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On Friday 18th January 2019, Mr Stephen Twigg, MP for Liverpool West Derby, visited Alsop High School as part of commemorations for Holocaust Memorial Day. Mr Twigg spoke movingly about his visits to Rwanda. He stressed the need for students to learn lessons from the past to create a caring and tolerant world, where diversity is both respected and celebrated.
The visit, arranged through the Speakers for Schools Programme, provided a fantastic opportunity for Alsop students to learn about the horrors of the genocide. This year Rwanda commemorates the 25 th anniversary of the slaughter of over one million people in 1994.
Mr Twigg was welcomed to Alsop by Head Boy, Matthew Mc Cartney, and a group of Year 13 students. After a tour of the school, Alsop students led an act of collective worship to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.
During the collective worship students spoke about the effects of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. The theme of this years’ Holocaust Memorial, “Torn from Home”, focuses on the 25th anniversary of the massacre of over one million people in Rwanda. They also spoke of the Holocaust during World War Two, during which over six million Jews perished at the hands of the Nazis.
Students told Mr Twigg they want to build a better world. They also honoured the survivors of these atrocities, and challenged themselves to use the lessons of their experiences to transform their lives today.
At the end of the worship, Mr Twigg addressed the assembled students. He told the students that we need to think very carefully about how we treat people in our communities, and how we need to respect diversity. He spoke about Kindertransport, and how Jewish refugees fled Nazi Germany and found safety here in Britain. He also spoke about his visits to Rwanda and the plight of refugees.
Mr Twigg urged the young people to think of themselves as global citizens, and to demonstrate how we respect and care for our neighbours. He urged the audience to stand up and challenge prejudice, as everyone needs to feel safe in their own homes and within their communities.
Mr Peter Bull, organised the visit as part of the Alsop Centenary programme of events. Mr Bull comments:
“We were delighted to host Stephen Twigg. Students were keen to ask about Brexit and the proceedings at Westminster. Stephen engaged with the young people and challenged them to think about their future and the role they can play in developing tolerant, caring and diverse communities.”
Mr Twigg also assisted Ms Frances Urquhart to deliver a Geography lesson to Year 11 students. Mr Twigg engaged with the class and took an active role within the lesson.
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