Service, which is part of CAS, involves interaction, such as the building of links with individuals or groups in the community. The community can be the school, the local district, or it may be at the national or international level. ISS is committed to giving students the opportunity to get out of their comfort zone and become seriously involved in serving the less fortunate in Singapore and other places in the world.
Service activities do not only involve doing things for others, but also doing things with others and developing a real commitment with them. The relationship should show respect for the dignity and self-respect of others. There should be prior communication and full consultation with the community or individual concerned. The service provided should be appropriate and you should be able to understand the consequences of what you are doing.
A service activity must provide you with the opportunity to learn. It must be voluntary and unpaid.
Community and Service activities students of ISS are currently involved in
iGlocal Group - Group formed to raise awareness of the plight of disadvantaged communities here in Singapore.
Blue Dragon - Charity organization in Vietnam to help street kids get off the street.
DSA (Down Syndrome Association)
Kidsread - Students read stories to children and do activities to assist in reading comprehension.
Math Computer tuition - Students assist in computer based games to help develop math and computer skills
Habitats for Humanity - Students are working on fundraising in order to build houses in Bangladesh.
RDA - Students assist in therapeutic horseriding to the disabled in Singapore
Roots and Shoots- The Roots & Shoots program is about making positive change happen—for our communities, for animals and for the environment.
Global Issues Network Conference
Congratulations to all of the Global Issues Network Conference participants for representing ISS exceptionally well and for doing a fantastic job during their presentation at the GINC at International School Manila. Shasha Baharim, Brittany Ngo, Erika Terrones-Shibuya, Natalie Hayworth, Rebecca Stearns, Samantha Liew and Sinead Bolt were all excellent ambassadors of the ISS community.
Their presentation about the work of ISS students with H.O.M.E., the Down Syndrome Association and Sin Ming Senior Activity Center went very well. They were confident and articulated our involvement with these organizations with compassion, concern and authenticity.
They conducted themselves very well during the Student Workshops, Sustainable Action Plan Workshops, Keynote Speeches and the off-campus ICare trips. They made many new friends and truly "networked" with students from all over South East Asia. They were so effective in collaborating with other students during their Sustainable Action Plan Workshops that some of them were honored with an unexpected opportunity.
None of us were informed before the conference that 20 students would be selected by their peers to have a chance to be a part of an online course called SPROUT. Each Sustainable Action Plan group chose one student who they felt would most likely carryout the plans that were developed during their workshops. On completion of the Sprout e-course all Sprout alumni will be eligible to apply for 20 Fellowships with seed grants of $1000 US each. There were approximately 400 students at this conference. ISS took 7 students. Guess how many of our students were chosen by their groups?
4 of our students were chosen! Congratulations to Brittany Ngo, Erika Terrones-Shibuya, Rebecca Stearns and Sinead Bolt for being among the 20 students who will have the chance to apply for a $1,000 grant. The students in their SAP groups selected them to be responsible for carrying out their action plans. Considering the fact that some schools took 18 students to the conference, this really shows the quality of students at ISS. Parents, faculty members and our entire school community should be very, very proud of this incredible, unsolicited honor.
Additionally, at the close of the conference, United World College South East Asia and the Singapore American School went on stage to advertise the next GINC which will be held here in Singapore November 9, 10 and 11, 2012. At the end of their presentation SAS showed a video to promote the service learning trips that would comprise the upcoming conference. Guess who was in the video? Brittnay Ngo, Samantha Liew and Wenyi Wei were up on the big screen. They happened to be with SAS for some of their excursions with the visually handicapped and SAS included them in their video. So it was a big day for ISS.
Thanks to Mr Toni Nash for allowing us to be excused for this trip and to Nick Wild for arranging cover for our classes. Thanks also to Mrs. McCarthy for all of her participation but especially for leaving her baby for 4 days.
Mr. Wesley Whitehead
Community and Service being done by the students and Teachers over summer and holidays
Personal Project takes student to Cambodia to work at orphanage
Jing Ting Cheah, a grade 10 IB MYP student, travelled with her family to visit the Working For Children Orphanage in Siem Reap, Cambodia from December 18 to December 24, 2011. Her trip was apart of her MYP Personal Project. Before she went to the orphanage she organized students and conducted fundraising activities to raise money for the orphanage. Her hard work and effort paid of as she was able to raise S$5,000. Below is the video she produced summarizing her involvement at the orphanage during her trip. Throughout this project Jing Ting has definitely demonstrated several aspects of the learner profile such as caring, being a risk-taker, open mindedness and being principled. Her involvement is also an excellent example of applying the principles of the MYP Area of Interaction “Community & Service.”
