Bags to School Project

Member

Michelle Ng


Duration

From June 9, 2018 to May 31, 2019

Target

Students living under poverty in South East Asia


Target population

1200


Target avg age

11


People impacted

1200


Sustainable Development Goal

Quality Education


Development stage

Education and Economic Empowerment


Purpose

In line with the UN SGDs, Quality Education, the main purpose of the project is to provide enough school supplies for impoverished children for a year to help them alleviate the cost of schooling. It aims to increase the number of students going to school and reduce dropout rate due to financial difficulties and poor study environment, especially in the rural areas.


Overview

Bags to School Series Project was launch in 7 years ago, in 2012. In collaboration with JCI Marina (Singapore)’s sister chapters, JCI Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and JCI San Juan Pinaglabanan (Philippines), the project has grown rapidly every year. In year 2016 alone, 10,096 school bags with study materials were distributed in Philippines through 131 project implementations via 82 Local Chapters in JCI Philippines. This project is truly a great example of the Active Citizen Framework which JCI advocates, sustainable implementation over the past years and re-evaluated yearly to see what the chapter can do better. JCI Marina is proud to say that Bags to School Series Project is no longer a simple project whereby for fund-raising and providing study supplies. The project also builds libraries, advocates the importance of health and hygiene, provide clean drinking water via wells, build canteens, help rebuild and improve the children’s learning environment and all this working towards realizing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, No. 4 Quality Education.

In 2018, Bags to School Series: Cambodia has raised a total of USD 2,125, which as impacted a total of 250 students from the Pursat Province, which is 150km from Phnom Penh City. In the meanwhile, 2018 Bags to School Series: Philippines has raised a total of USD 5,000, which has impacted a total of 500 students from various school and the event is held at San Juan Gym. The event program includes drawing and reading competition, cleaning teeth and health talks, health check-ups, career talk, parents’ and students inspiring speech, library decoration, building renovation, and magic shows and games. Last year, sister chapter, JCI Harbour (Hong Kong) has also joined in to contribute to the project as a volunteer and participants.

Last year, in 2018, JCI Marina has also expanded the project to other countries. In collaboration with People’s Association Youth Movement (PAYM), and YDD Tuition Centre, the project is brought back into Singapore, as 2018 Bags to School Series: Singapore. This program provides 1 year of free tuition classes to students who can’t afford in Singapore. The project will be carried out each year thereafter. The launch of the project will be on 1st December 2018 over a concert, whereby 300 students from poor families and old folks (about 1,000 pax) will be given free tickets to attend.

Upon hearing successful stories of the project, regional countries have approached JCI Marina and propose to collaborate and implement the project in their countries. As such, in order to benefit more communities, JCI Marina this year collaborates with JCI South Saigon (Vietnam) last year. 2018 Bags to School Series: Vietnam, took place from 16th November 2018 to 18th November 2018, with SGD 1,200 it benefited 150 students in poverty. JCI Ipoh (Malaysia) has also participated in the project.

The chapter is also in talks with JCI Brawijaya (Indonesia), JCI Central Java (Indonesia) and JCI Yangon (Myanmar) and plans to expand the Bags to School Series Project into both of these countries too as; Bags to School Series: Indonesia and Bags to School Series: Myanmar.

The Bags to School project has won many awards over the years. Ever since implementation in 2012, the project has constantly won JCI Singapore National Awards at the National Convention every year. At the 2018 National Convention, the project has won the Best Inter-Organisation Collaboration Project award. It has also received an ASPAC award too a few years ago.


Actions Taken

1
The project not only involves existing members, it also has about 5 new members. I've also engage external local youth group People's Association Youth Movement (PAYM) to join us in organising Bags to School Singapore event.,
2
Marketing collaterals are created, other sister-chapters such as JCI Ipoh (Malaysia) and JCI Harbour (Hong Kong) are invited to to join us by flying over to Philippines and Cambodia. All Bags to School Philippines, Cambodia and Singapore has received personal radio interview and news interview and is spread across the nation of Philippines, Cambodia and Singapore.
3
Activities were also arranged for the kids during the events day, including meaningful games, concerts and dances by the benefiting students.
4
In Bags to School Cambodia and Vietnam, basic school refurbishment works were done, such as simple rebuilding, painting jobs, and building libraries by the volunteers.

