We consider out community service program as an integral part of the School’s globally focused philosophy. The goal of community service at the Australian International School is to foster a sense of responsibility as members of the community. As responsible citizens, students will develop character and integrity through voluntary actions to help the community around them. They will establish a clear connection to their school, local community and abroad.
As well as responding to Ad Hoc requests for assistance, AIS has a number of long-term relationships with community projects both in Singapore and in South East Asia.
Elementary School Projects
Primary Action Group
The CCA Primary Action Group aims to empower students to look for and take action on global and local issues they feel are important to their community. Primary students participating in the Action group CCA spend their Monday lunchtimes working towards creating positive student action in the Primary school. Students have inquired into what ‘action’ means to them and effective ways they can take action at AIS. The Action group leads other students at AIS in taking action for themselves and be a student group who want to make their school community a better place. The students meet regularly, make plans, and take action!
The Student action group feels action at AIS looks like:
- Raising awareness on issues or concerns at AIS
- Being a helping hand, helping students in need
- Raising awareness of issues at AIS
- A student group that can make a difference at AIS
The Action group developed the ‘Helping Hand yard friends’. Students from the Action group went into the yard and actively looked for students that may need support. This support could be playing in the yard with students, helping new students feel welcomed, helping students that are hurt or unwell get to the nurse.
Elementary World Assistance for Cambodia
The AIS Read-a-thon is run throughout classes in the Elementary school. Money raised from the Read-a-thon is donated to the charity World assistance for Cambodia to construct a rural school in Cambodia complete with desks, chairs and blackboards. Through generous donations AIS give children of the rural poor areas of Cambodia opportunities for a better education. The construction of the building will be funded through the read-a-thon and it will be staffed by the Cambodian Ministry of Education. The school will be built on land donated by the surrounding villages. The construction of the school typically takes between three to eight months depending on weather conditions. Once the school is completed, it is presented to the village and classes begin immediately. The school will be recognized by the Cambodian government as a state school which is staffed by official state teachers who teach the curriculum set by the Cambodian Ministry of Education. The school then becomes self-sustainable and does not require further funding from AIS.
As the AIS Elementary Read-a-thon promoted and encouraged student’s reading funds are quickly raised. From individual’s generous donations throughout the Elementary school a rural school in Cambodia is constructed. AIS students helping other less fortunate students have allowed the children of the rural poor areas of Cambodia to have an opportunity for the chance of an education.
Year 3 Zoo Camp
The action component of the Year 3 Sharing the Planet inquiry saw the student’s enthusiastically encouraging responsible usage, management and distribution of resources and caring for the environment around the world. Students make an active choice to care for and make a difference to the earth. Student-initiated action took on many different forms, such as turning off the faucet when brushing his/her teeth, collecting litter on the playground, recycling paper or turning off the lights in the classroom. A wonderful example of Student Action in Year 3 is a paper free day at school.
Year 4 Buku Kawan
As part of the Year 4 Community and Service action students are asked to purchase a picture book to donate to a student of S.K. Kangkar Pulai 1. The students then become Buku (book) Kawan (friends) of a student at S.K. Kangkar Pulai 1. On the last day of the annual Year 4 camp the books are read and presented to the S.K. Kangkar Pulai 1 students. Students also play AIS sports with their buddies at the camp and then donate the equipment to the school.
Year 5 Exhibition Action
After weeks of hard work and determination by each student under the guidance of their teacher and mentor students individually present their understanding of the topic and the concept they chose to focus on, to parents and the school community. As part of the final year of the PYP program, students are undertaking a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry that involves them identifying, investigating and offering solutions to real-life issues or problems. As the culminating experience of the PYP, the students demonstrate how they can take action as a result of their learning.
National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) – Singapore and Abroad
Students at AIS have been involved with the NYAA scheme for over 10 years.
The aim of the NYAA Scheme is to encourage young people between the ages of 14 and 25 years to develop personal qualities of self-reliance, perseverance and a sense of responsibility to themselves and society. The criteria for an award are those of self-improvement and effort. The participant is judged on personal achievement measured against original circumstances and potential capabilities. This allows for the less able and disadvantaged to participate on an equal opportunity basis.
