Humanitarian Projects

As an integral part of our teaching, we encourage our students to participate in projects which develop their sense of social responsibility. These projects provide the students with solid experience and an understanding of humanitarian issues, whether through long term projects or one-off events.

Children of Sagarmatha (Nepal)

Ecolint students have been supporting an orphanage in Nepal since 2005 called “Children of Sagarmatha” a home to 50 children. This orphanage aims to provide each child with access to compulsory education and possibly higher education to enable them to become active citizens. More information on www.sagarmathasuisse.ch.

Year 10 India Projects

Each year since 2001 a group of students from all three campuses in the Foundation has travelled to South India to experience the fascinating culture and to work with several crèches in the Kodaikanal area of Tamil Nadu. The trip is the climax of over six months of commitment and participation in fund-raising and team-building activities. One of the main aims of the trip, which takes place over the Easter vacation, is social service. Visit our blog to read more about a decade of developments due to the efforts of our student groups: http://year10-indiatrip.blogspot.ch/

Refugee outreach

With the situation of refugees trying to make their way to and through Europe in 2015 becoming increasingly desperate, LGB Middle School teachers Marcus James and James Smith visited the refugee camp in Calais, carrying messages of hope from the students to some 5000 refugees.

“It was an eye-opening experience that strengthened our resolve to do more. The impact of these messages was profound and showed that ‘aid’ can come in many forms. All our experiences and the stories of the people we met were presented to students, parents and staff in a series of assemblies.” reports Marcus.

In February 2015, the full school was united by a Community Engagement Week, which brought guests from local and international organisations for a series of assemblies. The dialogues they led helped to inspire students with solutions, showing the humans behind the labels, and motivating them to act in achievable ways, understanding what can be personally gained from supporting others.

As one example, 30 discarded lifejackets from Lesvos – many of them ineffectual fakes – were assembled to form an interactive installation where students came face-to-face with a tactile representation of the dangers the refugees faced on their perilous journeys.

Ongoing efforts include support for www.schoolbusproject.org, a pop-up schools project which will bring life-changing education directly to where it is most needed; regular play-dates set up between refugee children from the Hospice général and Ecolint students; development of pedagogical programmes which expose students to the daily challenges of life for refugees.

You can continue to follow this work and that of other schools here: https://www.facebook.com/educatingaboutrefugeecrisis1

Vietnam

Organised in partnership with Nouvelle Planète, this project is first and foremost an opportunity to build ties with the Vietnamese population. Participants are fully integrated into the local life of the village and take part in an aid project as well as in village activities.

The students who wish to come on the trip are selected based on an application file which includes a cover letter, an interview, and discussions with their form tutors, heads of year and previous teachers.

Students must plan and organise activities to raise funds to finance their humanitarian project, which is selected by Nouvelle Planète.

The experience of an aid project promotes social engagement and enables students to discover a new culture.

"I have not yet been able to explain what this trip really meant to me except to those who lived it with me. It was wonderful, eye-opening, the truest fun, pure living. It taught me about myself and the world and more than anything, it really put every aspect of my life into perspective." Gwyn (2015)

“It’s difficult to describe everything that we experienced, because the whole experience of such a different culture was really extraordinary.” Simon (2015).

Portugal

Having existed for over 10 years, the Portugal project continues to be a real highlight for our students. This trip combines a humanitarian construction project, run in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity and the discovery of a wonderful country, Portugal.

As with the Vietnam project, taking part in this project implies a particular effort in advance. Students must raise funds to finance their trip and are selected based on a candidate file.

“We did more than was expected and as a group we are very proud of the work we did. I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in this experience, it has been life changing.” Ben (2015)

“For 5 days we worked under the heat of the Portuguese sun to give a real house to people who didn’t have one before. This really enabled me to think about what’s really at stake globally and morally.” Hector (2015)

Senegal

The Senegal trip has humanitarian, pedagogical and cultural objectives, developing fruitful interactions with the local population, cultural and historical institutions and the area’s schools.

All of the activities which we undertake reinforce our school’s values, aiming to involve our students in a system of international solidarity.

This year’s project includes:

  • An IT infrastructure improvement project in local secondary and primary schools
  • A programme to construct new teaching spaces and renovate existing classrooms
  • A cultural and artistic school exchange.