Service in Action Symposium

SAI International School conducted a virtual Service in Action Symposium which was a innovative Community Service Initiative being organised collaboratively by ten Round Square School of the South Asia Region. This Virtual event took place on May 6 2021, with keynote speaker Shri Sujit Mohapatra, Founder Bakul Foundation, India. The event event hosted 390 participants from 46 schools joining us from 11 countries including India, Japan, Columbia, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Armenia, Jordan, Argentina, Hong Kong and South Africa. During the month of April each school completed their acts of service with school members. All the projects had a big impact in their communities. Participants including the students and beneficiaries would have been anywhere from 5,000 – 6,000. 

Community Service is well integrated into the Round Square ethos. Service work can be done individually or in collaboration with a group of people with the goal of benefiting others. You usually choose to work in an area that is in close proximity to where you live thus benefiting your own community. It provides no monetary gain, people volunteer their time and resources without selfish motives. It is an opportunity to give back to society and garner a sense of being one with the community while championing a cause. “Service in Action” is an innovative Community Service Initiative (CSI) being launched by the South Asia and the Gulf Region of Round Square that has involved Round Square schools globally to step up their service in local communities. This event not only covered Service (IDEALS) but also touch on Internationalism, Environmental Stewardship and Leadership depending on the type of service activity/activities selected and undertaken by the participating school.

Shri Sujit Mohapatra, Founder Bakul Foundation, India was the Keynote Speaker. His talk focused on Volunteerism and why it should always be in the forefront of a happy life and even career if you so choose. Volunteering improves not only the communities in which one serves, but also the life of the individual who is providing help to the community. Volunteering can provide a healthy boost in self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. Doing good for others and the community provides a natural sense of accomplishment and a sense of pride and identity. Thus building this ever important resilience and developing a coping mechanism of one’s own. COVID – 19 has put the world in quite a predicament, presenting unheard of challenges and precipitating mental health issues. Resilience has become the buzzword in coping with these difficult and stressful times.  Participating in community service improves the quality of life and health including longevity of those who donate their time.

Round Square schools stepped up their service activities over the month of April culminating in a virtual conference during the first week of May. Participating schools had the opportunity to showcase their completed CSI project and learn how to envision, create and implement a community service initiative under the Do, Make, Fix, Host, Teach, Donate and Volunteer platforms. Service Activities took on a whole new picture, with a focus on the virtual instead of in person. Challenging all normal perspectives of what community service looked like in the past,  forcing students to think of new and creative acts of service that can be done via the virtual mode.

Types of Service Activities: All service activities fall under the following types. Virtual service projects are preferred. listed below is a small explanation and some examples of service activities that can be done, your challenge is how to make them virtual. 

‘Do it’ Baraza was lead by Chittagong Grammar School, Bangladesh. Baraza Leaders – Shadman Sahil & Nusaibah Hossain.

Some of these take a few minutes, and others a bit longer, but they all help out in some way or the other. Especially try pitching in to do tasks for neighbors who can’t do them themselves, like folks who are ill, elderly, or busy with work or childcare. All of the following service types also fall under this category. ‘Do it’ means to do something for someone, literally anything. Examples: feed the animals near your home, clean up a common area in your apartment complex, organise a sports activity for the underprivileged kids in your area, help a grandparent or neighbour in the use of a smartphone or the computer. 

Please take a look at some of the submitted project in this In the “Do it” Baraza: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1XHdXX3iMSCT3Z84hbf4bGgcdWALVLEt-?usp=sharing

‘Make it’ Baraza was lead by Amman Baccalaureate School, Jordan. Baraza Leaders – Nadine Sabanegh & Jon Arianit Shehu.

There’s something special about receiving a handmade gift, and we’re sure there are plenty of people and places that would really appreciate it. Make and send items to folks at elderly care facilities, family shelters, or hospitals to make their days a little brighter. example: make reusable masks for an orphanage,  bake cookies and snacks for food pantries, write letters to seniors in care facilities, make quilts or blankets for kids in hospitals, build birdhouses for your neighbors or community area, design a community mural, put together first aid kits for local schools, produce a community newsletter.