There are three levels of the Award – Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each level requires a greater degree of commitment and determination. Each participant has until his or her 25th birthday to complete this program.
For further information regarding the National Youth Achievement Award Scheme please refer to www.nya.org.
AWWA (Asian Women Welfare Association) - Singapore
The Asian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA) has developed a program for disabled students called SMILES; this stands for: Students Meet for Interaction Learning & Enrichment Services. This very special program allows disabled children to participate in physical and coordinated activities. AIS students help organise and support the modified sports as well as assisting with activities such as games, crafts and homework help with the children. This co-curricular activity is an opportunity for our students to gain an understanding of children with intellectual and physical disabilities and their needs and to enrich the lives of others and help make a difference. As one student said, “It makes the children happy to have us play with them, but we leave with the biggest smile.”
For further information regarding the Asian Women Welfare Association please refer to(www.awwa.org.sg).
Tabitha House Building Team - Cambodia
Year 10 students have the opportunity to join the Cambodia House Building Team. The students work throughout the year to raise the money to build houses and then selected students travel to Cambodia to assist in their construction in villages selected by The Tabitha Foundation.
This is a rewarding and challenging CCA that requires a year-long commitment. Students travel to Cambodia for a week, and as well as building houses they will have the opportunity to visit S21 and the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh and a local orphanage, so gaining an understanding of Cambodian history and culture.
2013 is the 14th year that AIS has been involved in offering this experience for students. It is an opportunity to work as a team and give something back to communities in need and make a difference in the world today.
For further information regarding the Tabitha Foundation please refer to www.tabithasingapore.com.
Kim Bang Social Centre - Vietnam
AIS has been supporting the work of the Kim Bang Social Centre, in Ha Nam province since 2009. The Social Centre is the home to children who for a variety of reasons have no one to care for them.
This support involves the entire Year 8 cohort, who fundraise during the first term of the school year, and then visit the Social Centre to distribute the considerable funds they have managed to raise.By partnering with the Social Centre, AIS students learn just how powerful student action can be.
For the majority of their week-long stay in Vietnam, the students provide maintenance assistance at the Social Centre while also spending time with the young residence who live there. Activities include mending paths, tending the vegetable gardens and building walls.
Riding for the Disabled - Singapore
The Riding for the Disabled Association of Singapore provides free, therapeutic horse riding lessons to children and adults with disabilities from all over Singapore. AIS students participate with this project as leaders or side walkers for disabled students as they undertake therapy sessions on horseback.
For further information regarding Riding for the Disabled please refer to www.rdasingapore.org.
Sail Vega - Indonesia
Vessel Vega was built in the late 19th century and is now used to transport education, medical, farming and other necessary supplies to small island communities in South East Indonesia, many of which have been abandoned by their own government after civil wars and natural disasters.
Sail Vega harnesses people with the spirit and means to help others less fortunate than they are, and depends entirely on a network of sponsors and friends to provide what is needed to improve the standard of living in these communities.
AIS has been raising awareness, funds (through school-based fundraising activities) and supplies for the Sail Vega Project since 2012 and hopes to visit some of the communities supported by Sail Vega in the near future.
For further information regarding Sail Vega please refer to www.sailvega.com.
Schools 4 Schools - Nepal
Initiated in 2007, the Nepal Schools for Schools program is a long-term project which encourages community and service understanding and fund-raising for needy schools in Nepal.
Students involved are given the opportunity to trek for a week in Nepal in order to work with the students and staff in the project schools. Throughout the year, various initiatives are set up by students to further the partnerships between AIS and our Nepal project schools and to raise funds for the schools.
To date, AIS' support has built a library, a dormitory for teaching staff and several classrooms. The project has also helped to fund teachers’ salaries, classroom resources and computers. In addition, funds raised by AIS students made completion of a hydroelectricity project possible, providing electricity to four schools and over 40 homes in a remote region of Nepal.