Middle School Students Purchase Water Tank in Cambodia
In May last year the Middle School students wanted to participate in the charity event “Run for Water.” When we found out that only a minimal amount of the entry fee for the run went to the charity, we contacted the charity; Lien Aid; directly to arrange our own sponsored walk in school. Thus we were able to give all of the funds raised directly to the charity and raised sufficient funds for one large water tank in Cambodia. The charity representatives came into school and did a presentation about the villages where the tanks would be going and now that the tanks have arrived, they have stenciled ISS' name on the side.
Lien Aid is a locally established, non-governmental organization that seeks to build a firm foundation for human development by making safe water and sanitation accessible and affordable to poor communities in Asia. Lien Aid has just received a prestigious award for their efforts in providing sanitised water in China.
Community Service @ Tiong Bahru!
The people living within the small one-room apartments of Tiong Bahru, lead lives that are not only a far cry from ours, but are also generally far from our everyday thoughts. Aged men and women, having been neglected by their families, while their days away in isolation, and single mothers work lengthy shifts, leaving their children to fend for themselves in and around the neighbourhood. The lack of positive influence in their lives lead young men to turn to lives of crime, and the girls to fall into the same cycle of teenage pregnancy that their mothers did. In this way, dreams become tarnished, and lives fall into the cracks of society.
It is a cause that has become impressed upon our hearts, and we feel challenged to help these people in any small way that we can. We were lucky enough to have been put into contact with the people of Evercare, through Ms England. They are a charitable society run from a small office at the bottom of a block of apartments in the centre of Tiong Bahruh. Through them, we hope to rally groups of ISS students to run activities for the children of the area, such as soccer tournaments and Easter egg hunts, or possibly arts and craft activities with the elderly.
So far, we have been able to raise funds for these activities through bake sales and free dress days in school. In addition, we set up a stall at the ISS PTA fair at the elementary school, painting children’s faces, and organizing jars of candy for people to win by guessing the correct amount within them. We plan for any excess of funds that we raise to go to support the food hampers that Evercare give to the less privileged families and individuals in the area.
Tiong Bahruh is an area very close to our school campus, which reminds us of the reality of the world we live in. Our lives are so privileged by comparison, and this initiative will allow us the opportunity to step out of our comfort zones and create an impact somewhere so foreign and unfamiliar, yet so close to home. We hope that our students, in volunteering to help out, will not only fulfill service hours and learning outcomes, but also form relationships, and develop empathy for others, that will encourage them to look outside of their own lives, to a society where other lives can be touched in some way.
iGlocal – Thinking globally, acting locally!
Back in December 2009 ISS was invited to participate in an initiative set up by Anthony Skillicorn, Head of Global Projects at the United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA), the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre and the Lien Centre for Social Innovation.
The purpose of the initiative was to raise awareness of the plight of disadvantaged communities here in Singapore and to encourage local schools to identify opportunities to set up support programmes for those communities. The iGlocal pilot project was going to be started off with a small number of schools, representing a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds. After a rigorous selection process where the Lien Centre for Social Innovation ‘vetted’ over 160 schools in Singapore, ISS, together with Dunman High, St. Hilda's Secondary, St. Anthony's Canossian Secondary, NorthLight School and Global Indian International School was chosen to take part in this pilot project... more
ISS Students Engage with Neighbors in Need!
As expatriates in Singapore, it is easy for us to think that all Singaporeans are wealthy and privileged because that is what we see around us most of the time. However, as last year’s economic crisis lingers, there is a growing population of Singaporeans who are living in poverty and are becoming less and less able to meet their basic monthly needs. The Evercare Welfare Center is a small volunteer-run organization that seeks to help those in the Tiong Bahru area who need either short or long-term assistance, and students from ISS recently helped out on two of Evercare’s projects. Over the weekend of January 22 and 23, a dozen eager ISS volunteers participated in a community awareness campaign that began with a public forum and ended with a home makeover project for residents of Tiong Bahru’s low income housing units.
Tiong Bahru is only minutes away from the ISS High School campus, but how many of us have actually taken the time to visit this historic and vibrant community? How many of us have ever actually been inside a low-income housing unit there? Yes, these are difficult places to visit, as they are small, dark and airless, and they feel a world away from our cool and bright condominiums and shopping malls. However, there are many in Singapore who have no other choice but to live in low-income housing, and they have made these places their homes. As we scrubbed and dusted and scraped and painted these homes last weekend, we sang songs and shared food with the residents, came to learn about their families and previous careers, and grew to understand a small amount of their daily struggles. Our visit felt not like charity but like community.
The IB programme endeavours to instill in all its students a sense of community and action as well as an awareness of their surroundings. Engaging our students with meaningful interaction and service in our most immediate community is vital if they are to understand the many facets and faces of Singapore. The Evercare Welfare Centre offers our students, parents and teachers an opportunity to contribute to a local community in great need, not just of financial assistance but of time, care, communication and respect. Our students modeled all of these as they worked last weekend, and they did our school proud.
