On Saturday, August 25, twenty-five students from SIS took a break from studying, sleeping, and hanging out and volunteered their Saturday to help others. Traveling to Gresik, students worked with Habitat for Humanity to improve the lives of villagers.
The village of Wringinanom, was in need of clean toilet facilities and houses that will protect people during the rainy season. With help from the Habitat staff, students built three toilets and a house. The students mixed the cement, carried the bricks, applied the mortar, and built the rebar structures — all in 30+ degree weather. Not only did they learn about masonry, they also learned more about each other, with students from different grades working together. Though it was hot, students kept a positive attitude, and especially enjoyed the lunch break at the village’s gathering area.
“That was my first time so I enjoyed it. A lot of thoughts came to my mind when I saw the area. There was situation where the house owner turned on the fan for us, and we were really thankful but then I realized he would have to pay the electric fee and he didn’t turn it on for his own kids. A lot of thoughts about poverty really hit me then, and I felt honored to be serving,” said Stella Park, a junior at SIS and a National Honors Society member.
Habitat for Humanity has been working in this village for about a year, and our students volunteered there last year as well. Students who had worked on a house previously were able to see the completed building. The local school did not have toilets, but through donations from SIS staff members, it now does. The students who attended on August 25 were a part of a ribbon-cutting celebrating the new bathrooms that their teachers had helped to build.
All of these projects were funded through SIS’s National Honor Society and generous donations from SIS staff. Through these acts of service and the role modeling of their teachers and staff members, students are learning more about the issues of poverty that affect Indonesia. One of the Core Learning Outcomes at SIS is to actively engage in service and their community. On August 25, our students did just that. Thank you to those who served, to NHS, and to the staff for their donations.