Social impact: how our students are building stronger communities-Social impact how our students are building stronger communities-Nord Anglia Education
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Nord Anglia
24 March, 2023

Social impact: how our students are building stronger communities

Social impact: how our students are building stronger communities-Social impact how our students are building stronger communities-Friends of Ukraine Chickens

 

Helping our students develop their sense of social purpose and citizenship stretches across all 81 of our schools around the world.

Every year Nord Anglia’s students spend thousands of hours working in their local communities tackling projects that address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

We’ve also created Nord Anglia’s Social Impact Fund so our students from around the world can bid for funding to make an even bigger difference with their community projects.

We’re closing in on $300,000 of grants awarded and we caught up with our incredible students from The British School Warsaw to find out how they’re putting their grant to work to help their community through the ‘Friends of Ukraine Project’. It’s a project that provides displaced families the support they need, in their hour of need.

Here’s what student project leaders — Louis, Anna, Mia, Livya and Kamila — and two of their teachers — Kevin Halpin and Laura McElhill — had to say.

 

How’s your social impact project changed since we last chatted?

“We’ve made massive progress. Our early work was entirely focussed on immediate help: giving families two good meals a day, helping them either settle in, or to move on to their next destination outside of Poland,” said Kevin.

 

Social impact: how our students are building stronger communities-Social impact how our students are building stronger communities 

Anna, a student leader who joined the school after leaving Ukraine with her family, said: “Now it’s all about helping families feel safer and happier in the community. I personally really wanted to keep making an impact so they feel welcomed and can set up their lives here.”

“A year later, we’ve adapted by setting up regular English and Polish language lessons for adults, and we’re providing things like art therapy and field trips,” Kevin added. “We’ve had summer camps, trips to theme parks and pumpkin farms, ice skating, and we’re even hosting an Easter Egg hunt soon.”

 

Social impact: how our students are building stronger communities-Social impact how our students are building stronger communities

The Friends of Ukraine: collecting donations and visiting a pumpkin farm.

What have you learned?

“We’ve really learned about empathy and finding ways to share happiness and positivity,” said student leader Mia.

“It’s all about learning to build partnerships and understanding — we’re building a community,” added their teacher Laura who has been supporting the project from the start.

“We’ve had to be creative as well,” said student Livya. “Whether that’s planning new activities, trying to grow our reach, or finding new ways to communicate with people who speak a different language.”

 

Social impact: how our students are building stronger communities-Social impact how our students are building stronger communities 

Christmas at TBSW, spent with families from the Friends of Ukraine project

 

Are there any new skills you’ve developed?

Louis, who handles the project’s finances, said: “Thanks to Nord Anglia's grant we now have more money to invest into the project, but we also have to make sure it’s spent properly and budgeted. So, really it's an educational experience for us too. It’s taught me loads about financial literacy, organisation, project management, and more.”

Showing how the project has built up their confidence he added: “I think you kind of just have to just get out there and do it without overthinking it, and you learn confidence as you go. Anyone can do it!”

And how have your teachers supported you?

“Their ideas and support have been so useful, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without them,” said Kamila. “We have a meeting every Tuesday with our teachers who help to share ideas and plan for the future. We’re all part of this project and their perspective is so helpful.”

 

Any advice to other students wanting to get involved in social outreach?

Social impact: how our students are building stronger communities-Social impact how our students are building stronger communities 

“Just do it! You don’t need special skills, and you don’t need to be super talented at one specific thing. Just come at it with 100% of your love and something small can quickly become something big,” said Anna.

“Social impact can bring happiness to both yourself and the people you work with — it’s so interesting and so fun to meet new people and to get involved.”

 

‘Friends of Ukraine’ from The British School Warsaw is just one student-led project from Nord Anglia's students. If you’d like to find out more about this year’s funded projects, read more here.