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AT TAYLOR'S: Anna Berney (berney.a@gardenschool.edu.my)
PROJECT PARTNER: Refer to 'Partners' section
Discovery Week is one of Garden International School’s biggest programs organised. The yearly program is coordinated and executed by Ms Anna Berney and Ms Shamsiah Binti Ismail, is a program where over 800 secondary school students go on community service based trips in Klang Valley as well as a few countries in South East Asia. Participated by students from Year 7 to Year 10 and Year 12, the program is a curricular subject in the school and it has been made compulsory for the students to take part every year. These program usually a week long, varies from going to Sarawak to build homes, to working with underprivileged children in Cambodia.

Ms Berney and Ms Ismail have been working hard to develop trips to ensure that the students have the best experience possible. The main aim of this program is to enable students to contribute to the community and the environment and at the same time help them to develop valuable skills and broaden up their experiences and knowledge. “We usually draft and plan the trips at the beginning of each academic year, which is between October and November. Once the proposal has been approved by Mr Graham Wilson, the Head of Secondary, an event called Discovery Week Marketplace will be held to promote on the year’s trips.” explains Sham. 
 
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Students together with their parents would attend the Discovery Week Marketplace to find out about the different trips offered for the year. As there are limited spaces for each trip and students are encouraged to go on a different trip each year, thus priority will be given to those who have not been on that trip before. Students should use the week to make new friends and enjoy spending time with students from other year groups.

Some highlights from the program as follows:
 
Chengdu: About 15 students went to Sichuan, the states where most pandas are located, to do some volunteering work for the furry animals in the Bifengxia Panda Reserve.
 
Chiangmai: The students spent their nights in the hills working at a small local hill tribe school of the Thai Yai (Shan) people, about 45km from Chiang Dao town. At the Elephant Nature Park, over 30 elephants that had been rescued were washed and fed.
 
Habitat for Humanity: Two teams went over to Kuching and Medan respectively to participate in the constructions for the community in the rural area.
 
Kiulu Valley Community Project: Privately run projects aiming to develop village facilities to benefit people in the local area which involved mixing 22 tonnes of concrete, sifting by hand, building a volleyball court and putting the finishing touches on the mural design.
 
KK Turtle: Students learnt about how the sea turtles are being threatened by our activities on land and at sea and educated the locals through programs to help them find alternative more.
 
Philippines: Collaborating with British School Manila, along with the previous Principal of GIS, Mr Simon Mann and The Springboard Foundation, 20 students went to Isabella, Leyte for the rebuilding of homes which were destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) on 8th November 2013. The project builds cost was covered with one third of the funds raised from Mufti Day last year.
 
ReachOut: Myanmar refugee kids from various learning centres were brought to GIS for fun activities such as drama, music, textile, jewellery and iMovie. There was also a day trip within the Klang Valley visiting educational-cum-entertainment places for the kids. Another group of GIS students went went over to 5 learning centres and helped them in refurbishing their centres.
 
For more information on the program, please contact capstick.a@gardenschool.edu.my or shamsiah.i@gardenschool.edu.my 


Written by Amelia Ooi
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