ISB encourages students from all grades to do volunteer work and help our community. For some grades, doing service is mandatory. Many students enjoy helping others, but it is sometimes hard to find a good C&S or CAS activity – especially when you don’t speak German.
If you are having trouble finding service opportunities, here are some ideas for volunteer work:
Volunteering for the Swiss Red Cross
Did you know that the Red Cross has a section with activities for young volunteers? It is called the ‘Jugendrotkreuz’ and people from 15 to 30 years old can participate in many projects. The activities include spending time with the elderly and disabled; helping children with homework; organising and hosting a play-evening for children in Basel’s centre for asylum seekers and much more! Speaking German is not a requirement. You can find out more about the Jugendrotkreuz here: http://www.srk-basel.ch/jugendrotkreuz/jugendrotkreuz.
If you are interested in being a Red Cross volunteer, you can register here: http://www.jrk-bs.ch/jugendrotkreuz/jugendrotkreuz/ich-mache-beim-jugendrotkreuz-mit/anmeldung-ich-mache-beim-jrk-mit. You will then be able to schedule an appointment to discuss possible activities. There is a great project to try out!
(Above you can see some of the Jugendrotkreuz volunteers)
If you feel particularly comfortable in a specific subject (or even more than one), why not help peers or younger students who need extra practice? If you can’t find anyone, you can ask a teacher if they know any student who might need your help.
Activities at school
If you would like to help at school but don’t know where to start, asking a teacher for suggestions might be a good idea. You would be surprised with how much help from students is needed in the school!
If you prefer doing a one-time service activity rather than having a regular commitment, having a look at the ‘Student Dashboard’ in the school website will probably help. You will find announcements about events you can help with.
Do you like going for walks when the weather is good? Why not turning this into a service activity? You could go with friends and clean up the city. You just need plastic bags or gloves with you and throw away any litter you see. It is an extremely simple activity that has a great (and immediate) effect.
Making your birthday a special day for other people as well
For your next birthday, you can ask that people give donations to a charity of your choice instead of gifts.
Writing cards to people at hospitals or retirement homes
This is yet another activity that doesn’t require much time and effort but has a powerful impact on other’s. If you have been hospitalised before, you probably know how good it is to get a visit or a letter. You can send letters to people at your local hospital or retirement home.You don’t need to know the person to send them a kind message. The organisation http://www.postpals.co.uk/ connects people around the world with children who are hospitalised. You can read a child’s story and then send him or her e-mails, letters or even small gifts. Then just sit back and know that a child’s day will be brightened because of you!
We hope these ideas were helpful for you. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you are doing to help or how big the impact of your actions is. If you find something that’s enjoyable for you and that helps someone, you are making the world a better place!
By Daniela (DP1)