March 23

Women’s Week 2022- Girls for Girls

Girls for Girls logo

Tuesday the 8th of March is officially the women’s day, globally. This is a significant day for our service group as our aim to is to protect and care for the female generation. Hence, we decided to organize something for the whole week. This was more likely our first active session since the services started in school.

On Monday the 7th March, as a debut to the Women’s Week programme, we distributed the pink ribbons we made on the last Service session which we had on the 3rd of March.

Making of the pink ribbons during Service (PC: author)

Pink ribbons made by the Girls for Girls Service Group (PC: author)

In addition, for the same day, there was also a “Positivity Wall” where students, teachers or any other school associates were allowed to write positive statements about the women empowerment.

Positivity Wall (PC: author)

On Tuesday, the official Women’s Day, we were planning to set up a jewelry sale. In fact, the jewelry was intended to be provided by the Emerge Lanka Organization, the organization we work with. But, unfortunately, we were informed that they were unable to provide the items. As a result, we organized to have all volunteers write a card dedicated to a female role model or inspirational figure or any girl/woman in their lives. During break-time and lunch-time, we supplied them with free cards to write on, with all other essential writing tools.

Wednesday was the “Silent Protest” which was an opportunity for everyone to stand in together to show empowerment and support for the International Women’s Week with posters supporting gender equality. A large number of students and teachers took part in this, expressing our school’s strong support for all women.

On Thursday, we put up a bake sale with customized cookies designed in honor of Women’s Week. The money we raised was then donated to the Emerge Lanka Organization in order to enhance refuge facilities for adolescent sexual assault survivors.

Friday, the last day of our International Women’s Week, e requested that everyone in the school wear pink. And gladly, again, many of them participated in this. In addition, we also had organized a Self-Defensing Workshop for any volunteers to join in.

During the Self-Defense Workshop

Self-Defense Workshop

Overall, the whole week was amazingly successful and we all had a great time during the week. It was splendid to be working on for the Service Group and I’m looking forward to do more in the future.

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February 28

Hiking in Central Hills – World’s End

Hiking is a good activity that enhances the energy in one’s body making him or her fit. It could start as a difficult task; but once you get used to it, it will be entertaining and motivating. I have been going for hikes every year since 2017. It has become our own personal tradition as a family to go hiking at least once a year. The last time, we went hiking at the World’s end in Nuwara Eliya district located in the centre of Sri Lanka.

We started our hiking journey at about 2 in the afternoon. The very beginning was much energetic. It was definitely less crowded, thus made it easier for us to speed up.

This certainly is an activity as it requires energy. However, I did some service activities on the way such as providing water to other hikers.

According to my opinion, hiking requires much energy, dedication, captivation. once you actually try it and regulate yourselves it will actually be more helpful for a healthy and physically fit lifestyle.

The is also a great method for me to be away from my phone as my fundamental focus is on the destination.

Me and my siblings at World’s End summit (PC : Author’s father)

February 14

WWW – Down South Team headed to Situlpawwa

“Week Without Walls” organized by the Overseas School of Colombo is a yearly event that takes part somewhere in Sri Lanka engaging us to participate in activities that reach out of the academic boundary.

PC : Library Camera | Picture taken from the top of Situlpawwa

This is a photo which was taken at the summit of the mountain we climbed. The second morning of the week without walls, we had decided to visit Situlpawwa and so we departed from the resort at about 8 in the morning heading to our destination.

We arrived there from like 1 hour and there we got to see number of wild boars just hanging out in the car park.  While admiring this scenery, which is impossible to witness in Colombo or any other urban area in Sri Lanka, a student pointed out an elephant who was also near the car park (but surrounded by gates, of course). It could have been the one they use for processions. However, we went closer and captured some photos. The most impressive thing which happened next was it started posing for the photos. It was a captivating moment. But then we headed back to the group as the elephant started showing symptoms of sleepiness.

We started climbing Situlpawwa step by step. It wasn’t boring as it had a beautiful scenery as you climb to the very top. Yet, not everything was fine. The sun was shining brightly and the ground was too hot for us in barefoot. Situlpawwa is a sacred temple in Sri Lanka, thus it was a must to not wear shoes. However, we all managed to reach the summit and come back safely.

