KSIP Community Service Activities
The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world."
This IBO motto, that introduces the Learner Profiles and outlines the qualities of not only IBO students but every student or rather every human being, has been the very core of values fostered at KSIP.
Formal education does not and should not only focus on developing our academic intelligence but strive to form a balanced, caring, empathic individuals, ready to take their place as pillars of the society and world as a whole.
Although one of the most obvious purposes of the community service is meeting the required number of hours stipulated by the Meduca, KSIP would like our students to take away a much more valuable lesson - we are a part of a global family and we should treat one another with respect, care and empathy.
For this purpose, our students have taken part in a range of service activities in our immediate as well as the wider community.
Some of the recent activities we have taken up are visits to the nursing home Fundacion Nueva Vida in Panama Pacifico, where we play games, sing, and, generally, spend some quality time with the senior citizens from our community.
The satisfaction has been mutual: the residents are glad to see that, contrary to the stereotype, young people are not selfish and only absorbed in their own needs, but are capable of sharing some human warmth and showing they do care. These visits have been slowly becoming our regular Saturday practice and we look forward to the upcoming ones, especially since even our middle school students have started joining us.
Recently, a group of students, led by a former graduate, Gabriel Ayala, organized the collection of donations and delivered them during their visit to the Children's Hospital.
Our students have also decided to self-organize, under the leadership of our very own Andrea Taboada, and join the initiative "Operation Smile" which organizes community service activities of various kinds.
In her article "Empathy: How it can re-establish the connection between people", Kristen Leer breaks down what empathy and being empathic mean:
"The following bullet points show why as humans it is unquestionably important to develop empathy as a natural skill.
Empathy will help us to understand the needs and situations of the people around us.
One will be more likely to treat those the way one wants to be treated.
More open to connections and relationships with the people around us, and more beneficial to learning and new experiences.
Communication and listening skills will become stronger, learning to closely read what a person is really saying, instead of making assumptions.
Empathy humanizes the ‘other’, instead of creating distance with something that is beneath us."
Empathy goes hand in hand with emotional intelligence, which, according to some experts, should be focused on at school, because what we need even more than experts are human beings and KSI does its best to balance the qualities of the two.