By Nicole Froio, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Started in 1924, The British School, Rio de Janeiro has approximately 2,000 students across three campuses in Botafogo, Urca and Barra da Tijuca. In December it has developed and launched a charity fund to facilitate the school’s work and involvement within the community, named the “TBS Charity Association”.
The association was built on the fact that, despite its heavy and lengthy involvement with the local community, the school has experienced funding to be a common obstacle for its continuous charity efforts.
The fund has been established as a legally independent entity, in hopes of building a financial endowment that will support the school’s ongoing community projects and help with start-up money for any developing charity ventures.
Director of The British School, John Nixon said: “The capital fund was set up to be used for [the] regular charities we work with and so that we have funds available when there’s a disaster like we’ve done with the Serra Project.”
The Serra Project is the emergency venture the school has put in place to help people affected by the 2011 floods in Teresópolis, Petrópolis and Nova Friburgo, at the mountain region outside Rio de Janeiro city. Acting fast, staff, students and parents put together food, clothing and school assistance to send to the disaster area, helping thousands of stranded people.
The school continues to send help by means of furniture, school material, presents, donations and provisions to the victims to this day. With the new Association, ventures like this will be easier to organize and accommodate.
“[The British School] is really committed not just to high standard academic education for our students but also to develop a sense of community and social responsibility,” said Mr. Nixon.
The association will also help stabilize existing projects like the school’s Projeto Arte e Transformação Social. Since 2009, The British School has taken students from the local community to the American college Cal Arts to study arts and English during summer, a unique opportunity.
The British School helps the students learn basic English before setting off and raises money to take them to California. In previous years, the project almost fell apart because of the lack of money to send students abroad.
The endowment, launched under the name TBS Charity Association, will strive to solve this problem by creating financial security for this program. Mr. Nixon is happy that this weakness is being amended but he gives most credit to his predecessor Paul Wiseman, who left the school in December 2011.
He said: “I would like to recognize former director Paul Wiseman, as he was instrumental in this. He was the driving force for this project; it was his idea and his initiative. I’m sure Paul would be really proud now that we’ve established TBS Charity Association as he had worked so hard to set it up.”
The idea of the association was born around two years ago at a The British School Board of Governors meeting with the idea that the school needed a means to act quickly when a new community/charity project came along.
Independently set up but overseen by the school, the endowment was launched on the evening of December 4th in an event hosted by the school. The event welcomed fifty parents, board members and staff to the Botafogo site of The British School.
Nick Walker, Chair of the Board, opened the evening by giving a speech about the history and good intentions of the TBS Charity Association and was followed by Mr. Nixon who praised the initiative, inspiration and passion of his predecessor.
Mr. Nixon also informed people of how they could help The British School make a difference. He said: “The prime way people can help is by making donations but also networking and raising awareness, positively promoting the image of the association.”
For those interested in helping and/or learning more about TBS Charity Association, please contact Mr. John Nixon at firstname.lastname@example.org, and/or (+55-21) 2543-5519 – ext. 158.
* This is a paid Advertorial for The British School, Rio de Janeiro.