Shrewsbury International School Bangkok, Riverside is pleased to announce that over 1.5 million baht will be donated to their charity partners at the start of June. The timely donation comes at a time of significant hardship for many charities both here in Thailand and across the World, primarily resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Shrewsbury’s annual donations are often allocated towards capital projects that help charities improve their provision and services, but given the current circumstances, many of the charities simply need urgent funding to help sustain their essential services, such as buying food and the upkeep of shelters.
Many of Shrewsbury's charity partnerships have existed for over 15 years such as Sister Louise/Good Shepherd Sisters and the Mercy Centre. As Vice-Principal, Head of the Junior School and former Charity Committee Chair Ms Sally Weston says, it is times like these that the bonds formed between Shrewsbury and its partners are strengthened.
"The collaborative relationship and bond that Shrewsbury shares with its charity partners is extraordinary. Students have had opportunities to visit places and affect real change in Thailand and beyond. We know our financial contribution is important but stepping out of the bubble and engaging in community outreach is what really makes a difference." she said.
Ms Weston continues; "We are certain our financial contribution at this time will go a long way to buy food, items of necessity and maintain running costs so they can bounce back as the crisis abates. She remarked."
Over the years, the relationships with the charities supported by Shrewsbury have provided many fantastic opportunities and treasured experiences for students and staff alike. Whether it be building homes with Habitat for Humanity, partnering with the Thai Muslim School on many environmental projects, participating in food drives for Thai SOS or working with our relatively new charity partner, Action 4 Diabetes (A4D), to volunteer and advocate for disadvantaged children with Type-1 diabetes; our students have had life-changing experiences and created life-long memories.
Year 13 student, Molly Seal can speak to the benefit of engaging with charitable organisations. As a young adult living with Type-1 diabetes herself, she understands the importance and privilege of having access to professional medical care on her quality of life. Being able to give something back is very personal to her, but she also recognises the benefit to fellow students.
"It is a fantastic collaboration. For Shrewsbury students, [the partnership with A4D] offers the opportunity for them to help young people less fortunate than themselves, and to develop leadership and teamwork skills throughout the process. For those who want to study medicine in the future, working with A4D offers them valuable insight into the life of a Type 1 Diabetic and providing frontline medical care to those in need. Personally, I feel that both myself and my classmates have grown tremendously from these experiences." Molly says.
As the pressures people and charity organisations in our city intensify, all of Shrewsbury's partnerships have been affected in some way. Sadly, several, such as the Thai Muslim School, Sister Louise, and Habitat for Humanity and have even had to suspend essential aspects of their operations during the pandemic. Others, such as Operation Smile and A4D have cancelled medical missions, and many have been inundated with requests for assistance. Current Charity Committee Chair, Mrs Simcox realises Shrewsbury has a unique responsibility to help our partners, and is well placed to do so.
Mrs Carol Simcox explains that a financial donation will help the charities continue their fantastic work in these difficult times. Currently, fiscal contributions are the best way that we can assist them to achieve their goals.
"The reality is that everyone in our community is facing hardship and difficulties of one kind or another. Yet, it is heartwarming to see many of us still find the time to give to those less fortunate. I find this attitude highly commendable. We are honoured to be in a position to help." She says, proudly.
And the recipients themselves are hugely thankful for the generosity shown by the school and its community. Sister Yanee from Sister Louise/Good Shepherd Sisters recently contacted the school to express their gratitude.
"Thank you for Shrewsbury's continued support. We are locked down and school is closed indefinitely. We are giving food packs to our children and their families as they are in dire need of support. This is a difficult time for everybody. We hope and pray that this difficult situation will end soon. God bless you and take care." She said.
In addition to the financial support, Shrewsbury has been stepping up to help Thai SOS with two separate food drives over the last two months. Usually, hotels in the region are the main benefactors to Thai SOS. However, with the low occupancy rates, Shrewsbury has commendably filled the breach. Many food items, essentials such as nappies, bathroom supplies and other amenities have been collected and donated.
Shrewsbury remains dedicated to continuing its support of its charity partners during the COVID -19 crisis and beyond. The School believes that we are all in this together and we’ll endeavour to help in any way it can.