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Written by Rachel Crossland – PE Teacher and House Coordinator at BISP

Recently, the BISP Year 12 House Captains hosted a breakfast meeting to deepen the connections between our local service projects and our school community and to discuss how the BISP House system can be used as a vehicle to foster further engagement from the whole school community in service in Phuket. 

We welcomed students (our House Captains), members of the Service Community from ‘Phuket Has Been Good To Us’, SOS Children’s Village Thailand’, Phuket Sunshine Village’ and ‘Scholars of Sustenance’. We also welcomed members of the BISP Parent Teacher Association (PTA) who have provided the support needed for us to begin this journey and who continue to advocate for our joint projects with funds, expertise and most importantly an eagerness to get involved!

This meeting signals the start of a very important journey. This shared journey between students, parents, staff and our friends from our local Phuket charitable organisations is one in which we learn the value of ‘Deeds not Dollars’. We have a shared commitment to be a community that ‘rolls up its combined sleeves’ and acts in a way that reflects our school values of compassion, integrity and respect.  This shared mission is to spark a transformational change, a paradigm shift in our ‘giving culture’ where students become ’thinking, feeling and doing’ young people – people who CONNECT, ACT and REFLECT, understanding the value of being ‘people for others’.

Here at BISP we encourage our students to flourish in their own lives, but we also teach them to recognise the value in helping others to do the same.  Our aim, (utilising our House System), is to develop young people with a natural propensity for giving and a realisation that it is no longer good enough to ‘just do a bake sale’, or just have a ‘non-uniform day’. We are striving to move from acts of generosity which are transactional to those which are transformational – acts which are meaningful and resonate with the giver and the recipient in equal measure. 

And what’s even more exciting is that ‘giving’, whether it be our time, compassion, expertise or your spare change can have a huge impact, not just on the recipient but on the giver, and here is the science to prove it. 

Recent scientific research has shown that altruistic behaviour has a massive physiological, psychological and deeply personal impact. In short, giving is a no brainer, it’s a win-win and here’s how:

    • Giving Makes us HAPPY! The impact of the ‘Random Acts of Kindness Movement’ is testament to this. Have you ever heard of the ‘Helper’s High’? The immediate dopamine hit that floods your brain when you share or give.
    • Giving is good for our HEALTH – it’s physiological! It decreases stress and can lower blood pressure. It can even lead to longevity in life! The National Academy of Sciences in the US has conducted research which proves that people who have a propensity for sharing live longer than those who do not.
    • Giving promotes SOCIAL CONNECTION – levels of trust, cooperation and even our perception of each other and ourselves increases when we give and receive. GIVING can strengthen entire communities!
    • Giving evokes GRATITUDE, which is integral to health, happiness and social bonding. To give and receive often leads to increased feelings of optimism, hope and a more positive mind-set.
    • Giving is CONTAGIOUS!  When one person behaves generously it inspires others to do the same later. This is sometimes known as ’altruism which spreads by 3 degrees’, (from person to person to person to person). 

Imagine the potential that giving could have in a community such as ours. Let’s hope that this meeting will jumpstart a ‘ripple effect of generosity’ through our BISP community and beyond.