Clonlara’s Global Give Back is a week of volunteering that connects our school community around the world. This year, students, families, and staff met virtually the week of April 18–24 to share and celebrate their volunteer projects.
From fighting issues of homelessness to solving major environmental challenges, our campus and off-campus students took the opportunity to present the causes they care about in daily Zoom sessions. Each day, their audiences from across multiple time zones came away with new ideas for their own projects and an appreciation of the way Clonlara students make their voices heard and actions felt in their communities.
Below is a recap of the individual presentations that inspired us throughout this special week!
Lucia and Luna’s Winter Care Packages
During the winter in Toronto, sisters Lucia and Luna were concerned about the city’s homeless population. With a little help from their mom, they created care packages to equip 30 people with warmth and supplies to face the freezing cold temperatures. The project drew on their math and writing skills and, more importantly, led the young sisters to discussions about the causes and challenges of homelessness. Learn more about Lucia and Luna’s project and get suggestions for activities young students can do to support their communities safely from home.
Game Room Volunteer Project
All semester, the Clonlara’s Breakout EDU Club for elementary students has been supported by a group of dedicated high school volunteers. During their presentation, Serena, Markéta, Nabeel, Spencer, and Ausma engaged audience members in an escape room activity! They explained how the club has given them a feeling of belonging, allowing them to make friends and be part of a team even in a virtual space. Because they are in high school, they are also able to use the experience to earn credit toward their speech and volunteer service requirements.
For Serena, volunteering has helped her to grow in confidence and develop her leadership skills. “I’m so grateful to Clonlara for giving us this opportunity to help build such a strong community, and to learn and grow together as a team and as friends,” she says.
Ocean Plastics Discussion with Shannon
Although she is still in high school, Shannon is an award-winning filmmaker! Her documentary titled “Plastic Crisis: Our Oceans in Peril” won second place in C-SPAN’s national student video competition. Shannon shared her film with her peers and spoke passionately about the need to prevent more plastic from entering the oceans. After her presentation, audience members discussed ways they can protect the environment as part of their everyday routines because as Shannon made clear: we are in this together, so everyone must do their part! Watch Shannon’s award-winning documentary and check out her newest films.
Saaim and Raahim’s Walk for Water
Brothers Saaim and Raahim live in Abu Dhabi, but their volunteer efforts had an impact far beyond their home. Earlier this year, they coordinated a variety of fundraising activities in support of The Water Project, which aims to create clean water access in sub-Saharan Africa and enables the construction of handwashing stations. Together, their efforts raised over $4,000!
During their presentation, the brothers shared how they organized individual families for a “Walk for Water” initiative, and each walked four kilometers, carrying gallons of water to demonstrate how long some people must walk each day to access fresh water. Raahim also hosted a Minecraft tournament to engage others in the project, while Saaim wrote a story about saving water that was published as an e-book!
Celebration of Learning
For our final gathering of the week, we celebrated with an informal discussion of the many ways Clonlara students volunteer in their communities. Our campus students shared activities from their week that focused on volunteerism and environmental conservation, including learning about upcycling and cleaning up two parks near the school building. The attendees discussed the little ways we can help the environment, such as planting trees and reducing food waste, and shared a feeling of being empowered to make a difference.
The week is over now, but that does not mean the volunteering stops. In fact, most of the projects we featured were completed over the course of the whole school year, and we hope these stories will continue to inspire our school community to get involved in projects they care about.
Thank you to everyone who joined in our Global Give Back this year. We are proud of your volunteer work and the many ways you make a difference around the world!
How do you give back in your own community? Share your story in the comments below.