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Student Blog: My Experience of Charity at Surval

12 December 2018

Surval is proud to announce that it has raised CHF2666.70 towards various important charities this term, including CHF1650 towards Swiss Téléthon and CHF746 towards the Girl Child education fund Florence Nightingale International Council of Nurses.

The Charity Committee have already begun raising money towards next term’s Habitat for Humanity trip to Kenya, and the Sustainability Club have begun their fund-raising to support Protect Our Winters.

Surval Charity Committee Journal: Autumn

Susy (G11) outlines the many charity events run by the school’s Charity Committee tin the Autumn term, and reflects on the impact the experience of being part of the club has had on her personally…

Something that makes Surval unique is the concern that they have for every student and the importance that is placed on being charitable; each of us is taught to care about others and always be there for every single person. This is why generosity, in all its forms, is upheld as a major virtue inside the school; and the school’s Charity Committee is at the heart of this ethos. 

The Day of the Girl Child was one of the most impactful events we had this term, as we reinforced the idea that education is vital for all girls. During the event we had a presentation from the Varkey Foundation, which is a worldwide organization focused on improving the standards of education for underprivileged children. One of the activities we had on this day was an online conference with girls from all around the world. I was part of this online conference and it was amazing to see how our generation is so motivated in fighting for the rights women deserve. We also had a movie night that helped to raise funds for the Girl Child Education Fund, a nursing initiative for orphaned girls. 

There are many different opportunities for all the Surval students to help in the local community, such as the highly popular Carton du Coeur. Carton do Coeur takes place every Tuesday after school; we deliver several boxes of food (sometimes more than ten) to two local families in need. Several of the Surval students took part in the yearly Carton du Coeur collection, which is a big event in which the customers of supermarkets in the area are given flyers outlining the different food and household goods that some families are very much in need of; if the customer is willing to support the charity, they can buy and donate food to Carton du Coeur as they leave. The students of Surval were also very keen to support a recent event to raise money for next term’s Habitat for Humanity trip to Kenya – we offered a “Starbucks Collection” service one Friday afternoon, and this was very popular!

Additionally, charity is a key part of the Liberal Arts programme, which offers students who have finished their High School or A Level education the opportunity to learn French, Business and undertake Charity work. On Fridays the LA girls go to Vevey and help support the charity L’Ѐtape by giving food (provided by the Coop supermarket) to people in need. These people wait patiently for the volunteers to accommodate the food on the shelves and hand them out to them. Another charity event that the Liberal Arts girls find particularly moving is their regular afternoons with the residents of Le Byron, a home for retired people. The girls have been described as a “breath of fresh air” in the lives of these elderly Swiss people, and have fun doing activities together such as decorating cookies, singing and painting. One of the aspects that the Liberal Arts girls particularly appreciate about both L’Ѐtape and Le Byron is the opportunity it gives them to speak French with local people. 

Our final charity fundraiser of this term was in aid of ASRIMM – the “Association Suisse Romande Intervenant contre les Maladies neuro-Musculaires” – which is part of the Swiss Telethon. We had an extremely memorable and inspiring visit to ASRIMM; then, back at Surval, we raised funds for the Foundation by selling very cute stuffed hedgehogs. The money raised will go directly to ASRIMM, and will then be used either to support a family or towards research funds. The students of the Charity Committee took an active role in the organization and sale of the toys, and led an Assembly at the end of term to raise the whole school’s awareness of how their contributions will make a positive difference.

This term has been filled with Charity activities that are impactful both in terms of how they affect our lives, and the lives of those that we help. For me, my experience of being part of the Charity Committee is one of the aspects I will cherish the most from my time spent here in Surval: the fact that this school offers students a variety of activities to help those in need; that we as students are given a new perspective on the value of generosity; that when we return home, to wherever in the world we live, and to whatever the needs of our own communities, we will be able to use the skills learnt in Surval to help those who most desperately need it.