Written by: Hayley Chu, Y12 student
From a young age, we are all taught the lesson of giving to others, but YCIS takes this a step further; the concept of charity is literally in the motto, “Yew Chung will align with Love and Charity.” Community and Service (CAS) is a core part of the curriculum, with a requirement of 10 CAS hours per semester. There are various CAS opportunities available to students, from volunteering at school events to tutoring younger students. IB students have to undertake one Community, Activity & Service (CAS) project, which could include organising the MAD Run or running a CCA.
However, opportunities aren’t confined to the classroom walls; Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) and Seeds of Hope trips allow students to demonstrate love and charity in many ways, like assisting at a pregnancy clinic in the Philippines, volunteering at a primary school in Anhui, or doing construction work in Thailand.
My most memorable experience would have to be participating in a feeding scheme in a rural village in the Philippines. The locals were living in tiny shacks, walking on dirt ground in flip-flops… It was the first time I was experiencing poverty with my own eyes, and to say it was eye-opening would be an understatement. Yet, when these people were living under such drastic conditions, I was surprised by how optimistic they were, with the children greeting us playfully and the adults inviting us to their homes. After all the porridge was distributed, we played games with the children, whose smiles and laughter I will never forget. Not only did I become fully aware of how fortunate and privileged I was to live in a comfortable home, the knowledge that I had brought happiness to a child’s day and nourishment for a hungry family was what made the experience immensely meaningful.
In the classroom, we’re encouraged to devote time for charitable activities, and it is through venturing out of the classroom to the real world that we begin to appreciate and understand the importance of charity, not just to make a difference for those in need, but to learn about the global community around us today.