PC : Mr. Lockwood | Participants of the Down South Trip (At the top of Situlapawwa, on our way back)

During the trip, I learned a lot about Situlpawwa, mainly about the history and ancient kings who ruled in Sri Lanka and took part in maintaining Situlpawwa. In reality, it was a great experience to us all.

January 23

Girls for Girls – Service

After the pandemic, finally the service activities at OSC proceeded as before. This gave me an opportunity to join with the “girls for girls”. This is a service group who stands for the sexually abused girls, and lend them kindness and support along with friendship for them to recover from the bad traumatizing memories. 

Last week, the 20th of January, we did some recording in order to edit a video to send it to “Emerge Lanka”. For this, we decided that each of us would hold a certain word that represents the service or what we feel about the service, and speak for a few seconds explaining it. My choice of word for this was “Safety”. I chose this to enhance the idea of lending them a hand to make them feel safe as if they are expecting at home. I even wrote a short poem to recite instead of other words. The poem went like this:

“To lend you a hand – To make you feel at home – To make you feel safe

We’ll provide you with Safety – As it is our responsibility”

The video made by the G4G group for the Emerge Lanka (credits: G4G Service Group)

In the future, we are looking forward to engage in fundraising activities to serve the group of girls who’d be joining us. These may include used-book sales, bake sales, mini-carnivals and sponsoring on social media such as ‘Instagram’ and ‘Facebook’. 

The first set of girls would be visiting us in March and I’m pretty excited about it. We are planning to interact with them via games or sports and build a strong bond of happiness and trust among each other.   

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  1. Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
  2. Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
  3. Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
  4. Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
  5. Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
  6. Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
  7. Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
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January 20

ORIENTATION TRIP TO KITULGALA

Being a DP student under the IB curriculum is taking a healthy risk in our lives. There’s too much work that needs dedication and effort. But more importantly, students must build up a good connection with other colleagues. The orientation trip was the greatest idea for this. 

Rafting         PC: Wade

Day 1 :

On 24th of October 2021, as the new DP students, we were taken on our orientation trip to Kitulgala, a small town in the west of Sri Lanka. It was a 3 day and 2 nights trip combined with the Science field trip. So as planned, on the first day, we engaged in water activities such as rafting, canyoning. It was actually my first time experiencing that and it is one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. Surprisingly, I wasn’t scared at all. Instead, I was super excited. In the very beginning, before we got into the water, we were requested to think about nature, especially the water and how it will build an interconnection with us. We were reminded about ‘yin-yang’ and how nature could be very aggressive at times. Hence, we were taught to obey the water to make it protect us. However, white water rafting was pretty much of a fun learning experience, yet a bit spine-chilling. But if anyone asked me what my favourite part about it was I’d definitely say white water rafting. 

White water rafting    PC : Wade

Moreover, we also got the opportunity to engage in rock sliding as well as jumping. Everyone, including myself, was ecstatic about this. We were also instructed to somehow take turns leading others, which was another fascinating learning challenge. 

Canyoning       PC: Wade

In fact, I was and still am grateful that I got to live through this experience in my life at least for the very first time as now I have got the capability to look back and explore my strengths and weaknesses and evaluate myself if I’ve evolved through time.

Class of ’23 PC: Huirong

Day 2 :

The following day began with some warm-ups led by two of my classmates, followed by some enjoyable activities. It was a fantastic way to start the day feeling revitalized. After breakfast, we went to a tea and rubber estate to collect data for our Biology project. Because of the number of leeches crawling on me, our experience there will be remembered for many years. The rain made things considerably worse, but it was an excellent location for unexpected leeches to pop out of nowhere. Dasha, my Biology companion, and I were gathering data from a couple of the rubber plants that were on a lower ground than the main side walk, making it the reason for us to get more leeches than any of the others. The good thing was that none of us wanted to quit up until we were completely satisfied with our collection.

Me and my friend Dasha collecting data from the rubber plants (PC: Ms. Harrison)

However, after having our lunch, we returned to another rainforest after crossing a small stream. We also took data there, and the day was done. We returned back to eat dinner. That night, to enjoy our stay there, especially since it was the last night, we had a DJ session while dancing till they called us for bedtime. That was a lot of fun.

