Chadwick International School, South Korea |

Philippines Service Learning

We are delighted to share a blog written by David Jung – Student Leader of PSL, a student at Chadwick International School who is part of a team delivering a Global Goals project for the 2018-19 Global Goals Competition.

Their project is among over 620 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community. 

A small change that others can’t see, but a big change that we can together feel

Project Overview

Our PSL group’s main objective is to support students in Labo, Camarines Norte, Philippines, especially students from Aniceta De Lara Pimental High School, Labo Science & Technology High School, and Labo National High School. The supervising teacher of this project is Ms.Rosanna, who inspired the students and started the PSL since she grew up in Labo.

On the first year of PSL trip to the Philippines, Labo, when we actually had the first chance to meet the students, we were sympathized by the effort they put into their academic life as a student even though they were surrounded by an extremely harsh environment. Most of the students came to school without breakfast, and some needed to walk for more than 10 kilometers to come to school passing through forests, not roads. And the school’s old and obsolete facilities were also a problem including the lack of books for students to read.

So as soon as we came back, PSL members cooperatively formed various kinds of projects each fulfilling prioritized needs for the students in Labo. So far, we are proceeding 4 initiatives.

  • Nutrition Program provides over 120 students in total with breakfast and lunch every day during the school year.
  • And as a part of the Facility Improvisation Program, we replaced old facilities that might be dangerous or disrupts education including blackboards, projectors, chairs, and desks. We are continuously communicating with the students and checking for further replacements.
  • The Reading Program built a library for students in Aniceta De Lara Pimental High School and provided them with over 500 books to read since books are an important source of information for students.
  • For students who are having a hard time walking a far distance every day to school, we supported them with a transportation fee so that they don’t need to undergo extreme hardship every day.

Lastly for better communication with students in Labo and to check the overall status of the initiatives, we are visiting Labo once every year and staying with them for a week.

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Our Journey

Participating in the GSL Competition was one of the major incidents in PSL members’ school year. And to write report documents and blogs to provide GSL about our progress, we needed to have more specific data and information about our work, which we didn’t actually do for the past 2 years. But by participating GSL, all of PSL members needed to try their best with assigned duties such as communication, finance, fundraising, initiative planning, initiative checking, stats recording, etc.

This improved not only with our cooperation and recording skills but also helped us to have a more strategic system, which made us possible to form a better quality of initiatives for students in Labo. While investing time working for PSL programs, we learned how important our small actions can be to the students in Labo, and how much can we change their lives. Through three trips for three years and actually meeting the students that we are supporting, we learned how to empathize with them, and to experience their lives.

We were so thankful that they together tried to work with us, and got the courage to do better together. There was already one big challenge to us in December of 2018. A huge flood stroke Labo which resulted in several casualties and submerged an entire village underwater. Not only because that some students that we were supporting was included among the flood victims, but because we had a close relationship between all of them, we supported fund ($1,000), clothes, tools, and building materials to recover the damage.

It was a dangerous incident that could risk their lives but we together overcame it. The biggest challenge that we are expecting to face is the consistency problem. Labo and PSL already have a 3-year relationship, and is trying to continue it afterward. However, there definitely will be years where we won’t have enough funds, and we can’t ensure that there won’t be any more disasters like the previous flood to Labo.

We are worried about the possibility that we might lose connection with them, and won’t be able to support them until they can stand by themselves. But we think we can overcome this hardship is by attention and interest of both PSL members and students in Labo. If we continue our relationship outside of the official side but personally throughout SNS, pay close attention to each other, and continue the trip every year, I believe there is no way that connection between each other can vanish.

The Next Chapter

As previously mentioned PSL group is trying to continue this great relationship with Labo community, and eventually help the students stand by themselves. Through constant and frequent communication, we will find out what support they need, and add new initiatives or improve on existing ones toward our goal.

For this, we are encouraging more students in our school to join our group, and replace the graduating students with new students.

I strongly recommend other people, even if it isn’t the students in our school, to get involved in this kind of project with a pure mindset.

The box is not set for them, and I think it doesn’t matter what they aim for, and what is it related to unless their purpose is to positively support them. It is because I know that even the action they do with the project is tiny, it will greatly influence the ones who are receiving help and make them feel a great impression. This can lead the ones who received the support to help other people when they grow up, making a positive cycle.

Find out more about our project by visiting our website https://sites.google.com/chadwickschool.org/philippinesservicelearning/

The 2018-19 GSL Global Goals Competition is now open and runs until June 2019. If you belong to one of the 700+ teams of students currently delivering a social action project as part of the competition we would love to hear from you and feature your blog and project photos on our website to inspire others.