As the 2019-2020 school year comes to an end, service learning groups are celebrating their achievements from this year and beginning to plan and prepare for the next school year. Global prepared a series of short articles for the next few weeks outlining the visions and future plans that each service learning group has. Perhaps this will inspire you to become interested and involved with one or more of these groups.
United World Schools
Beginning with this year’s success in completing the construction of the Wan Kaung School and experiencing a trip there, the UWS group’s future plans involve coming up with practical solutions for the villagers.
Naddy (G10), one of the student members of the UWS group, told Global that the villagers there already had good facilities, such as a water filter that someone donated to them, but they did not know how to use it, because they were never told how. “We realized that next time if we were to give them something, we need to explain what it is used for and how they can use it, not just ‘dumping’ a bunch of stuff to them,” added Naddy. With this valuable piece of information that they learned during the trip to Wan Kaung Village, the UWS group intends to share with the villagers the ways to use tools that may be unfamiliar to them over the course of future trips.
In alignment with this, UWS is also planning to provide the villagers with more approaches to health and well-being. Since the nearest hospital that they have access to is a two-hour car ride away, being able to administer first-aid is essential. Although they are equipped with simple first-aid tools, most villagers are not knowledgeable about their proper methods of administration. “We have to always remember that Wan Kaung is a village where most are not properly educated,” Naddy reminded. She also emphasized that helping the villagers should start by interacting with them and listening to their authentic needs and wants.
To make this vision come true, the UWS group is considering annual trips to the Wan Kaung Village School, even twice a year―once in the beginning and once at the end of the school year―so the close partnerships between one another can be maintained.
Meanwhile, the UWS group is trying to apply several students as the official UWS Ambassadors who will be working with the leaders of the UWS headquarters. The Student Ambassadors will be provided with leadership training and several other benefits from different workshops.
The UWS group meets every Monday during lunch in Mr. Sturmey’s room (D101). Contact Ms. Leonardis, Mr. Sturmey, or Mr. Davis for more information.
One of the new service learning groups this 2019-2020 school year is Chinthe Roar, ISY’s multimedia project. Their work has changed the way daily announcements are delivered, and you may have seen one of Chinthe Roar’s videos displayed on the TV screens in the hallways. Global interviewed Mahatav (G10), one of the student leaders of this group. He stated that the idea behind Chinthe Roar was to get rid of the usual “excel sheets with the announcements which were pretty boring” and instead create “a website and post weekly videos to keep students updated in a more effective way.” Mahatav explained how the team put in a lot of time and effort into creating this website, which he says is their greatest achievement this year.
Chinthe Roar does not only deliver announcements but also creates videos for service groups and even school trips. They have filmed for various events including the International Women’s Day speech by a guest speaker for Girl Up as well as this year’s Alice in Wonderland theatre production. The team is currently working on editing footage from the Mangroves Week Without Walls trip which took place in December 2019. Watch the trailer here.
When asked about future plans, Mahatav said “We have a lot of ideas that still need to be transformed into goals. Of course, we’re going to keep on making videos, but we have a lot of other things behind the scenes that we can’t really reveal just yet. We are looking forward to talking with Ms. Powers and Dr. Hedger about our ideas and suggestions to make Chinthe Roar better than ever before. At the moment, we’re really just exploring it all.”
This service group is looking for new members who are passionate about videography, editing, producing music, website design, and anyone else with lots of ideas! Chinthe Roar meets every Wednesday at lunch in Mr. Fraser’s room (SAS 411E).
Doh Eain plans to collaborate with Yvonne and Richie (G11) in the upcoming 2020-2021 school year to remodel the Peace Garden. Whereas the two seniors are more geared towards remodeling the space to make it look more like a “Japanese stone garden” such as through paving pathways, cutting down or removing trees, and breaking ground. Doh Eain will be responsible for the more decorative aspect. The team plans to rearrange the structure of the Peace Garden itself, and buy tables, chairs, bean bags, and fun life-sized games to make it more inviting and comfortable for students to do homework or just spend time with their friends there. The team is also looking for ways to fix the sewage system near the area and provide wifi access.
This decision to focus efforts on the Peace Garden for the Doh Eain team came after a Google form was sent out to all secondary students. The team was notified that students did not want to use the Peace Garden due to its unpleasant smell, inconvenient location, lack of comfortable seats, and overall general lack of other people going there.
The Doh Eain team meets every Monday during lunch in Mr. Isom’s room. It is unsure whether the meeting time will change when school opens for next year, but Mr. Isom can be contacted for more information.
Microloans is a service-learning group dedicated to loaning businesses in Myanmar small sums of money at no interest and has great plans for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.
Due to this recent COVID-19 situation, many businesses in Myanmar have suffered financially and Microloans hopes to be there to help these businesses in this time of need. Global interviewed Crystal Huang (G10), one of the leaders of Microloans, about their vision for Microloans for the next school year. She said that Microloans hopes to be a “helpful force to the community as they reach out to the underprivileged, especially during this unprecedented time of crisis.”
In addition, during the 2020-21 school year, Microloans will also start advertising their group on Facebook and other social media websites to reach more people and businesses all around Myanmar. This is to expand from just loaning out to family and friends of Microloan members to have more of an impact on the community.
However, Microloans will be doing more than just loaning out money. There will also be “projects” continued from the previous years, where devices such as solar panels and water filtration systems are being loaned out to various communities in Myanmar that have difficulty accessing clean water, electricity, etc.
While Microloans focused a lot on fundraising in the 2019-20 school year, as can be seen by the various bake sales and events hosted by them, in this upcoming school year, they will be using the money made from the fundraisers to loan out to any businesses in need.
The Microloans group meets every Thursday at lunch in Mr. Grace’s room and is looking for members that are passionate about having an effect on the community around us and helping people out during a time when we are all struggling. If you are interested in joining this service group, contact Mr. Grace, Eric (11), Crystal, Erica, or Roselene (10) for more information.
Please stay tuned to the next edition of Global for more celebrations of success and future plans of ISY’s awesome range of Service Learning ASAs!