ISKL’s Habitat for Humanity Club Makes Donation to Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong
Ensuring students not only understand that they can make a difference in the world but also how to make that difference, is an essential part of the learning experience at The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL). At ISKL, clubs and societies are a vital part of the school’s educational philosophy and ensure students gain an understanding of the importance of active community involvement, develop the skills needed to take action, and make a positive change in the world.
Earlier this year, ISKL’s Habitat for Humanity club made a donation of RM35,000 to Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong after receiving official confirmation of being made a Campus Chapter. A Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter is a group of students who are passionate about helping families build better lives for themselves and are ready to take the next step to lead the charge at their school to help fulfill Habitat’s mission. Chapters are student-run, student-led organizations on high school and college campuses that partner with Habitat in their area to perform four main functions: service, fundraising, education, and advocacy. Campus Chapters set the foundation for Habitat’s work related to the school, and this includes setting up volunteer opportunities, educating the school and community around issues related to housing and Habitat, fundraising in the area to support more housing opportunities, and speaking with community officials to prioritize shelter.
The application process took a significant amount of time and energy from the students and teacher advisors and marks a rewarding milestone for these determined club members. Retired ISKL High School Mathematics teacher, Hisae Yamazaki, who was the club’s previous teacher advisor said, “We are honored to be part of this process and be officially recognized as a campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity. We hope it continues with an outreach program and more collaborative work with Habitat Hong Kong. We want to continue helping with their efforts to help those who don’t have proper housing, as well as making sure people are aware of the many housing needs in our communities.”
“The teams from last year were heavily involved in the campus chapter application process and we are so grateful for all their hard work and dedication,” she added.
Alumni Tanya B., Class of 2020, said, “Working with an international organization helped us with our communication and collaboration skills, in terms of our teamwork and working with someone of such high caliber. We learned how to get out of our comfort zone and be part of a cause that is bigger than ourselves. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been working with communities to provide food and shelter – being able to serve and help people has been extremely gratifying and I really appreciate the opportunity to be part of it. I would also like to thank my fellow club members Ji Zheng T. and Julie M. for their effort and commitment while working with me on the committee.”
Student members and teacher advisors from Habitat ISKL are committed to providing assistance to the less fortunate through the construction of houses, schools, and community toilets. In the past, groups of volunteer students have traveled to certain destinations, where they work alongside locals to build houses for families in need. These projects are accomplished through generous donations from students and parents collected through fundraising events, which includes the 24-hour Famine, Spirit Days, flea markets, and a stall at Spring Fest.
In Hong Kong, the organization acts as a fundraising hub for the Asia-Pacific region and an advocacy group for low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled, as well as the liaison between other Habitat Campus Chapters in the region to coordinate Global Village trips. ISKL’s contribution to Habitat Hong Kong will support their invaluable work, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter is just one of ISKL’s many Service Learning Clubs that participate in community partnerships. This is in line with the school’s service-learning approach, where students are encouraged to make positive changes in the community through hands-on effort. Students learn that through their actions and practical steps, no matter how small, they can impact the community in a positive way.
About Habitat for Humanity
Globally recognized, Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in approximately 70 countries. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat works toward their vision by building strength, stability, and self-reliance in partnership with families in need of decent and affordable housing.