This past weekend, three ISL Upper School students gave up their Sunday morning free time to assist in an outreach by Luxembourg's Cultur'all Association. Matteo Giusto, Sverrir Sigthorsson and Alex Starck handed out popcorn, water and croissants to movie-goers at a special free screening of Asterix and Obelix at Utopolis.
They volunteered after the president of Cultur'all reached out to CAS and GIN Coordinator Valerie Isbecque to see if there were any ISL students interested in local community service work. Ms. Claudine Bechet, President of the organisation (www.culturall.lu) and her team, with the help of the Ministry of Culture had created a special card called a Kulturpass that allows people with a small income to access cultural institutions for €1.50. Utopolis in turn had offered this special screening for individuals with the Kulturpass.
As Ms. Bechet wrote in her email to ISL, "We thought it could be interesting for students to participate in helping with the distribution of popcorn and croissants (offered by Steffen-traiteur). When you told me that you are looking for opportunities for students to do voluntary work, I thought it could be specially interesting to suggest this action to ISL students; I suppose that most of the students are not necessarily aware of the fact that even in a country like Luxembourg many families cannot afford access to culture. This could be an opportunity to get aware of the problem while helping out."
ISL student, Alex Starck, enjoyed the experience while admitting that the requirement for Community Action and Service (CAS) hours in the IB Diploma Programme certainly helps to motivate students to get involved.
"I wanted to help in this event because I understand how fortunate I am myself and how hard it is for some people. Another reason I helped was to receive some of the 15 CAS hours we need at the end of the year.
I helped by serving the people, putting croissants in bags, talking to people and pouring water for them," said Alex.
Matteo Giusto, who also volunteered at the event said, "Many people overlook poverty in Luxembourg, but there still is. We arrived at Utopolis at around 9 in the morning and we were told to start sorting 800 croissants into little bags. I chose this activity because I wanted to sort of see the other face of Luxembourg. I wanted to help other people because my Dad always wants me to, as he is a volounteer as an ambulance driver."
The IB Diploma Programme, as well as the ISL Mission Statement, promote global awareness and responsible citizenship. Many of our students participate in Spring and Summer CAS trips to India, China and other destinations. Whilst CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) projects are required of students in the IB Programme, ISL's mission and philosophy promote a lifetime of generosity from the Early Years Programme on. (See "Early Year's Students Prepare for a Lifetime of Generosity.")
Increasingly, students are becoming aware of the opportunities right here in their backyard to volunteer in worthy causes and act locally while thinking globally.