One Million Lights advocacy is lighting the way for everyone to lead better lives and alleviate the living conditions of families using kerosene lamps and makeshift wood fire illumination to compensate for non-access to electricity. The solar-powered light bulbs without doubt are healthier substitutes to kerosene wick lamps, which are dangerous to their health. Moreover, extended illumination allows the beneficiaries to take on more opportunities for livelihood activities that are normally limited by daylight hours.
The amazing fundraising efforts of BSM Year 4 students, parents and staff throughout the year should be lauded. The students raised funds from a stall they ran during the BSM Fete in May, as well as designing, making and selling Mother's Day cards. It is wonderful to see all of the hard work result in such a life-changing contribution.
Year 4’s activity is part of the BSM Service Learning programme and happens in the same week that the International Baccalaureate students set out for Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) Week with the highlight on Bayanihan. The common aim of all of BSM Service Learning projects is to let BSM studentry engage in an issue of global importance, plan and initiate a project to tackle this at a local level.
BSM students collaborated with a range of NGOs and charities, as well as community members; who were all committed and equal partners in the various endeavors. The range and diversity of the projects that these students were involved in last week was remarkable: building chicken coops, refurbishing computers, certificating adult education, modelling and developing interview techniques, engaging in art and drama workshops with elementary children and refurbishing a tired playroom for young children in hospital. The locations ranged from Alabang to Quezon City, from Tagaytay to La Union in the Ilocos Region, to BSM.
Results from the various projects underscore how the BSM student’s service learning goals are highly achievable and the truly life changing impact this can have on local communities. On top of the practical outcomes, partnerships and sense of community engendered by this BSM Service Learning initiative are also considered valuable by the academe. The smiles, hugs and handshakes at the farewell moments were powerful; this experience will remain in the minds of many, for a long time.
By reaching out to the local communities and working with external providers, BSM get to understand local needs and empower local stakeholders to develop their own solutions.