How founding a Charity project changed my perception of service

By Krill Naumov, Grade 11

In September 2018 my classmate Sara and I founded a Mission and Service group at ISR called ‘Smile’. In the first week, we set up a connection with the VSAC “Rīga” orphanage and soon started visiting them on a weekly basis. Over the course of the year we also organised a clothes drive and several fundraising events to buy much-needed play equipment.

To be honest, prior to leading ‘Smile’ my idea of service was simply a check on a college application. Here are a few ways in which founding a charity project changed my point of view.

Responsibility

Family. Although in modern society it is taken for granted, not all children are privileged enough to have one. When we started ‘Smile’, I realised that everyone needs a family and a place they can comfortably call a home. When we started visiting the VSAC “Rīga” orphanage every week, I decided to make it my responsibility to help those children. My goal as one of the leaders of the club is to bring a little more joy and fun to their lives. Now that we have established a relationship with the children and orphanage we also have a responsibility to sustain the commitment and hopefully to build a project that will outlast our time at the school.


Katrina Krieke, Grade 11

Compassion

Speaking from personal experience, service changes your way of seeing things. Having previously been a believer in a ‘strongest survives’ ideology, I learned to be compassionate towards those in need. I was deeply concerned about the conditions in which the children grow up. My opinion now is that we should be a more compassionate society and that state’s responsibility to provide much more funding for the orphanage. However, through individual compassion and action, we were able to improve the playground by adding swimming pools, trampolines and a nice tent for events.


Bake Sale, Fall 2018

Community

Whilst I hold that the state is responsible for providing for children living in orphanages, I have also come to believe the we are all responsible for the members of our community. It is the public’s responsibility to volunteer  and care for the most needy in our society and to hold the government accountable for sufficiently helping the orphanages. The community should become more understanding towards this issue and help in any way that they can.

Stefan Olevinskiy, Grade 10

Reward

From the dozens of visits to VSAC “Rīga” this year I learned that it feels great to help those in need. The reward is to be able to make a positive impact in their lives and to be able to make happy moments that they can remember.

Overall, I can confidently admit that even signing up for charity is already going to change anyone’s perception of service. For me, it quickly became a responsibility to make their lives better by providing expensive play equipment and visiting the orphanage regularly. Overall, it was a very interesting experience and I hope we can achieve much more next year.