Day 3 :

The last morning in Kitulgala started with another warm up session followed by fun team games. Then , after breakfast we headed back to where we were on the first day. There, we collected some water samples such as the temperature, pH value, turbidity, etc. It was all going well until the sole of my shoe started to break off. It was easy to remove on its own because of the water pressure. Nonetheless, I was able to retain it. I used a hair tie to keep it tethered to the shoe, which was much more effective. I wasn’t too concerned because I had two more pairs in my luggage in the room. Before we departed, we collected all of the laying waste and hauled it with us to the Borderlands to be disposed of.

Last group photo at Kitulagala on day 3 (PC : Wade)

After arriving back at the borderlands for the final time, had lunch and then packed ourselves and headed back to school. It was around 4-4.30 when we got to school.

Overall, it was indeed a great experience in my school life. I had great time with all friends and gained more knowledge about water activities and the environment. It also helped me reflect on my CAS journey, with the inclusion of Activities, Creativity and a bit of Service.

January 11

Recycling Excursion to the Pelawatte Scrap Dealer

Last December, on account of investigation of resources, the Geography students cleared out the recycling room. We first started off by taking out everything which was in the room, including all the cardboard boxes, papers, styrofoam, plastic bottles, etc. and then patiently organized them into separate boxes. The room wasn’t in proper order as the school was closed for a couple of months due to the covid pandemic. It is important to keep the premises clean and tidy, especially at a place where there are crowds of people. So after everything was sorted out properly, we also managed to sweep the whole room and then pile up the boxes tidily. 

Later the other day, we made a field visit to the Pelawatta Scrap Dealer. It is a 400m distance from the school so we made a quick walk, while the organized recycling stuff was carried by a truck. We provided them with our boxes of trash and as their first activity they extensively analyzed the solid waste materials to avoid items they wouldn’t accept. In reality, the styrofoam was returned because they couldn’t recycle it. Every other type of waste was weighed separately, whether it was cardboard, paper, metal, or other items; and for each kilogram an actual amount of money was granted to us. In our recycling collection, we had paper, cardboard, plastic bottles with a total mass of 39kg; and the scrap dealers agreed to pay us Rs.30 for every kilogram. We obtained a great sum of 1170 rupees as a result of this, which is well worth it for the trash.

Dealing with the scrap dealers

some of the Geography students

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November 21

Service With My Family

Every year, for all the birthdays in my family, we have made it a habit to help the homeless or the people suffering from poverty in Sri Lanka. We serve either cash, rice packets, clothes or other basic household needs such as school books, school necessities. We usually discover these people on streets or near religious places. There are several times where we carried some of the reusable clothes and more new clothes, for children as well as for adults, to local cities such as Anuradhapura, Kataragama, Mahiyanganaya and distributed them.  This month for my birthday we ordered some rice packets and served to around 70 people in the Kelaniya temple. The most precious thing to witness then is their genuine smiles on their faces and their words of blessings towards us mean a lot.     

Moreover, there are few familiar and kind-hearted figures, who are in need, visiting our house once in a while. So whenever we receive clothes that we do not like or the clothes that we don’t like to wear anymore we pile them in a separate drawer and serve them when they arrive. Not just clothes, but also books and other stuff needed for school are given out.  As they always come from far away places and look tired, we even provide a good meal and cash for their travel expenses.  

As a matter of fact, “poverty” is a major issue in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, it is not a new concept here; it doesn’t even seem to end sooner. In particular, the rural parts of the country are struggling to survive with the content they have. Some migrate to the urbanized areas in the western province to find jobs. But not everyone who arrives is capable of finding proper jobs. The ones who fail to find an appropriate job either leave back to where they’re headed from; but the people who are out of money tend to stick to the same place. Eventually, they could end up being street-people. Due to this, at the moment, people who are struggling with poverty are abundant even in Colombo or any other Western region. In regards of this matter, we thought helping them with some of the basic needs is a timely action to overcome this issue. 

Not everybody is rich; and not everybody has to be rich to help others. As long as you could be sincere with your own feelings and you feel like helping the ones in need, then you must be helping them. Even the simplest things are great deeds for the right people. 

