Winnipeg students learn about 'unknown' Ukrainian genocide aboard mobile classroom

A group of Winnipeg students just got a chance to learn about an "unknown" Ukrainian genocide in an interactive classroom on wheels.

Mobile classroom teaches students about Holodomor genocide, extermination by hunger

Students at Sisler High School learned about the Holodomor genocide in a mobile classroom in Winnipeg Tuesday. (CBC)

A group of Winnipeg students just got a chance to learn about an "unknown" Ukrainian genocide in an interactive classroom on wheels.

The 12-metre-long Holodomor Mobile Classroom rolled up to Sisler High School Tuesday. Students from two history classes were invited inside the mobile learning centre, where they took part in an hour-long interactive lesson about the Holodomor genocide, or extermination by hunger.

"It's 'unknown' in the fact that it's been covered up, it's been denied and it hasn't been recognized throughout the world," said Roma Dzerowicz, executive director of the tour.

The Holodomor Mobile Classroom can fit 33 students at once and has an 8½-metre long video wall inside that plays historical programming about the genocide. (CBC)

"Our goal is to create awareness amongst Canadians of the Holodomor, and at the same time bringing to light a genocide where people were killed for who they were.... In today's world, we do not stand for intolerance, injustices; we stand for democratic and human rights."

More than four million Ukrainians died during the famine between 1932 and 1933, according to the Canada Ukraine Foundation. The Holodomor genocide was engineered by Joseph Stalin to starve Ukrainians and crush the country's independence movement, the foundation says.

Inside the bus, students had a chance to follow lessons projected onto an 8½-metre long video wall while following along on iPads.

Teachers at Sisler hoped the various documents, photos, newspaper clippings, discussions and survivor accounts displayed on the bus would help students better understand present-day human rights' violations.

"This is an honour for us to have this history lesson," said Orysya Petryshyn, a history teacher at Sisler High School. "Students need to be educated so that [this] will never occur again."

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