Social Responsibility and Charity
Every member of the Shrewsbury International School community recognises the responsibilities that we have to care for each other and for those with fewer life opportunities than ourselves. At Shrewsbury we support charity partners at a local and national levels.
Our partnerships operate on three main tiers:
- Financial - Students, staff and parents regularly contribute their time to help raise money to fund specific projects that our charity partners have identified as priorities for their beneficiaries.
- Non-Financial - Students, staff and parents work together to purchase or donate essential products that people in the local community are currently living without, and that would make a huge difference to the quality of their lives.
- Outreach – Students and staff volunteer their time and their skills to our charity partners, strengthening their organizations and reaching out to their beneficiaries.
In addition to our ongoing support, we also have an ‘emergency fund’, ensuring we are poised to react quickly and confidently to International Disasters. We have previously funded humanitarian responses to regional disasters including the Nepal Earthquake and the Philippines Typhoon.
- The Mercy Centre in Bangkok
- The Hub in Bangkok
- The Good Shepherd (Sister Louise) in Bangkok
- Operation Smile
- The Thai Muslim School
- Wat Khai School
Mercy Centre is a shelter for street kids, five orphanages, a hospice, a home for mothers and children with HIV/AIDS, a 400-pupil kindergarten, a community meeting place, and a serene haven in the slums with small gardens and playgrounds. Originally built on a former Buddhist Temple site on port authority property, Mercy Centre has stood in some shape or form for nearly 40 years. In 2000, it was rebuilt through a generous gift to accommodate expanded services to orphans, street children, and children with HIV/AIDS.
Shrewsbury’s financial donations have helped to support the running costs of the 22 different schools that the Mercy Centre manages across Bangkok, and to keep to keep 200 students supported in these Schools.
Based on the philosophy that all children and young adults should have the opportunity to learn as a basic right, The Hub functions as a unique youth service offering education opportunities, youth case-work and a ‘Skills for Living’ programme.
In 2017, Shrewsbury donated 325,000 THB to help fund a ‘food-truck’ element of their Youth Enterprise Programme, which provides budding businessmen and women with a platform to develop their ideas and skills to build a career and create employment opportunities for themselves.
Alongside this food-truck initiative, Shrewsbury children have been visiting The Hub to teach English to the young adults who run the food-truck so that they can communicate better with the tourists who buy the smoothies and pizzas from their truck, and also to be able to attend more events with more confidence. For example, recently, The Hub children set up their food-truck at the Bangkok Edge festival and were able to speak a lot more English to the myriad tourists who attended it!
Comments from students at The Hub:
Namo, aged 20: ‘I´m so very happy to learn English with the children together’.
Sprite, aged 21: ‘I am always very happy after English at The Hub’.
Dah, aged 19: ‘I can use the English I learn on the food-truck. I really enjoy the lessons, especially winning sweets and key-rings!’.
Working in the slums of Bangkok, the Good Shepherds provide Residential Care Services (allowing vulnerable girls from all over Thailand to pursue their studies and take opportunities to learn further income-generating skills such as hairdressing, computer and dressmaking) and Day Care Centres (providing education, health care and nutritional meals for children whose parents work all day and other small children from poor families in the neighbourhood, who are at risk).
Recent financial donations from Shrewsbury facilitated a new kitchen in the Mother and Baby home, and repair of the drain pipes that were causing parts of the centre to become flooded.
Nearly 100 Children in the care of Sister Louise come to Shrewsbury every week to learn outside of their own environment. The Year 9 and 10 students teach them to swim and learn English, respectively. This is a wonderful and enriching experience for both the Sister Louise children and our pupils.
Teachers from Shrewsbury have also initiated a Teacher Training programme for the teachers who work at the Sister Louise Foundation. So far we have been focusing on developing their classrooms to try and give the pupils more ownership, supported with the teaching of Mathematics by sharing good practice and have given ideas for fun and engaging activities for younger pupils. The teachers from Sister Louise have also visited Shrewsbury to observe teachers and have taken away lots of ideas to develop their own teaching. We hope this continues to grow so that we can provide more support for more of the Sister Louise teaching staff.
CCD is an organization which aims to transform the lives of disabled children in Thailand with the strong conviction that every disabled child matters and should have the opportunity to reach their full potential. CCD has been working with disabled children for nearly 30 years, and provides holistic care including physiotherapist, specialist education, occupational therapy, music therapy, and physical stimulation. CCD projects include:
Rainbow House - a purpose-built home for disabled children, which also provides residential care for children who have been abandoned for their disabilities.
Rainbow Day Care for 30 disabled children from the community.
CCD also runs three day care centres in the government homes for children who have been abandoned
Operation Smile Thailand is a private, not-for-profit organisation that provides medical services with a focus on cleft lip, cleft palate and facial deformity surgeries and conducting medical missions across the nation. The organisation aims to continue performing free surgeries and provide more medical volunteers to improve the welfare of young children in Thailand and allow them to return to their normal lifestyle and the happy childhood life they deserve. Contributions made by the Shrewsbury community have now helped several children to have the operation.
Year 12 Students have also set up a dedicated “Operation Smile” club. Their aims are to: raise awareness of Cleft lips and palates throughout the school; raise money for ongoing and weekly Medical Missions; raise money to fund post operative care treatment schemes; obtain donations of toys and supplies for children being treated; provide opportunities for Shrewsbury students to attend Medical Missions, partner with other schools to organise fundraisers, and attend medical missions
Student quote from Operation Smile club:
‘Running the Operation Smile club was possibly one of the most life changing experiences of my life, I’ve had so many experiences that have opened my eyes, but this was different.’
‘Being a student representative has definitely improved my leadership skills, I am able to step out of my comfort zone and learn to speak up about what I am passionate about, and be aware of the community around me.’
By Leyana Y13
Shrewsbury International School has been supporting the Thai Muslim School since 2010. The Thai Muslim School is a nearby School which truly benefits from our financial and non-financial support.
Recent financial aid has helped to support the purchase of a range of equipment and supplies ranging from air conditioning units to school uniforms.
Every Wednesday, the Peace Ambassadors and the IA students team together with the Thai Department to teach English to the students of the Thai Muslim School. The students enjoy visiting Shrewsbury not only to benefit from the excellent teaching, but also to enjoy a fun change of scene.
The Thai department also organised shoe-boxes, full of fun, little presents and toiletries to be sent to the Thai Muslim School children as a present to open to celebrate the New Year.
The Year 7 Thai students are also about to embark on their Caring and Sharing project whereby they will donate an English book to one Thai Muslim School student and conduct reading sessions with them here at Shrewsbury. The Thai department and the Charity Committee are also about to start a campaign to collect books as donations to be sent directly to The Thai Muslim School to aid their English learning.
Wat Khai school near Ayutthaya was severely damaged by flood of 2011. Shrewsbury helped to financially support the re-building of the school, also lending some design expertise, and now continues to support its operation through the donation of essential supplies that help to keep the school in operation. Every year, there is an exchange visit between Wat Khai children and Shrewsbury’s Year 6.