We Care, We Share
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. (Mahatma Ghandi)
B.I.S. leads student trips to less economically developed countries, like Thailand, and fully supports street children in Mbale, Uganda, to show students how they can have a positive influence on the lives of other people, by promoting sustainable development.
In the yearly humanitarian trip to Thailand, the School does not make hefty donations to local charitable organizations. Rather, a team of student volunteers works alongside local people in service projects which directly benefit the community and especially, the local children.
By contributing to a worthwhile cause, B.I.S. hopes its students have a meaningful experience and build a spirit of friendship and solidarity that goes beyond the boundaries of politics, religion, race, and geography.
This trip also helps the students become more independent and self-reliant: they have to learn and understand a unknown culture and the rules of living in a small community by cooking for themselves, washing their own clothes and adapting to a new and challenging environment.
For further information, please contact the co-ordinator, Uta Hollweg at uta.hollweg@ berlin-international-school.de
B.I.S. aims to foster in students more caring and socially responsible attitudes towards the school community as well as the local, national and world communities.
‘In today’s highly interdependent world, individuals and nations can no longer resolve many of their problems by themselves. We need one another. We must therefore develop a sense of universal responsibility… It is our collective and individual responsibility to protect and nurture the global family, to support its weaker members, and to tend to the environment in which we all live.’ (Oxfam’s Education for Global Citizenship)
Teaching our students to become global citizens means we want our students to:
- be aware of the wider world and have a sense of their own role as a world citizen,
- be respectful and value diversity,
- have an understanding of how the world works,
- be outraged by social injustice,
- participate in the community at a range of levels from the local to the global,
- be willing to act to make the world a more equitable and sustainable place,
- take responsibility for their actions.
All of this underpins our school’s mission and our beliefs in the IB Learner Profile.
Engaging in community service allows Berlin International School students to learn about the needs in their world and the ways they can help to fulfill them. Service provides students with an opportunity to "give back" to the world a measure of the "gifts" they have been given.
Caring stems from service and nurtures within students a compassion for those less fortunate and a concern for the quality of their environment. When this caring becomes a "habit of the heart," students begin to feel the satisfaction of having made a positive difference in their world. They also recognize the influence they can have in their local and international communities in relieving suffering and in securing a good quality of life for others and, ultimately, for themselves.
The gateway to helping our community starts with our youngest students as they support different charitable events and organizations during the year. The students take part in the whole school support efforts for the street children in Uganda and Thailand, earthquake victims in Haiti, children cancer patients in Berlin, etc.
Local area elders are treated to a winter holiday concert of instrumental and choral music.
Seeking to become more engaged in addressing global issues, high school students have partnered with the School for Life in Khao Lak, Thailand. Funds raised in 2011/12 and 2012/13 supported street children in Uganda and Thailand as well as the annual weeklong visit of street children from Uganda to our school.