ISS plans to continue its work with the Evercare Welfare Center through awareness activities, volunteer work and fundraising. If this is something you would like to know more about or get involved in, you are most welcome to join us! Please contact ISS HS Teacher Jacyntha England (email@example.com) for more information.
Mr. and Mrs. Walker’s First Visit to Cambodia
Instead of handing out money or candy, the Walker’s had a backpack full of school supplies to give out. The Walker's children, Maria and Julia filled small ziploc bags with coloured markers, pencils, erasers and sharpeners prior to leaving for Cambodia. As the Cambodian children ran up to The Walker's to sell their wares, they handed them the little bags of treasure. The smiles and appreciation can be seen on the faces of these young children. The Walker’s trip to Phnom Phenh included a trip to the Tabitha Foundation to help support the great work that this organization
Mr. Boeyink visits Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Mr. Boeyink visited the Friendship Centre, which provides assistance to less fortunate kids. The facility is crowded and in need of upgrades to serve the 250 underprivileged women and children who are in danger of becoming victims of abuse and/or trafficking. The children suffer from lack of care, poor hygiene and malnutrition resulting in poor general health, stunted growth and tooth decay. Mr. Boeyink’s family is trying to raise money to build a new center. The new centre will provide shelter, daycare for the little ones and lessons, such as English and self defense. For more information, contact Mr. Boeyink.
Panchaya teaches students at the Bangkok School for the Blind My first intention was to teach English to the students. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that they were in the middle of exam time this week. So when I went to the place there were hardly any students to teach. I ended up being put to take care of the kindergarten kids instead. Five of them were gathering around me. Some wanted to draw pictures or even color some drawings (although they couldn’t see). You might wonder how they did it and you’ve got to come and see for yourself. They didn’t actually ‘draw’ anything in particular. What they did was just holding the color pencils and began to randomly drag it around all over the paper. It felt pretty good to spend my time doing something meaningful to others. Those kids were pretty happy to have people coming to play with them. They called out my name and asked if I was going to come and back visit them again.
Jacob Stunz visits a Primary school and builds a school library in Kenya This summer I went to Nanyuki, Kenya to a village school called Endana Primary School. This is found way out in the depths of the Kenya plains where Mt. Kenya is also visible. There, a group of many talents from the U.S. teamed up to build a library where the children could go and read books with their own pleasure. In doing this, we created long lasting relationships with the people of Kenya and also with each other. All the work it took to raise the money to fly thousands of miles away was absolutely paid off. I came with a lot of materialism, but I left with an even bigger since of wholeness... almost as if I had been given more than I could ever possibly give. Kenyans, on average, may not have a lot of physical things such as money or expensive objects, but they are so rich in mind. This taught me how I should think and live and how much I actually take for granted each day; such as food and water and clothing and even a simple roof over my head. Information about the organization that sponsored his trip can be found at 410bridge.com
I went back to Taiwan for two months in the summer vacation. My father brought me to the Home for the Aged where my grandmother lives, asking me to service the aged people. I took great pleasure in helping them, I had a great time with them, some of them are mentally deficient and inactive. I was inspired that if they can keep living their own lives so well, so can I. I was inspired to treasure my life and make hay while the sun shines.
During this summer I stayed in Singapore because my mom was not feeling well to travel. So I stayed home and helped her with the chores. Because I was rather bored, I decided to practice some of my soccer skills as I had signed up for the girls soccer team for G-11. I also searched for some CAS programs that I could do for next year such as theatre productions outside of school. However most of them had an age limit consisting of mostly 18-25, so I had to give up on that idea, for now. During my time at home I took care of my mom as her health was deteriorating. While nursing her to health, I had realized how difficult it must be for a single person to take care of the families needs when they have poor health conditions. This gave me an idea for what I wanted to do for CAS; perhaps help an old person clean up their house or help them with chores that they have difficulty doing. I planned to carry out this activity when school reopens sometime during the year.
In my previous school, every year the grade 10s had to do some sort of community service within the country. In the beginning of June, my homeroom class focused on helping orphanages. Therefore we visited an orphanage and brought rations such as food, clothes, and stationery. As the orphans were very young, we were able to entertain them with musical instruments and small games.
Melinnie Angela, Zen Dang, Kenneth Lim, Melvin Ng and Cinta Nuanza received the KidsRead Star Award at the KidsREAD Volunteer Appreciation Day on August 1st. They received special recognition for their service to children at the Down’s Syndrome Association. Their positive attitudes and consistent commitment were highly commended by the people they worked with. Thanks for representing ISS well.