam, Christianity or non-religious. It's why I wish you to wipe out discrimination in the world like Reunion Island has, with many diversity, communication and happiness. I wish your power will do the good thing. I hope Reunion Island will be like my utopia that I just described.

Thank you Santa and Merry Christmas.


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Dear Santa, we have come up with a few wishes on equality. If we could wish three changes in our country, Europe, and in the world, they would be:

1. We wish that everyone in Finland would have an opportunity to get work regardless of their ethnic background. We have a few minority groups in Finland, but they are not equal comparing to main population when it comes to getting employed.

2. We wish that everyone who comes to Europe looking for safer and better life conditions, would get protection and an equal opportunity to build a new safe life in here.

3. We wish that every country in the world would take equal responsibility when it comes to meeting the challenge of climate change. The countries who haven't inflicted climate change are the ones who suffer most of its causes. Climate change is a human rights issue.

Unesco Team Students from Laanila High School

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Dear Santa,

For Christmas we wish for better wellbeing for everyone on earth. We know there are still issues and inequalities around the world so here are some of our wishes for improving them.

In our city; we wish for a better and more stable wealth gap between the rich and the poor, more tolerance for open-minded people and acceptance for different cultures and lifestyles.

Our three wishes for Europe are; peace among our fellow countries, more equality between the two sexes and more tolerance for other ethnic groups. We think this will improve the relations between countries and even people.

For the world we wish for no tolerance for child labour and slavery. We wish for world peace, especially now since the world seems to become smaller every day.

We sincerely hope you’ll try your hardest to make this happen for everyone on earth and for the ones to come. We wish you well and happy holidays.

Sara and Erik

Portugal, Braga, 3rd December 2018

Dear Santa Claus,

We are Catarina, Francisca and Tiago from Braga, a small city in the north of Portugal. This Christmas we really want you to help us. As you know, Santa, we have been good, so you will make our wishes come true, right?

Well, Santa Claus you see everything, so it’s not worth hiding it. The truth is that our society is fighting against prejudices, racism and inequality. We are getting closer and closer to our equality goal, every small change is a victory. But there’s still a lot of work to do.

In Portugal, we only have one shelter for male victims. Recognizing men as victims is indispensable, if we want to live in an equal society. So, we really want Portuguese people to become more aware of this situation and more sensitive to the male victims.

As students, we participate in a European project called Erasmus+. Such projects are very important to promote contact among different cultures and moral values such as equality. We we would like schools and students to take part in these projects in order to develop critical thinking and tolerance.

On a global scale we think welfare services should be available to everyone, in order to promote a healthier society.

We really appreciate your help, Santa.

Thank you so much,

Catarina, Francisca, Tiago

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Dear Santa, 

What I ask you this year as a gift for Christmas is to spread a new vision of the world to everyone worldwide: as a young boy I keep on dreaming about a wonderland, where everyone is treated equally, without poverty and wars. 

I know it is Utopian, but one day I hope it will be real. Some of the greatest people in the world say that the most outstanding ideas hide in dreams, but sometimes those ideas are so great and powerful that the real world wouldn’t be ready to embrace them. 

What’s the issue that causes all of the world’s problems? It’s greed of course! Well then, what if there was nothing to be greedy about? 

I wish you could eliminate poverty and I wish all the wars could disappear from the entire world. 

A famous Italian film maker back in the 60s, Vittorio De Sica, offered a magical vision of the city of Milan in his movie “Miracle in Milan” where all the poor people at the end fly happily away on broomsticks “towards a land where good morning really means good morning”. 

I’m now asking myself: “would it really be so hard to make that dream real?” All together and with a bit of your magic, Santa, we could change this world for the good. I imagine waking up in a world where poverty is a myth, wars are just part of history and the fear of diversity doesn’t exist anymore.

Best regards, 


sunnuntai 14. lokakuuta 2018

Meeting in Wales

In October 2018 we had our Erasmus+ meeting in Wales. We have two different partner schools from Wales: Ysgol Dyffrun Taf and Ysgol y Strade. The schools are about 40 kilometers away from each other. The students were staying in host families in these two cities and the teachers were staying in the city of Carmarthen that is located in the middle. The participating students from our school were  Rebecca and Ursula from G2 and teachers Eva and Johanna.

