What makes the projects so successful for both BIS and our community partners is that students don’t need to spend all their time fundraising, but are able to use their time getting to know children in the community and learning together - leading to friendships and a stronger connection with the partners.
We would not be able to focus on this aspect of service learning if it wasn’t for the incredible support of the PTG and parent community. Through fundraising events such as the Spring Fair and Christmas BISzaar the school community are able to fundraise so that we can support our community partners. This has had a huge impact on our holistic approach to Community Service and helps balance the programme.
This year, with the support from the Secondary PTG, we have organised for 10 children from Ky Quang Pagoda to receive football lessons from Rising Star Football Academy. Lessons have already started and the students have been training for the Rising Star Boys Tournament on 17th June. In collaboration with Rising Star Football Academy we aim to continue funding these lessons for Ky Quang next year, offering scholarship opportunities to select children opening a potential path to a future in football.
Thank you to Rising Star Football Academy for your support with this project and to everyone that donated money at the Christmas BISzaar!
The main focus for this year’s PTG support for community partners is sustainability and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 - Quality Education. Looking forward, we will continue to focus community service and fundraising on sustainability and look to promote a development mind-set instead of charity mind-set. We aim for our partners to become empowered by their experiences with our students as well as the opportunities we will try and give them through the PTG financial support.
BIS HCMC and Ky Quang Pagoda
Ky Quang Pagoda II is a pagoda hidden in the backstreets of Go Vap District - it takes 40 minutes by minibus from An Phu to get there. The pagoda provides a great deal to the surrounding community, some of the things that it includes are:
- A large and highly decorative pagoda providing ceremonies, festivals and spiritual support on a daily basis
- A free herbal medicine clinic opens to the public
- A school for over 100 under privileged children in the community run by retired, volunteer teachers
- An orphanage – for both disabled and able bodied children. Many of these children have been abandoned for many different reasons. Over time this orphanage has expanded and new buildings have been required
- Many of the children have grown up at the pagoda and are now young adults. Ky Quang (KQ) provides them with the support to find a job and integrate into society
- Carers are a mixture of parents, nuns and monks of the pagoda, as well as community volunteers
- Ky Quang provides to the best of their ability and with the resources they have available.
BIS have visited KQ over 15 times. The project was initially set up to support them upgrading their facilities and BIS students helped to paint 10 of their classrooms. Since then, BIS have continued to visit the pagoda once a term to spend time with the children. The sixth form Go Vap Committee work hard to organise these visits and the next one is scheduled for Saturday 16th June.
We truly value our partnership with Ky Quang and look forward to visiting them again soon!
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Clover Sharman, Community Service Project Manager