The British School of Kuwait offers many opportunities to its students, and we’re proud to say that one of these opportunities that we’ve been given is to participate in the International Award for Young People (IAYP). This year 135 students in BSK have participated in this adventurous journey where we have had to strive to complete the goal that we have set. No matter how hard it was to achieve, we were ready, devoted and enthusiastic. Along with an adventure-filled trek, we students tried to discover our own potential to make even the smallest difference in society. We also wanted to physically enhance ourselves, and to learn a new skill for our own benefit. The International Award gives us a feeling of independence; it encouraged us to develop ourselves and our social responsibility to others.
The first step, which is often referred to as the most ‘important step’ on our journey of solidarity, motivation and self determination is the Bronze Award. We visited the Al Hamra Mountain range, Oman, where we had to face unbearably cold temperatures at night as well as sweltering heat conditions during the day. It gave us the opportunity to find out how teamwork is the essential key to success and this will truly benefit us in the years to come.
The Silver Award takes the Bronze Award onto a slightly higher level. The Silver practice trek consisted of a 42 km trek to Mutla Ridge, Kuwait, spread over 3 days and 3 nights in order to prepare us for the final expedition in the National Park of Mai Fang, situated in Northern Thailand. We had to complete this trek in 5 days and successfully achieved this goal when we reached the second highest peak in Thailand. “It was the best week of my life, although it was hard. I got the chance to spend this time with my friends and learned so much in just this one week,” said Charles Fernandes, a Silver Award recipient.
The Gold Award students had to undertake a residential project where they worked at the El-Shaddai Child Rescue Centre in Goa, India. Here we spent our time caring for orphaned and underprivileged children. We spent our mornings understanding, teaching, and learning from them too. Although we taught the children basic skills such as how to read and write, we had a lot to learn from the children themselves. The children taught us that even the simplest things in life can provide happiness as well as being grateful for everything you have. “The children showed us that there’s so much more to life than materialistic items,” said Saeef Abdullah Alam, a Gold Award participant.
Along with that, the Gold International Award students had their final expedition in the Annapurna region in Nepal this year. It was certainly a very exciting challenge for the students themselves. A group of 13 students and staff set out to walk the famous Jomson trek in Annapurna. For the first two days, they had time to relax before they set out for this incredible yet challenging journey. Finally, on the third day, they covered 122 km in just six days at altitudes up to 3000 metres. The students described the first three days of the trek as “the warm-up for the killer day” and even though Zara Baker described this as “the hardest day of her life”, by the end of it, seeing the excitement and enthusiasm of everyone, the entire element of pain they had to go through seemed to be worth it. It was priceless. To these thirteen students it was the ten days they would remember for the rest of their lives.
The International Award Scheme fosters personal achievement making it an individual challenge. It encourages personal discovery, growth, self-reliance, perseverance and the responsibility for self and service to the community. The development of personal interests and practical skills has also taught us how to believe in ourselves and has boosted our confidence levels, teaching us a lesson which we will cherish for our life time. We have also developed a sense of service to the community and a feeling of responsibility towards others. The Expedition section challenged all of us to undertake a venture with a specific purpose in an unfamiliar environment. Above all, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. On the 15 May the glorious Awards Ceremony took place. We celebrated the achievement of every individual who was involved in the International Award at The British School of Kuwait. It was like a token of congratulations for all the obstacles we had to face! We would like to thank the Director of the International Award, Mr Oliver Millar, for his endless dedication and commitment to making this award run smoothly and memorable for us young adults. The highly devoted team of teaching and support staff has also contributed towards the success of the award. It truly has been a successful year.
As individuals, we have learnt to reach specific standards set by ourselves; we have had to achieve our own goals and record our own progress. This has helped immensely to enhance our personalities as well as contributing to our future by making us better global citizens.
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