Results

The Bags to School Series: Project has fully contributed to the JCI Vision “To be the Leading Global Network of Young Active Citizens.”
Collaborating internationally across ASEAN region, Cambodia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar, a total of 8 JCI Local Organisations are involved:
1) JCI Marina (Singapore)
2) JCI Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
3) JCI San Juan Pinaglabanan (Philippines)
4) JCI Habour (Hong Kong)
5) JCI South Saigon (Vietnam)
6) JCI Ipoh (Malaysia)
7) JCI Brawijaya (Indonesia)
8) JCI Central Java (Indonesia)
9) JCI Yangon (Myanmar)

And 2 external organisations:
1) People's Association Youth Movement (PAYM)
2) YYD Education Centre

A total of 1200 students living in poverty, spanning across 5 countries across the ASEAN region has benefited from the project, with the involvement of a total of 8 countries.

A total of almost USD 20,000 sponsorship is raised to support the project.

Bags to School Series Project is no longer a simple project whereby for fund-raising and providing study supplies. The project also builds libraries, advocates the importance of health and hygiene, provide clean drinking water via wells, build canteens, help rebuild and improve the children’s learning environment and all this working towards realizing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, No. 4 Quality Education.

At the project committee level, the project has provided personal development opportunities to its members. At such massive scale, planning and execution of the project can be very tedious, but at the same time, provides lots of learning opportunities. Soft skills such as leadership skills, organization skills, planning skills, public speaking skills, inter-personal relationship skills, teamwork skills, can all be acquired during this process.

At the participants and volunteering level, the project provides members with personal development opportunities through execution and interaction with the students. One of the most valuable experiences that could be gained through this project to learn to be grateful towards what he/she already has (good study and living environment that Singapore government provides to Singaporeans), and also be learn how much they can help and impact another community as a JCI Member. One of the volunteers said “Spending 3 days of my 365 days a year may mean nothing to me. But it meant a whole world to the hundreds of children who are receiving the bags, as it also meant receiving the opportunity to go back to school.”

As the project has become so well-known, it also increases the awareness of JCI Marina (Singapore) to the local and international community. Through the project, there are more members of the public recognizing JCI Marina’s effort and JCI as an organization.

Finally, it increases the sisterhood ties between the chapter and the participating local chapters, such as:
1) JCI Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
2) JCI San Juan Pinaglabanan (Philippines)
3) JCI Harbour (Hong Kong)
4) JCI Central Java (Indonesia)
5) JCI South Saigon (Vietnam)
6) JCI Ipoh (Malaysia)
7) JCI Brawijaya (Indonesia)
8) JCI Yangon (Myanmar)

It also strengthens the partnership ties with the local organisations within Singapore, such as:
1) PAYM
2) YYD Tuition Centre

Members of JCI Marina are able to gain access to the huge network of resources and potentially benefit themselves.

The project definitely has a huge community impact. Till date, the project has significant presence over 4 countries, Cambodia, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam, with plans to expand to 2 other countries next year, Indonesia and Myanmar. With such a large scale, tens of thousands of communities will be impacted.


Recommendations

JCI Marina (Singapore) aims to continue improving on the project. Plans are put in place for these projects, with the objective of alleviating poverty through education (aligns with UN SGD). The action plans will be to:
• JCI Marina works with JCI APDC to spread Bags to School Series to ASEAN Country
• JCI Marina will provide seed funding of up to USD 2,000 and participation for first 2 years

Sign agreement of 5 years with the respective JCI Local Chapters of which we do the following:
• Impacting x amount of kids every year through Bags to School Series Project
• Assist JCI APDC to develop the local chapters through this project, and
• Provide action plan and marketing collaterals for quick and effective implementation.
• Formation of Bags to School Series Council (comprising of each participating countries) to meeting JCI ASPAC to report, share ideas and find more opportunities to collaborate.

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