Please take a look at some of the submitted project in this In the “Make it” Baraza: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1zX8TDgct1wDOUDXyrsKndG_hvlie0Ja4?usp=sharing

‘Fix it’ Baraza was lead by Maria’s Public School, Assam. Baraza Leaders – Aishani Parashar & Iffat Ikram.

If you see a problem in your community, consider doing something about it! Sometimes the best service we can give to the places we love is to take care of them. Examples : start a little free library, clean up your local park, beautify your area with seed bombs, help a neighbour or community org to paint fence or building, spruce up a run-down playground, offer to patch up clothes and stuffed toys, organize books at the library, ‘Give IT’ help to local adults.

Please take a look at some of the submitted project in this In the “Fix it” Baraza: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/13cdAI__S2fXXcgqtAT3jUWVGyrKRAWzn?usp=sharing

‘Host it’ Baraza was lead by Cadet College Hasan Abdal, Pakistan. Baraza Leaders – Muhammad Ahmed & Aymal Aziz Khan.

Here’s your chance to flex your event-planning muscles and put on something that will bring folks together. After all, the only thing better than community service is doing it with friends. Examples: host a bake sale, host a clothing swap, host a holiday meal, host activities for kids in hospitals. host a study group, host a gardening party, host a competitive book drive, host an online fundraiser, run an advocacy campaign on the need for vaccination.

Please take a look at some of the submitted project in this In the “Host it” Baraza: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/199flxol_qzIXQlA_Ua1HPHMNuAahsFnU?usp=sharing

‘Teach it’ Baraza was by SAI International School, India. Baraza Leaders – Orissa Patnaik & Rishita Misra.

Everyone has something that they are talented at, so why not share those skills with others? Examples: Help kids with their homework, teach safe social media practices by running an online campaign, give free music lessons, coach a youth sports team, teach adults in your life internet skills, organise a seminar on driving safety, teach CPR (after getting certified), help English language learners practice with conversation, teach people how to register to vote.

Please take a look at some of the submitted project in this In the “Teach it ” Baraza: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Vqq8voEfVpS39O8RHULAiRusUoxs6Sq_?usp=sharing

‘Donate’ Baraza was lead by Singapore International School, India. Baraza Leaders – Serena Jalan & Amulya Jairajan. 

If you look around your community, you’ll probably find at least a few places that accept donations; like food pantries, family shelters, and schools, just to name a few. Examples of things you can collect to donate: school supplies, backpacks, non-perishable food items, hygiene products, masks, stuffed animals, footballs, books and masks (COVID- 19). 

Please take a look at some of the submitted project in this In the “Donate” Baraza: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1k0q5orus3tlE4KbOaXzhgjsDX2sVr6IR?usp=sharing

‘Volunteer’ Baraza was hosted by Shirakatsy Lyceum, Armania. Baraza Leaders – Anna Mkrtchyan & Elen Khachikyan.

Volunteering, the best thing about it is that you can do it just about anywhere (even online!), so hopefully this gets you thinking. Examples: volunteer at your local library, volunteer to chaperone a field trip, volunteer with a local nonprofit, volunteer at an animal shelter, volunteer to do social media for a local NGO, volunteer to help set up a community event, volunteer at a food pantry, volunteer to organise the waste segregation in your community.

Please take a look at some of the submitted project in this In the “Volunteer” Baraza: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1PzjeQYiAWGs3hd-mzO2A7LP_ur10lx7o?usp=sharing

The event was the Brainchild of the Going Global Club of SAI International School. We would like to also thank the club members who Anchored, Hem Doshi, Sneha Sucharita Palei, Ankita, Siddhi & Aksheeta Chopdar. 

Our gratitude to all our partners. This event is a collaborative effort and can only be completed with the active contributions of the following Round Square schools:

@roundsquare #roundsquare #serviceinaction

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