Although community service remains a constant at Marlborough, projects that dominate one year do not always follow through to the next, leaving some students curious about what became of the communities we’ve helped and whether our efforts made any difference.
At an All-School Meeting on Thursday, Jan. 26, the Community Service Council updated the student body and faculty on organizations the School previously supported. Senior Class Council Community Service Representative Sarah ’12 discussed the Chimoza School, in Ndola, Zambia, which originally had only 43 students and three classrooms but with our help has grown to 13 classrooms, seven offices and 400 students.
Marlborough began fundraising for the Chimoza School in 2005, ultimately raising a total of $20,000.
“We wanted to update the School so they could see how our contributions have really made a difference,” Sarah said. “Even though it was five years ago, we should still be proud to be part of a community that was able to accomplish something so great.”
According to Community Service Coordinator Nadia Hopper, Marlborough was one of Chimoza’s first donors, helping the school build its initial classrooms. Hopper said she receives an e-mail with an update from Chimoza about once every two months, keeping our knowledge of their growth up to date.
At the same ASM, All-School Community Service Representative Joyce Seo ’12 informed the School about last year’s Wells Bring Hope project.
Wells Bring Hope’s mission is to provide clean water and good sanitation by drilling wells in rural villages in Niger. After a free dress day that cost students $5 to participate, a milkshake and sundae party, a bake sale, a bike auction and a candy gram sale, the Community Service Council raised a total of $3,283 for Wells Bring Hope.
Café M participates in another fundraising venture by selling bottled water from Nika, a company that gives 100% of its profits to any organization that offers clean water and basic sanitation to developing countries.
After learning about this innovative fundraising tactic, Community Service Council decided to donate the money made from Nika water to Wells Bring Hope. At the ASM, Dave Musil, Vice President of Sales at Nika, presented the School with a check for $1,039 to pass on to Wells Bring Hope.
Coordinator of Community Outreach Miranda Payne said the most difficult part of community service is that asking members of the School for money every year can become repetitive and agitating. Instead, she said she would like Council to offer alternative ways to help out.
For example, Community Service Council this year has launched a new campaign, “Bras for a Cause,” which requests the donation of bras instead of money. After learning how the scarcity of bras in Myanmar causes girls to wrap rags around their chests, which can lead to infection, Council thought asking Marlborough girls to donate bras would show that actions and contributions beyond money can have a beneficial impact on the disadvantaged.
“What we have to think about is how to make [the community] understand what’s going on in other countries when it’s not their reality,” Payne said.
Payne said Council’s goals for the future include becoming more transparent, maintaining more of a follow-up with past organizations and preserving the constant theme of “girls helping girls.”