This wonderful story about friendship, inclusivity, and kindness comes from Maya and Liberty Persaud. Enjoy!
Being new at school is always hard, and being new at school in a new country is even harder. Maya and Liberty, and their parents Ryan and Sarah, moved to Curitiba, Brazil, in July 2018. Their parents work at the International School of Curitiba, where the girls attend school. The previous four years, they had been attending school at Korea International School in Seoul. At the young age of nine, the girls sure know a lot about traveling to new places and the challenges of making new friends.
When they arrived at the International School of Curitiba, sisters Maya and Liberty, in Grade 3, had a great idea, inspired by the school their mother worked at in Milton, Ontario, Canada. They decided, with other ISC Ambassadors, to create a Buddy Bench, to help students make new friends. This is how it works: a child, who is feeling lonely, can sit on the bench to signal they need someone to play with. Once other children see that student at the bench, they can invite him or her to be a part of their game and feel included. Maya said: “We hope that children use the buddy bench and feel that it will help them make friends.”
The girls were asked what is one thing we can do to make the world a kinder place. Liberty said: “It would be a better place if people took the time to get to know each other more, as it would make the world a better place.” Maya responded: “If people did not fight over small things it would be better, and if people were feeling sad that other people would come to them. It would be better if all students were included.”