Service-learning is a key pillar of the #ASHexperience and includes our global service trips to Thailand, Tanzania, and Nepal. These week-long trips take place each February and are part of a year-long program. One important aspect for each group in preparation for their particular service trip is to host fundraisers to raise money in support of the work they will be doing in the countries they visit. We spoke with Lindsey and Lucy, who are preparing to travel to Tanzania and Thailand, respectively, to find out more about their fundraisers and how these help communities abroad.
What is the purpose of your fundraiser and how does it support your program?
Lindsey: For the Tanzania trip, we organize two team fundraisers per year. We start with our annual raffle basket fundraiser and then the second group fundraiser is up to the team to decide on. In the past, there have been bake sales, movie nights, service-based fundraisers, etc. (So watch this space for what’s coming up!)
Lucy: There are two large fundraisers that all those going on the Thailand service trip participate in together. The first is the Thanksgiving pie fundraiser, where we all bake pies and sell them to the ASH community. The second is a team effort with the ASH swim team, where the Thailand program tallies the laps that swimmers do. The swimmers all find sponsors so the more laps that are swum the more money that is raised. We also host other events such as bake sales during ASH events like the recent high musical, and at parent-teacher conferences. These bake sales are generally the most popular method of fundraising as most students enjoy baking and the interaction with the ASH community. Personally, I raise money through tutoring students and a job at the local grocery store.
What does the money you fundraise go towards?
Lindsey: The money we fundraise goes directly to our budget for the work we do down in Tanzania. As a team, we must decide what we would like to get done based on what the needs are for the International School of Moshi. With that, the money is sent to Tanzania and used for construction supplies and other appliances that we will need to achieve our goals.
Lucy: Each student in the Thailand Service Program raises a minimum of €300 and this money goes towards supporting the nursery at the FED (Foundation for Education and Development) school in Thailand. The FED school is set up for Burmese migrants that have left Myanmar to escape oppression from the government. The money raised provides the nursery with meals during school hours for an entire year. The money we fundraise with the swim team goes towards supporting the teachers at the FED school.
How do you help the communities you visit on service trips?
Lindsey: When it comes to fundraising specifically, the money is used in any way we can to improve the learning conditions for the students there. Our aim and hope are to create a brighter future for them; this starts with the quality of their education and the resources that are available to them. As a result, we help to improve both of these aspects, by not only constructing a comfortable and productive learning space but creating lesson plans for the students and teachers as well.
Lucy: Donating the money we fundraise to the FED school helps their community of Burmese migrants, as we are supporting the school’s development. Additionally, every year we bring donated items such as sports equipment and books to allow the school to provide a wider range of experiences to its students. Lastly, we connect with the students and adults of the community through exchanging knowledge and experiences. We build relationships with the people there and spread awareness to the ASH community about the hardships faced by Burmese migrants in Thailand.
Why do you like being involved in the global service trips?
Lindsey: I believe we have a global responsibility to give back to those who are not as fortunate as we are and being involved in the service trip is an incredible opportunity to make meaningful change. Also, once you get involved in this area of service, you have the chance to create a deeper awareness of the lives people are living in other parts of the world and that, to me, is the greatest sense of empathy. It is something I value and something that I am happy I get the opportunity to contribute to with the team of people who I share that with.
Lucy: This is my third year returning to the Thailand Service program. I keep coming back to it mainly because of the people involved. I love connecting with students of my age that live in a very different reality than I do. I’m happy when I see how eager they are to share about themselves and how much they appreciate it when students from ASH come to visit them to bond and learn about their culture.
University preparatory program for ages 3-18. Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges - Commission on International Education (NEASC-CIE), following the personalized ACE Learning pathway of NEASC-CIE.