We started our trip early on Saturday morning and landed to rainy London. First we made a roundtrip in London with a minibus. Then we changed to another bus and headed to Wales. The sky got brighter bit by bit, and the host families were not the only ones to meet us in Carmarthen but also the Welsh sun.


We spent the first two days at Dyffrun Taf School. First in the program we had the videos that every team had made about the equality issues in their cities or countries. We also heard songs performed by a talented choir and lectures for example about Growth Mindset and a speech by Keith Towler, Chair of United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child for Wales. Furthermore, the students had an art workshop where they created their own souvenirs and after that we visited the County Hall of Carmarthen together. A journalist from a local newspaper even wrote an article about our visit. You can read it here.   

On Wednesdey we had a trip to St. David's which is the smallest city in UK. We explored the Cathedral of St. David's, which is a popular pilgrim destination, and visited the beautiful beach of Whitesand. Then the students went to do something scary: coasteering. It's about jumping to the sea from several meters high cliffs. Luckily the teachers didn't have to even see it. :D

Last two days we spent at the second school Ysgol y Strade where we had two talented speakers: a poet Mererid Hopwood and a Member of Parliament Tonia Antoniazzi. Hopwood is one of the principal movers behind the White Book of Peace which is an extraordinary peace movement project. She had the book with her and all the people over 16 years old had ability to sign under the title "By signing my name in the Llyfr Gwyn, I commit myself to work for peace in the world."

You can read more about the White Book of Peace here.

We also had a work shop of Welsh folkdances and made a trip to Kidwelly Castle that was beautiful even touht it was raining. On Thursday evening we had a consert at the school where the extremely talented students performed. 

On Friday the students had a workshop with a BBC dj. They brought a song in their own language with them and togehter with the dj they made a radio program. You can listen the whole program here. In the evening we had a Farewell Party where all the participants got their certificates with huge applaudes. 

The week in Wales was really successfull. We learned new skills and ways to see things. We also made many new friends. Together we made the world a little bit better place to live. <3

torstai 20. syyskuuta 2018

Hunger Day 2018

As previous years, also this year our high school juniors participated the annual Hunger Day by collecting money on the streets of Oulu. The Hunger Day is organized by Finnish Red Cross. This year the fundraising campaign is during Sept 20-22 2018.

Below you can see pictures of our cheerful collectors and read their thoughts about the experience.

"It felt really good to help."

"It was a great experience."

"Very nice."

" It was eye opening and it was really nice knowing that we are helping those in need."

"I really enjoyed it today because I knew that the money is going to help someone."

"It is always nice to help those in need."

"Was a good experience + love helping ppl in need <3 <3 "

"It was fun and it felt nice knowing I had helped people."

"It was nice to be a part of doing something good for others."

"Helping peolpe is always nice."

"It felt good to know that we are helping people."


keskiviikko 9. toukokuuta 2018

Europe Day

Europe Day in Oulu

Europe Day celebrates peace and unity in Europe. 

It is celebrated on 9 May each year. It marks the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, which was presented by French foreign minister Robert Schuman on this date in 1950. At that time European nations were struggling to cope with the damages of World War II. They wanted to prevent another war like that from happening.

Europe Day stands in the shopping centre Valkea

Thoughts about EU, positive and negative aspects

Europe Day was celebrated this year in Oulu at the shopping center Valkea. Several groups from our school participated the celebration. The program consisted of for example panel discussion and a performance by male choir Huutajat. Huutajat's (see their home page: ) performance was about Europe, for example Hungarian National Song and Ode to the Joy.

Ode to the Joy by Huutajat

Our high school students commented the day with following sentences: 

"Europe Day is a wonderful way to unite European people."

"Europe Day was a nice way to see what the European Unon actually means to us Finns." 

keskiviikko 25. huhtikuuta 2018

Meeting in La Reunion

This time our Erasmus meeting was in La Reunion, on island that is situated in the middle of Indian Ocean but is a part of France. The meeting was only for teachers. During seven intensive days we learned a lot of island’s uniqueness and diversity of for example landscapes, cultures, religions and languages.

On Saturday we arrived quite early in the morning and had already ability to have first tastes of atmosphere by wondering enormous waves at the cliffs and taking part of Tamili New Year in St Leu, a city nearby. Celebration was colorful and vivid with awesome dresses, dance and music.

