Activities, News

What’s migration? An assembly in Camborne

It was so great to be back in school delivering an assembly – for the first time for two years as the pandemic stopped ‘in person’ work. Mirabela Robatzchi joined me to talk to 110 children about journeys and migration.  We were here exactly two years ago, delivering workshops on World War One.

Not for the first time in this school, we were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and interest of the children in the ideas behind I PACKED THIS MYSELF. Mirabela talked about her journey from Romania to this country: she now lives in Helston and runs a taxi firm with her husband. She was a lawyer back home in Bucharest.

We also showed our exhibition suitcase painted with items brought by workers from eastern Europe who came to this country to pick daffodils.  Mirabela explained the cultural background behind each item. We asked children to think about what they would take if they had to set off on a long journey.

We left behind a cut-out cardboard suitcase for each student to fill with words and drawings, and will return in a couple of weeks to see the results.

And finally – questions – so many questions! How did you feel when you were travelling- did you feel sad?

You do feel sad, said Mirabela, because you leave behind people and things that you know well. But it’s also exciting and on a journey like this, you’re always finding something new.

Someone asked how old she was when she left Romania. The answer: 40.

Did Mirabela know any English when she came? Yes – she studied in Primary School and at High School.

The most difficult thing? Hard to say – perhaps learning to work in a completely different area.

And finally, a charming question from an eight-year-old Romanian boy in the class. He’d arrived only recently in Cornwall but already spoke good English.

“Will you come to my house?” he asked.

“Of course!” said Mirabela. “That’s very  Romanian.”