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UWC Lends a Helping Hand

It has now been over a year, and 5 Star Marine together with Sutai Muay Thai continue to support vulnerable communities in and around Phuket, Phang Nga and Surrounding Islands. To date, they have exceeded over 150,000 ife bag donations, (each one containing enough staple supplies to feed a family of 5 for around 4 days). The fleet of 5 Star Marine speedboats have enabled access to some of the most at-risk areas, and allowed the charity efforts to go further afield, reaching impoverished smaller villages and islands as well as focusing efforts across Phuket itself.

By Advertorial

Sunday 21 March 2021, 10:00AM

However, they have now been able to warmly welcome more helping hands from students and teachers at UWC Thailand International School. 5 Star Marine recently put out a plea, not for donations, but for more hands-on deck for practical volunteering. So, when UWC proposed that they could help out and make this charity effort part of their community and Extra Curricular Activities (ECA’s), this offer was gratefully received.

Packing and delivering over 2,000 life bags each and every week is a huge undertaking, and one that 5 Star Marine has dedicated a significant amount of time and effort to already. Now thankfully though, they have more willing volunteers, as students and teachers help out weekly both on and off campus.

This assistance sits in synergy with UWC’s mission – ‘…We view the understanding of our minds, our bodies, and our emotions as a key life skill; fostering the development of our students by tending to both intrapersonal awareness and interpersonal sensitivity in order to create a positive and international school culture. Our aim is to cultivate genuine happiness. In an increasingly interdependent world, we treat others and the planet with respect, kindness and consideration, helping even in the smallest of ways.’

UWC gives their students the opportunity to learn beyond the classroom, and encourages them to take full advantage of projects offered. They believe that by trying out new interests, students have a chance to explore their talents, meet new people, develop new skills and discover what they are passionate about. This type of mindset is in perfect harmony for the new collaboration with 5 Star Marine and their donation drive.

The school will be providing a 20+ strong team of students and teachers each Saturday to assist with the community packing at Sutai Muay Thai in Surin. As a true community effort, additional school parents and children of all age ranges will be getting involved also. These sorts of activities are a vital part of student life and learning; providing an opportunity to bring students, staff, and parents, (as well as the wider community), together.

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In addition to the off-campus efforts, there will be a weekly group of students (up to around 50), who will aim to pack 1,000 life bags each time for this worthy initiative. As part of UWC’s Extra

Curricular Activities, there are now 2 dedicated students taking on the responsibility for coordinating the Saturday off-site packing; including organising the participants, mini buses and time-frames. This also forms part of their co-curriculum program which all students are encouraged to take part in.

In true UWC style, the school has launched a competition inviting all students to challenge the packing process and in particular to look at how to reduce plastic usage, re-use or recycle elements of the current food packing practices. This ties in cohesively with the learning outcomes around their ‘Ethics of our Choices and Actions’ by looking at the types of plastic we use versus the human need, and encourages students to question and improve this process.

5 Star Marine are grateful for the hands-on deck they so needed, and the response from UWC has been a perfect fit to help with these donation efforts. They continue to take the safety of all school and other volunteers, beneficiaries and staff as of paramount importance, with all donation activities being overseen by public health officers and local arbiters; adhering to screening, sanitising and queuing with social distancing guidelines.

By Joanna Matlub

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