Our Schools at Work
One of GEMS four core values is ‘Global Citizenship’ which emphasizes the importance of ‘giving’ to both the local and global community. The GEMS community has been committed to ‘giving’ for many years and our students, staff and parents have been involved in a wide variety of community based charity initiatives.
Throughout GEMS’ 50 year history, GEMS students, parents and teachers have raised tens of millions of dollars for causes that matter most to them.
GEMS Student Charitable Activities
Together in hard times
It will be many years before Christchurch will be returned to the beautiful city it once was, but the generosity of the students and parents of the Wellington International School has brought hope and smile to the children of this New Zealand City that was devastated in the recent earth quake.
It was an emotional moment when Abbey Vickery, a Year 1 student along with Ben Giles of Year 3 and his sister Aimee of Year 1 from Wellington International School, who were all living in New Zealand before moving to Dubai, visited their former schools, which were badly damaged in the recent earthquake which claimed many lives in New Zealand.
The school community was moved deeply and there were tears in everybody’s eyes when the former pupils donated a cheque of US$2,897 each to Wainoni Primary School, Mt. Pleasant School and Windsor Primary School in Christchurch, which was one of the worst hit areas. Abbey was a student of Windsor School and Ben and Aimee studied at Mt. Pleasant school.
Parents of Abbey, Ben and Aimee recounted their experience to Mel Curtis, Principal of Wellington, after visiting the schools with their children on April 8 and 11. According to them, the Wainoni Primary School is a very small school with around 166 students. When they visited, there were just over 80 students attending. Others had fled the town and moved to other schools in the country. Three families were reported as having disappeared altogether.The school was extremely grateful for the donation and even held an assembly in appreciation of their guests from Dubai.
Neill O' Reilly, Principal of the Windsor School, wrote in his email to Mel Curtis, “We were overwhelmed by the generosity of GEMS Wellington International School. It was an incredibly kind donation and will certainly assist us in rebuilding our school and instilling a sense of wellbeing and fun as we continue to strive to have excellent outcomes for our children in trying times.”
Hats off to Wellington and its students!!
Support for Japan
On Monday 21st March 2011, Wellington International School launched it's appeal to help those left devastated by the recent earthquake and Tsunami in Japan. In a show of support and solidarity for the victims, more than 1450 pupils wearing either red or white tops, assembled on the field to form a Japanese flag, listened to the Japanese National Anthem and held two minutes silence. Mr. Takashi Ashiki – the Japanese Counsel General in Dubai addressed the gathering followed by speeches from two of Wellington’s Japanese pupils. Students raised over Dhs 40,500 through the sale of origami paper and creating cranes as a symbol of peace and farewell to those who lost their lives in the disaster.
The Best Buddies
The Best Buddies programme was initiated in The Millennium School (TMS), Dubai in the year 2007 in which students from the school pair up as buddies with children with special needs. The programme that started with a total of 18 buddy pairs between TMS and the Rashid Pediatric Therapy Center has increased in student participation, and also in their associations with groups that work towards the inclusion of challenged individuals.
The Best Buddies Chapter of The Millennium School has always been very active in raising funds for a good cause. This year, two of the senior school pupils, Ginu George and Rupsha Mandal designed accessories on the Best Buddies theme, which were sold at various events during the spring break and at the start of the academic year. There were key chains, badges, magnets, bags, which all became a huge hit with both children and adults alike.
The TMS school students also visited the GEMS corporate office this month with their Best Buddy accessories, and the staff enthusiastically contributed to the noble cause. More than Dh12,000 was collected from the Best Buddy accessories sale, which will be donated to the Manazil Centre for Challenged Individuals.