Project India – Altruism and Service Learning

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Project India is an initiative by the students of Greenfield Community School who are studying the IB Career-related Programme.

During the 2 year course they complete a mandatory ‘core’ component of Service Learning, which learning provides opportunities for students to understand their capacity to make a meaningful contribution to their community and society.  Through service learning, students develop and apply academic knowledge, personal skills and social skills in real-life situations involving decision-making, problem-solving, initiative, responsibility and accountability for their actions.

Service learning benefits all involved — students as they continue developing skills and knowledge applied to real-life situations, and the community itself through reciprocal collaboration.  Service learning also fosters the development of abilities, attitudes and values in accordance with the IB mission statement and the IB learner profile.

The Grade 12 students at Greenfield Community School began Project India in 2016 when they linked with the Embrace Children’s Home in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.  The link was formed with Ms Mona Massey, a KG teacher at GCS as her parents had started the Children’s Home to support local children and to create a secure and stable home life for them.  In addition, the children would receive education there to help them when they left.  The Grade 12 students began by collecting educational materials, books, toys, games, etc which were sent over to India.  Phase 2 of the project was to go to India as part of their Service Learning course and also their work placement programme to assist where needed.

One of the tasks during the time spent at the Embrace Children’s Home was to decorate the girls’ dormitory in a theme of their choice.  The GCS team were happy to oblige! Within 3 days the room was totally repainted with a decorative Indian city skyline in hues of bright blue.  The girls were delighted with their new bedroom.

It was also lovely for the students to spend time with the children and play games with them.  It can be said that the true meaning of gratitude is the opportunity to be of service and help other people — so when our students noted the children’s lovely, happy smiling faces it reminded them exactly why they came to help.

Finally, on the last day, there was some time left to relax and enjoy the last day at the famous Taj Mahal —  what an incredible sight to see!

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GCS students enjoying the beauty of the Taj Mahal

This was a wonderful experience where the GCS students learnt many new skills during the project, and that by helping others, they could make a real difference to their lives. We are now planning for Project India 2019 as the intention is to make this a sustainable project to help these children.

Mr Mike Worth, IBCP Coordinator, who organised the Project India trip was assisted by Ms Emma Holmes, Head of Art, whose creative ideas and skills helped bring the decoration projects from concept to reality.  Most of all, they wish to express their thanks and gratitude to all the Grade 12 IBCP students for their tireless efforts, enthusiasm and commitment to the project.

 

 

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