Building Community Spirit Through Helping Others

As the oldest British international school in Malaysia, the Alice Smith School has a long history of community service.

Alice Smith School

Roger Schultz, Head of School at the Alice Smith School, affirms that responding to the needs of others is deeply embedded in the culture and ethos of the school. This is exemplified for example, by the selfless, voluntary work of its governing body and Parent-teacher Association. For over 70 years, these efforts have helped to shape and sustain the future of Alice Smith as a very successful, not-for-profit educational institution since its humble beginnings in 1946.

Another example is the contribution students make to long-term service development programmes within the Southeast Asia region. Sixth Form students organise an annual charity evening of quality, high-end entertainment at a prestigious international hotel in Kuala Lumpur, bringing together parents, teachers, members of the wider community and students. These combined efforts create a fundraising partnership to build on existing and new local and regionally based community projects that make a lasting difference. An annual secondary trips week is designed to ensure that service work is meaningful and sustainable, raising the community’s social conscience. 

Students of all ages across both school campuses involve themselves in activities throughout the year to raise money supporting needs identified in the community. At the Primary Campus, the annual charity days reflect the wonderful charitable spirit of the school community through amazing arrays of stalls and activities set up, as well as the creativity, teamwork and entrepreneurship exhibited. Children, staff and parents from Pre-school to Year 6 are involved, with funds raised supporting identified causes locally and regionally. Recently the money raised was sent to the British School of Kathmandu to support school rebuilding programmes in Nepal following the devastating earthquake that affected the lives of so many people. 

A fundamental understanding of being able to change the lives of others is what connects the students, teachers and the greater community in service work, from one-off events such as the Sixth Form charity evening and Primary charity days, as well as through the continued months of fundraising each year. The very acts of service help connect students to the world around them; they provide the opportunity for children to look beyond themselves and see that they can make a difference and that difference can change them too. 

“The Alice Smith School has made a major contribution to our community project programme since first visiting in 2010. A total of almost US$40,000 has helped toward the construction of two toilet blocks, two canteens, two medical rooms, two libraries, two school shops and a nursery. These projects took place in schools which are mainly comprised of under-privileged ethnic minority ‘hilltribe’ students. In one school in particular, San Pha Kha, which has benefitted from seven of the above projects, the improvement in facilities was more than dramatic and has been a huge benefit to the well-being and education of the students.” Bryan Massingham, General Manager and Director, Maekok River Village Resort

Being respectful and community-minded, and contributing towards the betterment of others is part and parcel of an Alice Smith education. The school believes that through the generosity of time, care and attention to every individual, we find a way to bring out the best in all people and create an enduring sense of belonging to something special.

Tags: Interviews, Features, KLASS
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