Sunday was a day for something very unique: we were hiking at the volcano Piton de la Fournaise. Last eruption on the volcano was on Monday previous week. We were lucky to get in to the top because it was closed several days after eruption, and later we heard that it was active again day after we had left the island. The landscape was something you can see in the Star Wars movies and massive clouds surrounded us every now and then.

On Monday we spent the morning at our partner school Lycée Antoine de Saint-Excupéry in Les Avirons. The local students told us about daily life in the island and their plans for the future. Many of them are going to study abroad because there’s no such opportunities on the island than for example in continental France, and they want to see the world. It was heartbreaking to hear them saying: “We love our island but we have to go.” 

We also heard about a volunteering project that plenty of students had participated, and sow an art exhibition about equality issues like race, gender and sexual orientation. At the afternoon we had a walking tour in St Leu focusing on the revolt of the slaves, and at the sunset we went to a boat trip where we sow dolphins jumping in the waves. <3

On Tuesday we were discussing about gender equality and had a lecture by local association for domestic violence. Then we head more student´s speeches about the day’s topic but also about how they see Europe and European Union in their daily life even though they live so far away from European continent. We also planned next meeting that will be in Wales in October 2018.

On Wednesday we had ability to see a colorful and extremely beautiful Tamili Temple at St Louis with one of the partner school’s teachers as our guide. We also familiarized us with a Mosque and a Chinese Temple in St Pierre and visited a local handcraft market.

Thursday was about the Creole culture with literature and music. We were really privileged to have one of the most popular maloya artists, Zanmari Baret, to tell about the Creole music (maloya and sega). Besides listening their beautiful playing we got also play different instruments and sing along.

On Friday we saw more about the power of volcano on a visit to the lava flows Gande Anse. It was a huge flow all the way from the top to the sea by eruption occurred on 2007. Two years it had been so hot that it was impossible to walk on it, but nowadays there is a route through the area. We also visited one of the most beautiful beaches we had ever seen. In the evening we had a farewell party at the beach under thousands of stars.

Saturday was the day to leave the incredible island and say good bye to our host. The whole week had been something very special and will be unforgettable. We saw a lot of things that can’t be seen anywhere else and heard stories that only can be heard at the place like that. Nevertheless, we saw that people are the same with their dreams and values no matter where you are.

tiistai 10. huhtikuuta 2018

Racism Free Day 2018

This year we celebrated Racism Free Day with program that was completely planned and led by a group of first year high school students. All the participants can certainly agree that they succeed in their task! :)

We started the event by watching a film about a slum area in Romania. I'm sure that after seeing the film many of our students now understand better why a lot of Roman people travel abroad to beg.

Afterwards we played a kind of role play. We got pieces of paper with different kinds of identities. Then we heard various statements and reacted to them according to our position in the global society. 

The role play really concretized us how the world is not equal.

Are you a 53 years old Swedish man with wife and two kids, doctor and summer house in Spain? Or are you a 6 years old kid from a slum area in Namibia where you work 10 hours a day in a factory to by food to your five siblings because your parents are dead?

Acting according our new identities - is this fair?

Additionally we had a quizz and a discussion with help of pictures by Red Cross.

How would you describe a family? Is it similar everywhere in the world?

How would you define a racist?

How would you react in a situation where somebody spit a immigrant to the face in the street?

Thank you Tolerance-group for well planned event! We all got new viewpoints to the equality!

tiistai 13. helmikuuta 2018

Theme Day 7th February 2018

On Wednesday 7th February we had the first day of new period, and since last school year we have celebrated the day by having a bit special program with no regular lessons. This time we invited local Red Cross' voluntary group Salamatiimi to participate the day with us, because we wanted to provide our students a natural way to use English and to work with people from different culture. You can read more about Salamatiimi and their activity here

After we divided us to four groups we started the program with basketball. Then the program continued with various workstations. Below you can see photos of all four stations. 

At the first workstation the groups planned and filmed a short video. The results can be seen at the end of this page.

At the next station the groups explained and/or drew various words to each others and competed against other groups.

Third station was about baking cookies.

Last station was called "Flowers with similarities and differences". The group made a colorful flower witch the filled with things that are common to all the group members and things that make everyone unique compared to others in group. The results can be seen at top of this page.

First group's video: 

The other videos are missing. Students, please send them to Johanna's email so we'll add them here. :)