Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Dear Santa,

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,



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

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,


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,


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.


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

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

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, 


Wednesday, 28 November 2018

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.

Monday, 22 October 2018

"Leading Lights" Erasmus+ Meeting in Wales 6th-13th Oct. 2018

Here's the link for the radio programme students from all eight partner schools in six different countries made! 

Erasmus + Ysgol Y Strade 12/10/2018 - Mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/stiwdiobox/erasmus-ysgol-y-strade-12102018/ 

Here's a link to the Finnish team's video on "Equality in Finland":


And here's a link to an article about our project in the local newspaper: 


Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Team Laanila getting excited about our next Erasmus+ meeting in Wales

Students: Veera Anttonen, Kyla Castro, Elina Tervola & Joanna Ylitapio (missing from the picture)
Teachers: Tiina Fredriksson, Nina Salmela & Jaana Kuikka

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Human Rights Drama Workshops at Laanila

Johanna Lampinen MA (Education) and human rights expert from Oulu University visited Laanila's English lessons together with her group of Intercultural Teacher Training students in April 2018. Laanila students had an opportunity to empathize the different realities of life in English speaking drama workshops in which everyone was given his/her role in a situation in which cultural differences baffled and human rights were put to a tough test.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Jaara & Siina will represent Laanila at Nordic Youth Conference

The Nordic Youth Conference is an annual event for 50 youth activists from Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands. It’s four days filled with human rights activism and fun. The Nordic Youth Conference 2018 will be in Copenhagen, Denmark and it takes place on 30 July - 3 August 2018. The conference language is English.

Young people must know what human rights are, and how to claim them. Jaara & Siina will go to the Nordic Youth Conference, meet exciting people who challenge authorities and learn how they themselves can challenge those in power. They will meet extraordinary young people from all the Nordic countries during a week full of interesting lectures and workshops. At the end of the week they will take part in a public action!
By participating in the conference, they will become part of and help build Amnesty’s youth community. They will learn about Amnesty’s campaigns, they’ll meet brave human rights defenders and they will contribute to the conference through skill shares and workshops. 

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Volunteering for the Elderly

This school year Laanila students have been visiting the senior citizens of Metsolan Hovi across the street every Friday afternoon. The youth and the elederly have enjoyed getting to know each other by playing cards and games, playing the piano, singing Christmas Carols, doing puzzles etc.

One of the highlights of the course has been the interviewing of the elderly of their life to a special friendship book that was given to each senior citizen as a gift from Laanila High School. Many interesting and fascinating stories were shared of their childhood and younger years from the 1940's onwards when the world was very different from today's modern world. We heard stories, among other things, of the Olympic skating medalist Toivo Salonen's fascinating career, school teacher Aili's interesting teaching experiences and several senior artists' love and devotion for their sculpting, painting, printing and jewellery design.

Another highlight in the spring was the Prom Dances that two Laanila couples presented for the elderly in their full evening dresses and costumes. The seniors say that music, singing and dancing is their favorite activity and it was such a pleasure to have these bold and beautiful young ladies and gentlemen coming to dance for them. Hopefully, this precious tradition will continue next year, too!

The seniors of Metsolan Hovi expressed their gratitude to Laanila volunteers by hugging and thanking them with tears in their eyes. The volunteers on their part said their farewells to the seniors only temporarily. Next fall we are hoping to continue the course with both old and new students and are already waiting for the happy reunion in August 2018.