Jul 042018
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July 2018

We would like to thank the St Chris, and wider Bahrain communities, for their help in supporting another fantastic academic year of Service events at St Christopher’s School. We pride ourselves on educating Global Citizens, and are delighted to see this value consistently and enthusiastically encouraged by all members of the school community, to benefit a growing number of causes.

Our Community Service teams, led by Ellie Dawson (Primary School), and Anne Looker (Senior School), have overseen an outstanding number of student, staff and parent initiatives, both in Bahrain and worldwide. And as we approach the end of this academic year, we would like to sincerely thank our all our families for their ongoing support, and voice our appreciation for the dedication everyone has shown while working together to help build sustainable futures for people and causes across the world.

In Bahrain, donations have facilitated the purchase of medical equipment for the children’s oncology ward at Salmaniya hospital, every-day food and practical items for migrant workers, and toys and collections for children in need. Initiatives have also been supported causes in kind, through voluntary time spent with children at local orphanages, sharing special St Chris events with disabled children from other schools (such as the much loved Teddy bear’s picnic), and arranging activities to recognise and appreciate people’s efforts during World Kindness Day (in fact, our Junior school have their very own ‘Kindness Club’ to recognise and thank people for their kind acts throughout the year!).

St Christopher’s School children are being encouraged to ‘Be the change they want to see’, and act as ‘Ambassadors of the Earth’. In the School’s mission to be recognised as an Eco School, we support a growing number of environmental initiatives, such as annual community clean-ups at Asry Beach and the Tree of Life. A competition was also held to design the first ever St Chris School ‘Bag for Life’, which as well as being a Green initiative in itself, all proceeds received through sales are used to support the work of Reef Arabia to re-build the marine infrastructure around the Kingdom (https://www.facebook.com/ReefArabia/).

Internationally, we are proud to have partnered with “United World Schools”, a UK based charity, to initiate and develop three sustainable schools in Cambodia and Nepal. A project which began in 2013, St Christopher’s now partners with Ka Narng Ket in Cambodia, and Gurase and Helu Besi in Nepal, to provide a safe and sustainable future for children who previously had limited or no access to formal education. Funds are used for materials and labour, building work, toilet facilities and classroom resources, as well as costs of teacher training and salaries (http://www.unitedworldschools.org/).

Our parent community have also supported the School’s Service Mission. In 2015, the ‘Helping Hands Charity Breakfast’, initiated by Aniseh Vadiee and Nancy Assi, hoped to raise funds to gift our Security Team with a Ramadhan bonus, in recognition of their dedication to keeping our children safe. In its fourth year, thanks to the generosity of the St-Chris community, the initiative was able to extend support to a number of beneficiaries across the Kingdom: Children and Mother Welfare Society, Hope Institute for Special Education, Prince Sultan Bin A.Aziz Al Saud Hearing and Speech, Al Rahma Society for Disabled Care, Al Sanabel Orphan Care Society, Ministry of Health (supporting the purchase of medical equipment), Child Wish Society, and Isa Town Charity Society.

It is heart-warming to see so many independent and team initiatives support so many worthy causes. Thanks to the generosity of our community, Service activities throughout the school have seen over BD 47,200 donated to support causes. Some of the initiatives have been listed below:

Further details of St Christopher’s School Community Service Initiatives during the Academic Year 2017/18:

ChrisMUN (St Chris Model United Nations raised funds which were split between UWS Nepal and Bahrain Down’s Syndrome Society); Tree of Life Community Clean-Up; Tony the Dogfather Food Drive (www.tonythedogfather.com/); Support Staff Day Out (School Cleaners, caretakers and gardeners are treated to an all-expenses paid fun day out, which includes a trip to the cinema, dinner, visits to tourist attractions, and shopping – all chosen by the attendees); United World Schools (Girl on the Ground – St Chris Alumna Ellie Wilson spent the last few months supporting the initiative in Cambodia); Food Revolution Day (money raised supported the Support Staff Day Out); Year 6 St Chris Award (numerous independent student initiatives to support local charities); World Down Syndrome Awareness Day (Challenge 21 – many challenges taken up to raise awareness and funds for Down Syndrome awareness worldwide https://worlddownsyndromeday.org/), Year 6 Service Day Fun Run; Global Citizen’s Day (donations received were gifted to School in A Bag (http://www.schoolinabag.org/); United World Schools; and Feed The Need (http://feedtheneedbahrain.com/), Year 3 Cleaner’s Wellbeing (collections received to gift to the School cleaning staff as thanks for their hard work), Reception Backpack Appeal (the Reception children filled backpacks to gift to the school support staff during the Support Staff Day Out), Asry Beach Community Clean-Up; ‘St-Chris Cheer’ (a new initiative ehich saw students creating 200 boxes of gifts, which were donated to children at Saar orphanage); Nursery Teddy Bear’s Picnic (children invited from RIA and the School for the Blind); Year 2 Show, The Mousehole Cat (collection which was donated to the Mission for Seafarers); Festive Fayre (The Year 6 St Chris Award children ran a stall, selling pre-loved toys and books, raising money for United World Schools; The Senior School also ran a stall filled with clothing and accessories from Thailand, to raise money ahead of their Community Service Trip to Thailand); Nursery and Year 1 Sponsored Walk (Money raised supports local families whose children are being treated at the Salmaniya Oncology Unit); Fundraising via cake sales to support the school cats (neutering and de-worming); Movie Magic (Junior school event to support UWS); Charity Swimming Gala (With special thanks to the Vrijhof family for hosting ‘Sport for Nepal’ to raise funds for UWS); The Reception children took part in Animal Hullabaloo Day to support animal welfare here in Bahrain (http://www.bspca.org/); Think Pink (many student, teacher and parent led initiatives! http://www.thinkpinkbahrain.com/); Box Appeal (in partnership with the Diplomat Hotel, to provide useful items to be donated to migrant workers, https://www.facebook.com/TheBoxAppeal/); Harvest & Zakat Assemblies (Children donated non-perishable food items); Feed the Need (Tutor groups took it in turns to visit local Feed the Need fridges weekly, and fill them with non-perishable food items they had collected to support the cause); Puerto Rico Hurricane and Earthquake response; The sponsored Thailand Walk (staff and students walked 27 km walk across Arad Bay. All students agreed to walk at least 9 km each, representing the average daily distance students have to travel to and from school in Thailand – to truly experience what it was like to ‘walk in the shoes’ of others); Rucksack Challenge (staff and students collected well over 140 bags filled with useful items, which were then distributed to migrant workers in Bahrain); and finally, Anae Dreyer shaved off all of her hair to raise money for the Home Project which is a charity that helps unaccompanied Syrian refugee minors in Greece! Finally, we have been so proud to see an impressive number of smaller initiatives hosted at school events throughout the year, including Crazy Hair Day and Pyjama Day (students donated money to local charities, and were rewarded with an opportunity to come to school with crazy Hair or in Pyjamas!), Year 1 Cantata (donations collected for local charities), World Book Day Pre-Loved Book Sale; The Bahrain Marathon Relay; and World Kindness Day.