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Charity Begins at Home

Posted on: 11th December 2018 | Category: Cultural Trips, Surval Life

Susy (Grade 11, Mexico) outlines the many charity events run by Surval Charity Committee this 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 held 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 International Day of the Girl Child was one of the most compelling events of this term, as we reinforced the idea that education is vital for all girls. During the day we had a presentation from the Varkey Foundation, a worldwide organization focused on improving the standards of education for underprivileged children. Another activity that day was an online conference with girls from all around the world. I took part in this and was amazed to see how motivated our generation is in fighting for the rights women deserve. That night, we held a Movie Night 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 Cartons du Coeur. Taking place every Tuesday after school; Cartons du Coeur deliver boxes of food to local families in need. Several Surval students also took part in the yearly Cartons du Coeur collection, which is a big event receiving donations from customers of local supermarkets. Surval girls 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!

Charity is a key part of the Liberal Arts course (Surval’s pre-university gap programme). On Fridays the LA girls go to Vevey and help support the charity L'étape by giving food (provided by the Coop supermarket) to people in need. Another charity event that the LA 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'étape 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 the Association Suisse Romande Intervenant contre les Maladies neuro-Musculaires (ASRIMM) which is part of the Swiss Téléthon.  Following a memorable and inspiring visit to ASRIMM; we raised funds in school for the Foundation selling very cute stuffed hedgehog teddies. The money raised for ASRIMM will be used either to support a family or put towards research. The Charity Committee  organised the toy sale, and led an Assembly at the end of term to inform the school of how their contributions will make a positive difference.

This term has been filled with charity activities that have made a difference both in affecting our lives, and the lives of those we help. For me, my experience of being part of the Charity Committee is something I will cherish the most from my time spent here in Surval: the variety of activities offered to help those in need; the new perspective we have gained on the value of generosity; and 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 need it most.

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