“Sir, what about having a “Rice Day” every month to raise funds for our projects?”
That was 2012, and what about it indeed? Although not experts then, we had seen enough to appreciate the difference we could make to communities in need both abroad and closer to home, knew enough to appreciate and believe also that ́fortune favours the brave ́.
Equipped with a questioning Headmaster and PTA reassured, a kitchen staff enlightened and enthused, and most importantly a student body galvanised through meaningful awareness assemblies, and to a fanfare of uplifting music blaring in the canteen, our very first Rice Day was underway!
Seven years later
That was seven years ago. Seven years on and success has bred success. A long line of enthusiastic and capable D1 students have distinguished themselves organising and running Rice Days. Each successive group both modelling previous excellence whilst asserting their own unique mark. Each group committed to the original cause of making a difference, raising awareness, whilst co-incidentally enhancing their own personal growth and curriculum vitae.
Supporting The Kindred Project
Rice Day has become firmly rooted in the service DNA of the school raising awareness on important issues, like the UN ́s Development Goal Number 2, Zero Hunger. A much loved and inspiring fundraising activity that is organised once a month by The Kindred Project students, in which Secondary students (Primary once a year) have the opportunity to opt or “pledge” to swap their usual school lunch for a plain dish of rice. By doing so, the school’s catering company saves a considerable amount of money as a result of reducing food production costs on the day. A set amount of money is agreed per plate of rice eaten per student (€2). Rice Day team members, together with catering staff, keep a count of the “normal lunches” taken to be able to calculate the amount made at the end of the service (number of total secondary students – the number of normal meals taken x €2). The money saved by the catering company goes towards The Kindred Project to raise funds for a specific project, previously identified and notified. As the school has grown and numbers increased around 700 euros is donated from each Rice Day.
Recent visiting ́Inspired ́ integration officer Ray Holliday OBE noted in his report; ̈They (students) were especially proud of The Kindred Project programme in school, and deeply committed to reaching out to children and others in need, experiences of which were life-changing for many students. ̈
Indeed the whole SIS community; parents, students, teachers should be very proud of Rice Day, a project that has since its conception raised well over 10.000 euros for various projects both locally and globally. Last year’s Rice Days provided meals for 70 children from the Hogar Betania centre for children at risk to enjoy during their two-month summer school/camp.
Previous year’s D1 Rice Day team member Vicky Valero recalls;
“I didn’t realise the impact Rice Day had until I spoke to Begoña ( Coordinator of Hogar Betania). Sometimes we do not know what happens in the world, even 15 min away from where we live in La Linea. Begoña explained the situations of some children and how the funds raised improved their lives. It enabled me to understand how our actions can have such a positive impact.”
2018 Rice Day D1 Co-ordinator Lucia Gil Aycart agrees; “Being part of something as big as Rice Day has been the most enriching & eye-opening experience. It’s made me realize that at the end of the day the material things you possess don’t define you, it is the experience of helping others and realising how people can live with so little and still be happy that does. Helping a small community may not change the world, but if it could change the world for one person, then its worth it.”
So, after seven years Rice Day continues to grow from strength to strength. A stunning example of a student-led initiative, an empowering project that demonstrates empathy with over three billion people who eat rice daily throughout the world. A successful fundraiser for communities we partner. A project we encourage other Inspired schools to adopt.
Seven years ago a student enquired; “Sir, what about having a rice day every month to raise funds for our projects?”