US First Lady Jill Biden, accompanied by Romanian First Lady Carmen Iohannis, visited a school earlier this morning where they spoke with Ukrainian and Romanian educators, talked to Ukrainian mothers and met with children.
After her school visit to Uruguay, Biden spoke briefly with reporters before boarding a plane, discussing the emotional impact of her school visit and the bravery of the mothers who she met.
“It was so emotional, wasn’t it? I think Ukrainians really know we’re on their side,” Biden told reporters.
“You can see these kids have really suffered,” she added.
“In many ways, teachers are the glue that helps these kids deal with their trauma and deal with the emotion and give them a sense of normalcy,” Biden said.
In a classroom, children told Biden they were tracing their hands and making cutouts from copies of the Ukrainian and Romanian flags. At one point, a little girl approached the first lady holding her handprint cutout of the Ukrainian flag. Biden asked her to share his message, and a translator next to the girl said she said, “I want to go back to my dad.”
Biden sat down at a table to talk to a group of children who their teacher said were working on a drawing of what the world would look like without war.
The first ladies also had a listening session with educators and refugees.
Anastasia Konovalvoa, a teacher from Ukraine who fled to Romania in March, was among those who shared her story.
“I crossed the border with my 3-year-old son and all I thought about was how to save my child from a town that was bombed,” she said. “Thank God the Romanian people were here. I think even Romanians didn’t expect that they could be so wonderful because you don’t expect that from people.
“We are with you,” Biden told him. “I hope you know that,” later adding, “I think you guys are the most amazing, really.”
Biden also thanked Iohannis and said the Romanian people were “heroes.”
After the listening session, they went out where the students sang the Romanian national anthem followed by the song of the Ukrainian military march.
Biden is now heading to Slovakia.
This message also includes information from pool reports.