As one of the culminating events of the What if I were you? Unit of Study, Grade 5 students on Dover Campus took part in an annual fundraising event, which this year took the form of a walk-a-thon.
Since November, students have been studying common human needs, and how access to resources influences how we are able to meet our basic needs. During the unit, students began to differentiate between physical and emotional needs, and to explore the different ways in which needs are met within families around the world including comparing the needs of others to their own. Students then examined the circumstances that affect people’s ability to meet their needs, becoming familiar with both local and global organisations that assist individuals and communities when they are unable to meet their needs. The walk-a-thon was the result of collective action undertaken by students as they started to explore how they can make a difference in the wider world, and help to support those within our community.
Key questions that the unit addressed were:
What can affect people's ability to meet their needs?
How can people and organisations take sustainable action to support communities?
What can people do to make a difference in their communities?
The unit, which sits squarely within the human geography component of the Humanities curriculum, encouraged students to look at how life experiences are in part a product of where we live and introduced important concepts such as responsibility and empathy.
Linking directly to the Service programme, students used Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to understand how poverty and its associated difficulties result in not being able to meet basic needs. Additionally, ideas about local and global action were introduced, bringing the possibility of helping within practical reach of our students in a sustainable way.
Students considered the communities that they are part of and how these groups of people can help others, paying close attention to the many service organisations that exist within the College and one in particular: the Grade 5 Global Concern, Temple Garden Foundation. Rob Biro from TGF presented to the Grade 5 Assembly in the last week of Term 1, outlining how the organisation supports communities in Cambodia through four key programmes around children's education, health, income generation, and infrastructure (mainly water wells and sanitation).
Students then decided on the walk-a-thon, which involved a strenuous 2 1/2 hours of walking, and in many cases running, around Medway Park (an abandoned golf course situated behind the Dover Campus Primary School block). The idea behind the walk-a-thon is for the students to experience a level of discomfort that enables our students to feel like they have worked hard for their sponsor money, while encouraging empathy within the students for the often difficult lives of the Cambodian communities that their fund-raising will help.
The walk-a-thon is by no means the only activity in support of TGF. Throughout the year Grade 5 help to raise awareness through assembly presentations and other classroom initiatives and activities, where small groups of students organise craft sales, discos and clothing theme days to raise more funds throughout the year.
The Grade 5 community have already collected around $12,000 from their activities - with the final tally to be announced after the Chinese New Year break.
The next steps will see the Grade 5 team working closely with TGF staff to see how funds are used to support the organisation, tracking spending through specific projects so that our students can understand where the funds they have raised are going, how it is being spent and what kind of a difference it is making to the lives of people in the Cambodian communities they are supporting.
Photos provided by Paul Benefield.
About Temple Garden Foundation
Temple Garden Foundation (TGF) works with local rural communities in Cambodia to promote sustainable development for those living in poverty. TGF focuses on four core areas: children’s education, income generation, health programmes and infrastructure programmes. The nature of the different projects can vary, depending on the needs of the communities.
Temple Garden Foundation (TGF) is a UK not for profit and was established in 2008.