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It’s the season of giving

On Tuesday five secondary students and six primary students, who are all involved in the charity groups across our school, joined me in attending the opening of the new Huaxin Rehabilitation centre. BISS has had a long term relationship with the centre, which runs as a charity and supports physically and mentally handicapped children in Shanghai.

Giving Tree

As we can all appreciate, many people in Shanghai are far less fortunate than we are and centres like Huaxin exist to support these children and to offer hope and support to families who may otherwise have been left to struggle alone. Ellen Loasby, who is long-standing BISS parent and a wonderful lady and the link between our school and the centre, was able to explain to us that the money raised by students and families at BISS has enabled the centre to open move to a location next door to the Qingpu special needs school where it can offer much more support to some of the school’s most disadvantaged children. 

Whilst writing this blog I am also able to reflect on the impact that some of our other charitable events have had. A few weeks back, Janneke van de Griendt organized for giving tree bags to be sold, packed and sent to local migrant schools to ensure hundreds of children in Shanghai have warm clothes and a gift at Christmas; Alex Kolb and Irene Garcia have returned from Tanzania where students supported remote families by building goat sheds and supplying a goat, which will offer a constant source of milk, and also fitted solar panels on houses to offer a source of electricity. This may seem a small thing but in many cases, it means the families are no longer dependent on the sun to work or cook. Finally, we saw Ling Coong organize a wonderful but wet Christmas fair where the money raised for the Heart-2-Heart charity and the IndoStarfish Foundation will support some of Cambodia’s poorest children.

Giving Tree

I was extremely proud of the way our students continually rise to the challenge of supporting their fellow human beings. At a time of year where we are most likely going to be spending time with our families and sharing presents, it is important for us all to spare a thought for those who are not as fortunate and to consider how we can continue to support them. Feeling loved and safe is a very basic human instinct, and it costs very little to make this happen. I would urge everyone to take a bit of time over the next few weeks to discuss charity and supporting others with their children, the offer of hope may be the best gift of all for many this Christmas.