Service Learning News

Service Learning Update: 29 May 2020

Share your Covid-19 Stories

We are extremely proud of everyone from the BSM community, who have been stepping up to help others at this time, particularly our students. Staff and parents have also been doing their bit. Please get in touch and let us know how you are helping. Here is just one of the amazing stories we’ve heard about recently:

Gymnastics and Food Relief

By Chiara Mijares, 10EWA

“As a competitive gymnast since I was 9 years old, I had devoted much of my after school hours to the sport over the past 5 years. In 2017, I represented Taguig in the NCR games upon which I was asked to be a Youth Sports Ambassador for Gymnastics to DepEd Taguig/Pateros. The role, as explained to me, was to be a role model as a student athlete for aspiring gymnasts; This would entail contributing my time to meet up and mentor students from Taguig’s public schools in the elementary and secondary division.

In 2019, I qualified again for a slot to compete in the NCR for Palaro Gymnastics competition and won a gold for the Bars event. After the competition, I coordinated with Mr. Tizon and Ms. Raymundo to present and help lead a workshop for conditioning/gymnastics. The goal was to offer clinics / workshops every few months. The first was held on May 27 at Rene Cayetano High School. In August, we held our second workshop at the BSM multipurpose gym. Two more were scheduled, one for end of March, and then for May, however, COVID-19 happened.

With the sudden onset of the pandemic, our scheduled gymnastics outreach workshops to public students had to be put on hold. My partner and I, at Flip It Forward, collaborated and switched gears to focus our time and energy to help the larger community. How did we get the idea to help out through relief bags? We had to think of a way to help without leaving home.

When it became evident that the next 2 quarterly sports clinics/gymnastics outreach had to be postponed because of the situation, we decided to use the funds geared for the workshops towards preparing relief packs instead. Additionally, with the approval of my mum, I used the money allotted for my own gymnastic training (since there hasn’t been training) to go towards the relief packs as well. 

With that, we were able to gather enough for 150 food bags.

Each food bag contains:

  • 3.5 kilos of rice
  • 2 packs of instant noodles
  • 2 small packs of bear brand fortified milk
  • 4 packs of canned goods
  • Mongo beans
  • 4 pieces instant coffee sachets

Because of the logistical hurdle posed by the quarantine – that people below 20 years old are not allowed out of the house, we could not deliver the relief bags ourselves. But, we were able to team up with the Ortoll Family who took care of organizing logistics; they were able to arrange for representatives of groups who would be able to pick up the bags and deliver our relief care packs to Pasay, to the people who live near the cemetery.”

Thank you Chiara for all your hard work. This is a truly inspiring story. 

KS4: Support to NTFP-EP Philippines

Over the past few years, Key Stage 4 students have put on an annual “Haunted Maze”, to raise money for a variety of service learning partners. Last year, the students were able to support the installation of an irrigation system at Chosen Children’s Village (CCV), which is enabling the residents to have a sustainable source of food. This year, the students have chosen to support NTFP-EP Philippines (Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme), a network strengthening the capacity of forest-based communities. 

The funds will go towards “Katutubo Kontra Covid-19”, a programme launched by NTFP-EP to support families suffering during the Covid-19 lockdown, unable to sell their products and therefore unable to buy food or other necessities. The Haunted Maze team have managed to donate Php 100,000 to support communities in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato and in Sierra Madre. The money has been used to supply food packs for families; to procure farm tools and seeds; and to support families producing facemasks for sale.

We are very proud of the students who have identified the organisations, liaised with them, and chosen to support communities across the Philippines. Particular thanks to Chelsea Uy and Seve Reyes. Well done.

Year 1: Jumble Sale Proceeds

In the past month, the proceeds from the jumble sale (held by Year 1 on 6 March) have provided much needed support to a number of organisations. We are extremely honoured to have been able to extend our reach to support a larger number of families across Metro Manila struggling to survive the current crisis:

  1. Php 30,000 was donated to the Year 1 service learning partner, Tahanan Ng Pagmamahal Children’s Home (TNPCH), to help buy food and essential items for the children living at the home.
  2. Php 10,000 was donated to TONDonation Drive, set up to support the residents of Barangay 105, Happyland, following the fire on 18 April.
  3. Php 10,000 was donated to Zero Hunger PH, a youth led movement set up to help 10,000 families across Luzon during ECQ. This drive targets families of those most affected by the “no work, no pay” directive, including labourers, construction workers and garbage collectors as well as farmers, senior citizens and people with disabilities.
  4. Php 8,350 to Pasay Pups, an organisation working with the community living amongst the graves of Sarhento Mariano Cemetery. Pasay Pups are providing regular food distributions to the 225 families who are unable to work due to lockdown.

Thank you to Nathalie dela Rosa from the Year 1 team for coordinating these much needed donations.

Class Kitty Donations

A big thank you to the Parent Representatives across Primary who have agreed with the parents in their year groups to donate the excess Class Kitty from SY19-20. The funds are being donated to support the Service Learning partners we work with, and the BSM frontliners (through the Staff Welfare Fund). These contributions are much appreciated, and will go a long way to support those struggling at the moment.

BSM Red Cross Youth Council: Minecraft Build Battle – Saturday 6 June

Please remember to register for the Red Cross Minecraft Build Battle on Saturday 6 June at 2pm. For a small donation (minimum Php 150) towards PPE equipment for health care workers, you get a chance to be creative, play Minecraft, and you stand to win Php 1000 of ice-cream (sponsored by Carousel Creamery)!

Please register at: Red Cross Minecraft Battle Registration Form. And for more details, here are: The Rules! If you have any questions, please contact Martin Cheong or Alyanna Sia of the BSM Red Cross Youth Council. We look forward to hearing about your creative responses, and who has won the coveted title!

Senior Service Learning Initiatives

Our two senior school service learning representatives, Yasmeen Go and Isabella Agustin, have been busy during lockdown, working with the student service learning reps across senior school to identify the best way to support our BSM Service Learning Partners at this time. Students have been hard at work preparing videos of support to send to our partners, and are reaching out to find out how we can help them. Even though we cannot provide direct support, we are striving to maintain these important relationships. Yasmeen and Isabella have also prepared a useful infographic to guide us all in how to help our frontliners right now.

Emma Denton

BSM Service Learning Coordinator

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