HS Art

TAISM community unites to support Nepal earthquake victims

August 14, 2015

Empty Bowls Project

Since the earthquake the school community, including the students, staff and parents, has held a number of events and campaigns to help Nepal. 

Several fund-raising campaigns have been held or are under way, and arts classes have been decorating Buddhist prayer flags which will draw attention to the cause and then be sent to Nepal as a sign of hope for the survivors.

“It’s really been a community initiative because just when the earthquake happened there were 25 students from Nepal here and some of them were actually Nepalese. There was huge emotional turmoil and involvement from the TAISM community,” explained Beata Jirkovsky, a counsellor at the school.

Earlier in April two groups of students from TAISM had visited the Lincoln School in Nepal, too, for music and sports events, so there was also a lot of interest from the school to do something for the country.

Immediately after the quake a number of parents at TAISM, some of whom were hosting the students from Lincoln School in Kathmandu, raised over OMR1,000 which was given to the staff who were accompanying the students so it could be used immediately and as they saw fit. 

The school principals came up with an idea called “Baisa Bricks,” whereby people can pay 100bz for a paper brick which is then decorated or upon which a positive word or message is written. 

The bricks are decorating part of the cafeteria, and the money raised will be sent to Nepal.

Art teacher Bretta Ringo was already working on a service project with her ceramics students called Empty Bowls, a grass roots program that started in the US 25 years ago that raises money and awareness of world hunger and the reasons for hunger, including poverty, conflict and natural disasters. 

The students made ceramic bowls and then held a lunch at which people could buy the bowls full of soup for OMR3

Originally the students were going to donate the money to a project through the World Food Programme but after the earthquake they decided to give the money to Nepal instead.

While her 15 ceramics students had to participate in the project, another 170 came forward to make bowls, too.

“The kids respond to it. They’re really excited about it. It’s something that I have been passionate about for years and I think it will go directly to those in need of food and medical services,” Ringo said.

The grade five students ate simple lunches of rice and beans for a week and donated all their lunch money. 

For the students it was an exercise not just in raising money, but understanding how the majority of people in the world live.

Jirkovsky said the amount of money spent on a typical student lunch at the school could easily feed an entire family in Nepal for a day.

“This empathy goes on throughout the whole week. They know exactly why they are doing it. And how much different it can make if we just give up one week of lunch money,” said Jirkovsky.

Reporter can be reached at sarah@timesofoman.com

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