A Friend In Need

Students become role models and leaders when they help those in need

As Head of our school Council, it’s my duty to regularly meet with a small group of children and discuss ways in which we, as a school, can improve and get better. With a representative from each class, we share ideas and make realistic suggestions, which I then relay to our leadership team. As members of the School Council, our children feel compelled to help others, raise standards throughout our school and represent themselves and us in the best way possible. This responsibility brings maturity to our students, who strive to be role models for their peers.

Our school recently aligned itself with Friends for Street Children (FFSC), a non-profit organization based here in Ho Chi Minh City. The charity strives to help homeless and displaced children gain a better education, access to health care and social integration. In supporting Friends for Street Children, our children have gained a sense of charity and a better understanding of how we can help those in need. In the classroom, we consistently focus on personal learning goals during our International Primary Curriculum lessons, goals such as respect, integrity and resilience. In fund raising and donating to charity, this venture has given us an opportunity to demonstrate these values in the wider world.

At the beginning of April, our school held an event called the Saigon Roller Dash. Putting a spin on our more traditional family fun/open days, we advertised for families to attend our school and bring along any form of wheeled transport that they might have. Bicycles, rollerblades and skateboards were all present and we used our school grounds to provide live music, games, food stalls and refreshments. The sales from tickets and stalls generated a fantastic amount of just over VND45 million— the entire amount went to FFSC.

In the following weeks, the School Council then met to consider how we thought the money could be used. The children displayed an incredible maturity and thoughtfulness during the process, enquiring about tuition fees, clothing, educational toys and books, before then coming up with a range of ideas on how we could raise even more money and continue to support the charity in the future. We also met with Ms. An, a representative from FFSC. After introducing the charity to the whole school through an assembly and presentation, Ms. An then helped the School Council gain a better understanding of the work that the charity does on a day-to-day basis and how it helps individuals in need. Before leaving, members of our School Council presented Ms. An with a check for the money we had raised. We were thrilled to then learn that the money will go towards supporting 10 children on their scholarship integration to Grade 6 program and the remainder towards the charity’s school building project.

Looking forward, we are keen to maintain this relationship and continue to raise money through different fund raising events and initiatives, and establish our link with and support for Friends for Street Children.

BIOWarren is the Year 1 teacher at Saigon Star International School.

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