We all might be strangers from different mothers, but aren’t we from the same nation? After all, all of us are human-beings, survivors, living-beings and more importantly part of this natural world and creation of nature. Thus, we have to make it a duty to support each other and normalize equality. 

 

LEARNING OUTCOMES

LO2 : Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process

Lo4 : Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences

LO5 : Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively

LO6 : Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance

LO7 : Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions

 

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November 7

Thisathma’s Exploration in Kandalama

PC : Author
A view from the Kandalama Hotel

PC : Author

The long-term lockdown was almost trapping us inside our houses, limiting the travelling courses. However, as things are getting back to normal, me and my family planned to go on a family trip to Kandalama. Last Friday morning we departed from Colombo and only arrived at the hotel at 3 pm. It took about 5 hours with the inclusion of in-between snack stops. The weather was pretty good.

The day we checked-in, there was a special occasion organized by the Kandalama hotel, which we as children could participate in mixing Christmas cake. That was really fun to engage in with a variety of other random children. This made me an opportunity to participate in the area of Creativity related to CAS. We were given all the necessary ingredients, and were instructed to mix all  of them thoroughly. The hotel staff as well as all the guests were following the Covid protocols, so we had less to worry.

There were interesting and beautiful sceneries, so me and my father were immersed in capturing every possible picture of the sky or the mountains or the Sigiriya Rock which was also visible to our hotel.

Sigiriya at the rear

PC : Author

The second most exciting thing I did in the Kandalama hotel was swimming. Both the days after breakfast and lunch, me and my siblings swam in a competition. As swimming is a good sport for the whole body and was encouraging me on the Activity side, I did not hesitate. I spent like 30-50 minutes everytime. Recently, I also got to know how swimming takes away the impact stress off our bodies.  In fact, there were like four to five pools in the hotel, which in return we were glad of because it ensured our safety from the Covid pandemic. It was always either our family only or another family in the other corner of the swimming pool.

Swimming in the pool

PC : Author’s father

While we were in the hotel, we were able to view many types of other organisms. The most abundantly seen animals were the monkeys. Nevertheless, they did no harm to any of the humans or their property. All the guests were forbidden to feed any of the animals. We also saw an eagle far away in the sky. We also spotted two different chameleons in two different occasions. As for the highlight, on our last day, we saw a frog sleeping. Initially, me and one of my brothers approached it and thought it was dead. But, eventually, it started moving and made us realize it was just napping.

frog

PC : Author

 

Flora

PC : Author

After all, that was an amazing journey to Kandalama and I felt excited to be back on travelling with my family. I am hopefully looking forward for many other trips island-wide.

 

LEARING OUTCOMES :

LO3 : Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience

LO4 : Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences

LO5 : Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively

 

 

 

September 30

Thisathma’s CAS Goals

These two years have been a hard time for all of us; but for the better side, it has provided me an opportunity to review my life from a different perspective. Due to the lockdown in Sri Lanka, I’ve been unable to go outside and travel with my family or friends. But I have been using this time to engage in other activities that I wouldn’t have done if I was outside, as in solving puzzles with my siblings and playing card games or random board games. 

Here are some of my goals for my upcoming CAS journey as a gecko;

For Creativity, I’m making an attempt to improve my guitar-playing skills and vocals; and also to learn other instruments. In fact, I’ve been keen to learn how to play the brass drum set and the piano. I’m also looking forward to making some song covers and uploading them via Instagram. Most importantly, I need to read some good books I feel interested in, so that it’ll help improve my vocabulary as well. Moreover, I am planning to rearrange my room by doing a full painting mostly by myself (probably with the help of my parents and other supervisors) .

For my Activity, I am looking forward to having a proper daily workout to gain fitness and stay healthy. I am planning to wake early and go on morning jogs and do simple work out activities (such as push ups, squats, jumping jacks, etc.) in the evening. I’d be engaging in cycling and badminton as well. 

Lastly but not least, for Service, I have given much thought to collaborate with a certain community that provides aid for the disable. Also, to associate with a donation to provide food for the people who suffer from hunger in Sri Lanka.

 

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