Adani Zahirah & Sandra Pike
From 14 -19 March 2019, the grade 11s embarked on a CAS service-learning trip to Kupang to contribute towards the local community. They were divided into two teams with two different projects - SDN Kofi and Sekolah Paud Joel.
SDN Kofi was located in the mountains and the team worked on the construction of three additional classrooms to complete the primary school. Sekolah Paud Joel was located near the city center, and the team worked on building one additional classroom and a teachers’ room to accommodate the growing enrolments. The kids had previously resorted to using the back room in the church to facilitate school activities. The new facilities were built to provide a more conducive environment for education for the kids.
During the project, we also interacted with the kids in Kupang.
With themes such as teamwork, gratitude, and love, the education teams read bible stories to the kids, showed them cartoons and sang songs. We also taught them how to care for their environment such as throwing litter appropriately and planting. The younger kids did coloring.
The sports teams kept the kids active with stimulating games such as duck goose and musical chairs. The construction teams lifted heavy rocks across long distances and mixed cement to reinforce the foundation of the new facilities. The nutrition teams spent hours in the kitchen to prepare delicious meals for the kids. We were lucky to receive the help of enthusiastic parents, students, and teachers who were willing to dirty their hands to help, even in the face of the unpredictable weather, which switched from the scorching heat to heavy rain.
The highlight of the trip was being immersed in the authentic, rich local culture of Kupang. Apart from bonding with the children and teaching staff, we were also taught the traditional dance of the Kupang tribes, which we performed to bid our farewell and to show our utmost appreciation for their warm hospitality. We smiled through it all, and so did the locals, who laughed at our attempts and failures.
We shared hugs, tears, and laughter throughout our short yet sweet time with everyone in the community, and we hope to have sparked some light in their situation, just as they did to us, so they can continue fighting for a brighter future ahead.