Community Service is an important aspect of a young person's social personal and social development. It helps children to learn about the less fortunate and how they can help improve the plight of others. Every year our students are encouraged to think of ways to help others whether this be individuals or organizations. During Community Service Display Week classes put up displays to show the other students about how they have helped during the year.
Last year students raised funds for many different charities and organizations e.g. local orphanages, for The Egyptian Food Bank, for Animal Care in Egypt and for Operation Smile. We also like to support The Tulips Foundation, which is a charity set up by some of our parents and students. The students get to research and choose which charities or foundations they would like to help and they organise various fund raising events, with some help from teachers and parents. Students really enjoy this aspect of their learning. We are always very proud to see how interested and enthusiastic they are to put their skills into action to help others.
For the Senior School, students are highly involved with community services. They are constantly looking for new creative ways to help the less fortunate. The activites they engage in vary from regular bake sales in break times to whole senior school sponsored runs. Below are examples of activities and institutions Alssonians support:
As an ongoing activity, our students collect used clothes, food items and toys for the orphans. As a school, we have supported this orphanage for a long time, we have managed to renovate their kitchen and construct an additional floor to accomodate more orphans. Also, in the end of 2011, primary elemetary students have managed to raise enough funds to purchase a large fridge, cooker and a heavy duty washing machine for the orphanage.
We pay regular visits to the orphanage to monitor the progress made. We take the students for visits to the orphanage to see how the place has benefited a lot from their donations, and how even the simplest things made a difference. Our students demonstrate outstanding behavior, compassion and care towards the orphans.
El Alsson School students also support a centre for disabled, ill poor residents as well as disabled orphans in Dahshour. This centre supports people who are suffering extremely poor living conditions. The students evaluate cases provided by the centre and make a collective decision on the cases they want to support, where they raise funds specifically for the case and support it all the way until they see the result achieved. In the end of 2011, primary elementary students have managed to raise enough funds to purchase rehabilitation equipment for the disabled cases of the centre.
Thanks to Mrs. Manal Olama, one of El Alsson parents who gave a presentation to Senior Students about the Egyptian Food Bank which added the EFB to the places alssonians support. For more info: http://egyptianfoodbank.com
The idea for the Run To Change A Life started in 2011 with a Senior project for a student in G12, Habiba Khattab, who organized a very successful sponsored run to raise funds for a seriously ill little girl named Basmala. In 2012, it was her younger sister, Wasila Khattab G10, along with Aya El Barmelgy who jointly organised another run, this time to raise funds for another girl, Fatma, who is in need of urgent back surgery. Only twenty years old, Fatma had suffered constant verbal and physical abuse from her husband, to the point when one day he beat her up until she became unconscious, then threw her out of a third floor balcony, leading to her losing control of her lower body. Fatma is currently being looked after at one of the centres we support. Race days were full of positive energy, and a great many students and teachers took part in the 30-minute run. Alongside this, the event also included face-painting, a bake sale and wet sponge throwing.
Omar Samra is an ex-Alssonian, who graduated in 1995, and is the first Egyptian and youngest Arab to have reached the summit of Mount
Everest. Over a number of years, Omar has conducted frequent talks at schools to help motivate and inspire students to reach beyond their potential, telling them about his experiences, having a dream, setting goals, overcoming adversity and how they can they apply this in their own lives. Speaking only goes so far, and now Omar is taking this a few steps further by:
• creating a tangible experience for the students through an engaging real-life challenge
• using the experience as a platform for students to learn about philanthropy and understanding in a way that it has measurable impacts on society as a whole. Omar has invited three schools to join the challenge – one of them being El Alsson.
He has visited the schools this week, and gave our students a wonderful inspirational presentation. At the end of the talk, he asked the
students if they were ready to take on their own big challenge - to form teams of 4 and see who can raise the most amount of money for The Right To Live Association in Egypt (www.rtlacairo.org ) over a six-week period.
Some time ago, Omar set himself a challenge to climb the highest mountain in every continent. He has already climbed six of these summits, and climbing the highest mountain in North America will be his seventh, and final, summit. Omar started his climb in End of April and stayed until mid May facing numerous challenges himself. The weather was awful with high winds and snow storms making it impossible to reach the summit this time. Finally, He managed to descend safely on May 15th. Currently, Omar is evaluating the fundraising projects for all groups from all participating schools to decide on the winners. Winners will be selected, based on a number of categories including the most money raised, the most creative fundraising idea, etc., and trophies will be awarded at a finale event. All winners be invited to join Omar for an all-expenses paid hiking trip for a weekend, which will focus on character building and reflecting on the whole journey.
El Alsson started off with 12 groups joining the challenge and ended up with 3 active productive groups (EL Kheir, The Summit and 25th Patriots), Congratulations to The Summit and El Kheir from El Alsson School who were announced among the winners of the challenge.
ACE is an animal care centre located in Luxor. At the moment it is only in Luxor but in the future we hope it will expand to Cairo and other areas in Egypt. ACE is a charity dependent upon donations and was created mainly for horses and donkeys but grew to also accept smaller animals. Local people in Luxor are beginning to understand and take their animals to ACE if they need care. It is free, as most animal owners in Luxor are poor but rely on their animals to help them make a living. The time our students spent in Luxor at ACE felt like a year of life-lessons. They got to know all the animals, brushed them, bathed and fed them, groomed them and we even took care of cleaning and bandaging some of their wounds. Lack of animal welfare education is a major factor in the plight of the animals in Egypt. Many people think that animals do not have feelings, so ACE tries to re-educate animal owners and in particular, their children, and our students help them in any way they can.
The Giza Zoo was established in 1891 by Khedive Tawfik. Since that date, very little has changed- many of the enclosures for the animals are still the original Victorian cages. 117 years later, our knowledge of animal welfare and behaviour, especially of those in captivity, has vastly improved. Sadly, the structures at the zoo have not changed to reflect this. ‘Revitalize the Giza Zoo’ is a project started by Dina Zulfikar and AWARE (Animal Welfare Awareness Research in Egypt) to try to improve conditions at the zoo, enriching the lives of the animals there. They work together with Central Zoos Management, zoo vets and the ministry of Agriculture. El Alsson is proud to be part of such an exciting project and we hope to make a difference in the future in revitalizing Giza Zoo. Alssonians paid a visit to the zoo to see the conditions of all these amazing animals. All of them need a huge area to run around as they please and feel free. Many were captured from the wild and then put into a tiny cage. Others were born there, so know no different. Students want to improve the lives of these animals who live in captivity. Each time students go, they want to get things for the animals to play with. Not just the monkeys, but also the birds, bears, hyenas, lions and so on. All the animals are meant to be equal and they aren’t treated that way. Also, the condition of the hygiene is not up to standard. We hope to teach the workers how to be cleaner and take better care of the animals.