Our community projects are not designed to just raise money; the goal is to develop students’ sense of social responsibility, towards other people and the environment. They learn that they can have the biggest impact on our community projects by spending their most precious resources: time and energy. Students are encouraged to develop their skills and understanding of community throughout their time here, right from the Early Years Stage and all the way to the Sixth Form.
The longest running community relationship we have is with Thien Phuoc Foster Home for Disabled Children. We first became aware of Thien Phuoc in 2007, when a teacher at BIS HCMC was looking for an organisation to support. Thien Phuoc is a residential centre that provides healthcare, rehabilitation and education for children with Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome. Back in 2007, Thien Phuoc was located inside a small residential house that helped around 40 children. Since it’s renovation in 2010, it houses over 60 children in need.
Initially, our relationship with Thien Phuoc was initiated as a way for students to increase their understanding of disabilities, as well as teaching them to not shy away from people who are different. It was the first project of it’s kind at BIS HCMC, but it has become the template for many of our other initiatives across the whole school.
As the relationship between BIS HCMC and Thien Phuoc grew, we found areas where students, teachers and our Parent Teacher Group (PTG) could become more involved with sustainable, meaningful projects. For example, developing the centre itself by creating a teaching room, supplying it with resources as well as paying for emergency repairs to the rain damaged roof.
We now have a cross campus programme involving both primary and secondary students who spend their time with the children at Thien Phuoc, as well as the long term financial support that comes from our PTG.
We run voluntary clubs so that students can visit the children at Thien Phuoc and help out at the centre. Fantastically, we have seen the numbers of students participating increase steadily over the years.
It is because of this long standing relationship and because of the relentless dedication of our community department that we have been shortlisted for a British International School Award.
Later this month, Clover Sharman, our Community Service Manager, will attend the formal awards ceremony in London and will face a nervous wait along with our fellow shortlisted schools!
“I’m so happy that BIS HCMC has been shortlisted for the Community Initiative of the Year Award. With the help of our staff and parents, the community work has continued to grow and we have been able to provide many Community Service opportunities for students across the whole school. As a community team we are overjoyed that the community work the students do has been acknowledged and that we have been shortlisted for this prestigious award. I am looking forward to finding out who has won. However, whether we win the award or not, to be shortlisted is a great achievement for everyone!” Clover Sharman
We wish Ms. Sharman and the rest of the community team the best of luck in London, and congratulate everyone that has contributed to the Thien Phuoc community project on ten years of important work. Looking forward to the next ten!
Lucy Glynn, Online Marketing Officer