Yangon Animal Shelter
YAS has been busy this school year – hosting a movie night, participating in the annual ISY fun fair, and releasing new merchandise, featuring meticulously designed shirts. YAS was also very active outside of school boundaries by featuring in the Yangon zay, a fair for NGOs in Yangon. Thondari (G11), the student leader of this service learning group, remarked how this was “an opportunity for us to spread awareness not only to the students of ISY, but also to people outside of the school.” YAS also promoted itself through a professionally filmed documentary called “CANINE | The Stray Dog Issue of Yangon”, written and directed by Steven Ryder.
With help from teachers, YAS also created a monthly donation system which helps enable a stable income for the group. As an NGO taking care of 600 dogs in the shelter, the group has to constantly buy food, pay for electricity, and pay the workers at the Yangon Animal Shelter to keep it operating. However, fundraising activities and one time donations were not enough to cover all the costs. The group hopes that these donations from monthly donors will continue to help reduce the fundraising pressures needed to cover the costs of running the shelter.
On the strong foundation built this year, YAS is planning more exciting events for the future which are to be hosted once every two months. Activities include sports events such as dodgeball games, as well as participating in Yangon Zay again. This is because unfortunately due to Covid-19, not many people attended the Yangon Zay fair this year.
New merchandise is also pending to be released, including not only t-shirts, but also tote and drawstring bags. These carefully designed pieces from the talented artists in YAS will be released as soon as possible once school reopens.
YAS is open to new members who will bring fresh ideas and energy into this dedicated group. They meet every Friday during lunchtime in Ms. Just’s room.
Youth Action Aid
Youth Action Aid has also made powerful progress this school year that will be continued next year as well. The first major project YAA has been working on is the “Tees for Trees” campaign, where a tree will be planted for every sale of a t-shirt that the YAA students have designed. This project is in collaboration with an organization in Bago. This school year, the design of the t-shirt and printing has been completed, but sales have not taken place yet due to Covid-19.
Another one of YAA’s big projects is the School Project. The group intends to donate books, educational support, and engage in activities with children at a monastery school. There is an authentic need for easy-to-read English and science books, which YAA will try their best to collect and donate. Some prepared activities to do with the students in this monastery school include coloring, origami, and sports.
Jun (G10), YAA’s secretary, said, “Small fundraising projects like Valentine’s Day and Halloween treats were a great success as this was the second year we have been doing this.” These small projects helped raise funds necessary for the next steps YAA has to take. “As a secretary, I learned a lot of things developing and planning for the two big projects mentioned above. I am sad that the projects had to stop because of COVID-19, so I think the group should be more effective next year. When the projects end, it is only my personal thought, but I am thinking of opening an online mall for school.”
To anyone interested, YAA meets every Tuesday and is open to new members who will bring their enthusiasm and commitment to this group.