Giving Back to the Community with CAS
Last week, many well-known Beijing based NGOs and other non-profit organisations attended our Yew Chung International School of Beijing’s annual CAS Fair. The goal of the Fair is to provide students with meaningful and impactful opportunities and a chance for them to get involved in areas such as Creativity, Activity and Service within our School and the Beijing wider community.
Qualifying for the IB Diploma relies on a variety of factors and requirements, but primarily being immersed in a holistic learning environment, which our School extensively promotes. This means that students are required to engage in CAS activities not only to achieve the prestigious IB Diploma but also the YCIS Beijing Diploma.
The main purpose of the CAS fair is to encourage students to volunteer and give back to the community. “We try to invite as many NGOs as we can” said Prachi Gupta, IB Diploma Programme Coordinator. The School only chooses NGOs who are open to providing opportunities for students to become volunteers. “Some of these NGOs have worked with our School for many years and they recruit students for voluntary work.” She added. Volunteerism brings awareness to students on what is happening in the world around them, a crucial element in developing character, one of our School’s core principles.
Present at the fair were NGOs such as Educating Rural Girls in China, Roundabout and the Yale Club which have given our students many opportunities in the past to get directly involved, not only by spreading awareness but also allowing students to contribute positively with their ideas and have an impact on the organisation itself and subsequently to community.
“Another example of a good partner is the Migrants Children Foundation, where our students have had the opportunity to teach younger children.” Prachi explained: “We look for this kind of opportunities where as we want our students to interact and connect as well in the community” she ended. Roots and Shoots was also present at the fair, a long term partner, whose mission, in line with our in-school efforts, is to encourage adopting a greener and sustainable lifestyle with a focus on nature conservation.
Student run activities
Amongst the many student-run activities, one of the most relevant is certainly is the “30 Hour Famine” taking place on 22nd and 23rd November. 30 Hour Famine is a voluntary campaign that seeks to raise awareness around world hunger. Year 12 and 13 students volunteer to take part in this 30 hour fast where they only consume water and get involved in team building activities on campus. “Students will raise funds and they will get sponsorships for really not eating for 30 hours.” The World Vision team will then be invited to collect the funds which will go towards curtailing the effects of world hunger in countries affected.
Students can also contribute towards their CAS requirements in other ways. One of them is to volunteer to offer Chinese language lessons to new teachers or support in peer education by tutoring junior pupils in different school subjects. The Elf, our upcoming School Musical in December, has also offered students the opportunity to fulfil their CAS requirements by getting involved and supporting this creative event with stage designing, technical skills or becoming an active role in the play.
The ultimate mission of YCIS Beijing is to raise leaders who aspire for a better world. Selina and Minky are the perfect example of how getting involved can inspire students to opt for community focused careers, with both choosing to become an animal activist and teacher, respectively after their involvement in CAS.