By Fiona Hurrell, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The British School, Rio de Janeiro has always placed great importance on the need to support and cultivate local charities while producing socially aware and well-rounded individuals. Recently, they expanded their charitable endeavors by creating an institute of their own which will operate as an independent entity and hopefully strengthen the link between the students and Rio’s local community.
Named ‘The British School Charity’ or ‘TBS Charity’ the project hopes to help local organizations and facilitate lasting changes for those in need. The charity was first announced in December 2012, and has made great strides.
Already TBS Charity have helped a number of Rio’s charities such as Casa Jimmy, a home for street orphans and teenage mothers. In this instance, The British School students not only provided financial support to the NGO but also used a hands-on approach by visiting the children and introducing fun activities to the house.
Director of The British School, John Nixon, is also a supervisor of the charity, and told The Rio Times, “The concept of The British School Charity was founded by my predecessor, Mr. Paul Wiseman OBE, who had been Director of the school for nearly twenty years. He envisioned a charitable fund, overseen by the governors of the school, but set up as a separate legal entity, raising money to support charitable causes in and around Rio de Janeiro.”
Since the charity operates as an independent body it means that a proportion of money donated can be invested into an endowment fund allowing TBS Charity to plan for the future and provide relief instantly. This is something that is very important to the organization, who are looking to launch the fund and accept donations during the August school term.
Nixon adds, “The school has long been associated with various projects across town and more recently with a response to the 2011 flooding in Vale de Cuiaba. The idea of the TBS Charity is to build up funds for the on-going support of projects but also to be able to respond immediately to situations if they arise.”
As part of the CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) program and IB (International Baccalaureate) diploma, students who are in the last two years of secondary school are obliged to become involved in community support.
Yet with the creation of TBS Charity, younger children who are already involved in different projects, can also help focus into charitable work providing an outlet for the whole school community to take part in.
According to Nixon, “Our vision emphasizes a “caring community” and we firmly believe we should encourage our students to be empathetic, develop a social conscience and be aware of how they might help others less fortunate than themselves.”
Costura e lactário pro-infãncia, which works with the Santa Marta community, is another organization which has been helped by The British School. Through its ‘Food and Personal Hygiene’ campaign, the organization has provided valuable practical and financial support.
Started in 1924, The British School, Rio de Janeiro has approximately 2,000 students across three campuses in Botafogo, Urca and Barra da Tijuca. Like all charities the TBS Charity will rely heavily on donations and community support. To get involved, provide assistance or suggest organizations in need of aid, see their charity web site, www.tbscharity.org.br, or contact them via firstname.lastname@example.org.
* This is a paid Advertorial for The British School, Rio de Janeiro.