ISBs mission is to inspire students to achieve their personal and academic potential, to lead healthy, active, balanced lives and to becoming caring, global citizens. This last mission point is a fundamental trait that successful leaders need to have in today’s – and tomorrow’s – world and the focus on care and compassion permeate ISBs community and school culture. ISB students from Elementary through to High School are constantly engaged in community outreach & service learning activities and are the initiators of exceptional projects that serve to improve the lives of those less fortunate in Thailand and around the world.
The extent of the students’ outreach can be seen in the number of hours they spend working on community projects, doing outreach in the community, advocating for social causes, and fundraising for those less fortunate. Since August 2017 alone, ISB high school students have logged just under 3000 hours of service action hours, that’s 125 days dedicated to creating social impact. As part of the graduation requirement from ISB, students are required to take part in substantial community service.
There is an extensive list of organizations that ISB and ISB students support through volunteering, skills development, fundraising, resource sharing: Amnesty International, Bann Rachawadee, Habitat for Humanity, Marharaj Boys Home, Operation Smile, Phayathai Orphanage, Shining Hope, Sparrow Home, Street Boys, Breast Cancer Awareness, Helping Paws, Unite for Children, Breaking Boundaries and more. ISB staff also founded and continue to run the After The Wave Foundation, a non-profit organization that is committed to supporting communities in the Phangna area that were affected by the 2004 Tsunami.
There are a number of initiatives that have been developed by students themselves, including but not limited to: the Shark Guardian Ambassadors, which aim to protect sharks and educate people on the negative impacts of shark finning; ISBean, a social enterprise that through the sourcing and selling of coffee creates a sustainable business model for communities in Northern Thailand; Green Panthers Waste Management, which promotes environmental sustainability, and Because We Are Equal, which advocates for gender equality and raises awareness on global gender issues. Students are also actively involved in supporting their peers and building community at school through the Student Ambassador Clubs.
ISB also runs a Thai Scholarship Program for Thai students without the financial means to afford a high quality high school education. Through the generosity and sponsorship from the ISB community, the program currently supports 3 students from Northern Thailand, and provides them with all-inclusive free tuition, homestays with ISB families and a contribution towards their university or college degree when they graduate from ISB. This program, which has been running for 6 years, has afforded a brighter future to many children.
These are only a number of the ways that ISB, the community and in particular the ISB students create a social impact in Thailand. These efforts are done not for reward or recognition but out of compassion, kindness and understanding that we are all global citizens with a responsibility to contribute positively to society through our intellectual, creative and humanitarian efforts.
On account of the extensive work that the ISB community has done in the Thailand, ISB was awarded the BCCT Social Impact award in 2017.