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Gaining Through Giving

IBDP Hong Kong Exchange: Creativity, Activity, Service Project

Fifteen Year 5 and 6 student-athletes from Singapore Sports School's International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme spend a week at partner school Singapore International School (Hong Kong), interacting with and learning from like-minded students. During their exchange from 23 February to 2 March 2019, Sports School student-athletes planned and executed a community service event which contributes to their Creativity, Activity, Service component in the IB.

By Chiu Jing Yun (Badminton), Megan Au Cheok Tung (Fencing) and Rachel Thean Rae Sze (Artistic Swimming)
Shortly after arriving at Singapore International School (Hong Kong), we were given an introduction to the school and campus before joining in their daily activities. We attended lessons with our friends from Hong Kong each day, many of which were hands-on and filled with dynamic group discussions. We also started planning for our CAS project involving Tsui Tsin Tong School which would take place on 28 February 2019.

The day we were all looking forward to finally arrived. We went about preparing for the various games stations, ensuring that they were suitable for the Tsui Tsin Tong students. Lined up for them were several games such as Pin The Tail On The Donkey, adapted bowling with bottled water as pins, and a sandwich-making activity.

There was an obvious communication barrier for most of us. Not only did they speak a different language (not many of us knew Cantonese), it was a challenge to communicate with intellectually-disabled children, especially those who were less responsive. However, as we got to know them better through the day, we learnt to observe their body language for a sense of what they were trying to tell us. We were also more attuned to their likes and dislikes, and we ensured that they were able to have an enjoyable time.

Not only did it develop our patience towards others, it also trained our resilience as we learnt not to give up easily but keep trying our utmost so as to provide the best experience to the children.

Being flexible and adaptable were also some of our takeaways. For example, during the games session, due to our inability to communicate instructions to the games effectively, things became rather chaotic and they just played the games however they liked. We realised it was more important for the children to have fun than insist on our rules.

Our Hong Kong experience was further enriched when we visited technology giant Tencent in Shenzhen. We were awestruck by the advancement of technology within the company and our eyes were opened to the world of possibilities technology can help in furthering societal development.

We also had an opportunity to enjoy sights of Hong Kong through a hike on the MacLehose Trail where we caught magnificent views of the Pineapple Dam and Shing Mun Reservoir. We were led by five students and two staff of SISHK.