Unified in their missions to help in any way they could during lockdown, staff at local international schools made a difference in their communities, embodying the spirit of altruism, compassion and empathy.
SSIS community stands together in COVID-19 fight
Ordinary residents in Shanghai are among the real heroes during lockdown as we all stand together in the fight against COVID-19. They are sacrificing their time for the greater good by volunteering to serve their communities.
Shanghai Singapore International School parents and staff have also been doing their utmost to serve, and are at the forefront of volunteering and ensuring the wellbeing and safety of their communities. Some have been assisting the elderly by retrieving their QR codes and ensuring order during mass testing. Others have been helping to disinfect and deliver COVID-19 supplies to residents.
SSIS recently heeded the call of the Shanghai Education Commission International Schools section to donate personal protection equipment, such as gloves, masks and testing kits. These supplies were distributed to students in Shanghai housed in quarantine locations across the city.
We donated 20,000 yuan (US$2,977) and got our vendors to deliver the supplies overnight so these students had the necessary equipment to keep them safe throughout their recovery process.
Everyone’s collective efforts have shown that, as a community, we are definitely stronger together.
Here are some great examples of how parents and staff have selflessly helped in a time of crisis.
“We can all learn something positive from the pandemic. Parents are their children’s first teachers, and by setting myself as an example, my children learn to have a sense of social responsibility. This experience is an important life lesson for all of us.”
– Mother of a SSIS G9 student
“I see everyone making sacrifices during this fight against COVID-19. We are all fighting for victory in our own small ways, and I hope we can overcome the pandemic soon.”
– Mother of SSIS Grade 2&4 students
“Working in the education sector, I was driven to lead by example by participating in community pandemic prevention work and doing my part. We need to look out for each other and help one another as we are in this together.”
– Zhang Feng, SSIS Staff
“I believe there is love and care all around. I’m happy to do my bit for those in need. I look forward to the end of the pandemic and hope we will all meet face to face soon.”
– Ding Weiwen, SSIS governess
“I am very happy to be able to serve everyone during this period. I believe as long as we unite as one, we can overcome the pandemic.”
Chen Yuexin, SSIS governess
Lending a helping hand during city’s lockdown
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King
When Shanghai went into lockdown, the lives of millions of people came to a standstill. However, in challenging times, the WISS community tends to pull together to support one another.
The sense of community is one of the key elements that define WISS as a school. During these situations, you feel the spirit of our community, always ready to support, take action and lend a helping hand.
“Tiger Spirit” is embedded in the entire WISS community as being caring and supportive.
We would like to share testimonials from the WISS community and their experiences as volunteers.
“I saw the message in a WISS WeChat group about looking for volunteers who can help teachers in the same compound. I signed up for the first time. I contacted one teacher and realized the difficulties she had understanding the Chinese buying groups. It is confusing for foreigners because all messages are in Chinese, so I helped translate in different groups as needed.”
– A WISS mum
“As a WISS parent volunteer, I discovered that there are three WISS teachers in my compound. We set up a WeChat group to share pandemic information and available food supplies. I’m so happy that I could serve the WISS community. It’s also a great opportunity to help my son learn what caring is and how to work together as a team.”
– A WISS mum
“A simple thank you or smile on their faces can soothe our tiring, endless nights and the quest to provide as much as we can to them. Indeed, the ‘Tiger Spirit’ is embedded in the entire WISS community as being caring and supportive.”
– A WISS mum
We want to thank all the volunteers from the WISS community who helped in their own ways, big or small – parents, students, teachers and school leaders alike. The actions of our community were spontaneous and natural. WISS is grateful to have such a strong community.
(The article is compiled by WISS Marketing Department.)
When a compound becomes a community
Our family had just completed 14 months of living in Shanghai when a neighbor in our compound tested positive for COVID-19. In November 2021, we faced our first lockdown in China.
The entire compound quarantined for 14 days. In a second, everything changed. Everybody was kind of lost, and we were worried about Building No. 6, the only building completely sealed.
We decided to volunteer to help. Maybe we could, at least, help to pass on information to other foreigners living in the compound. I remember one of the first things we did – we went to the outside of Bldg 6. The residents there couldn’t leave their building. We stood there with a sign that said “Stay strong” and got their attention with a microphone. We called other kids and adults around us to help, and everybody was happy to do it. That moment was the beginning of so many wonderful things we could never imagine would happen to our family.
Someone took a photo of us, and a journalist who lived in Bldg 6 published it in a newspaper. Another neighbor decided to create a painting of that same scene. Everybody started to say to each other, “Stay strong!” We ended up in the newspapers and on Weibo, Twitter and Facebook.
Everything got even bigger when I decided to bake cupcakes for the children in Bldg 6. One mother in the building recorded the moment her daughter collected one of the cupcakes. The video got more than 3 million views that week.
My husband was also asked to deliver food to the elderly. Carrying deliveries, I helped to relay messages to foreigners. We created daily playtime activities with the kids. We even recorded a bedtime story for kids and shared it with parents. My girls cooked dumplings for the volunteers. And every time we needed to be tested, my kids would hand out messages to volunteers in the queue to “Stay strong,” just to lift everyone’s spirits.
My husband was invited to be interviewed by a local TV station, and there was also a video to support another compound in the district. The months passed and here we are once again: same community, another lockdown and again we volunteered to help.
Each member of our family helped in different ways. My girls delivered antigen tests. My husband and I delivered bigger packages all around the compound. My son delivered parcels and shopping bags inside our building.
But during the second lockdown something was different. Now, we have such an incredible team of foreigners volunteering. Language is no longer a barrier! The kindness we paid forward has been returned to us 1,000 times over.
Before the great lockdown, my husband was classified as a close contact. Therefore, our family was sealed inside our home for 14 days. When people in our compound learned of this, we started to get fruits, veggies, eggs and even flowers on our doorstep. Today, I still don’t know who sent us many of these things.
At some point I needed coffee. Another volunteer helped me find it. At the end of our chat, she mentioned that she was really happy helping me. “Do you remember those cupcakes you baked for Bldg 6 months ago?” she asked, “That day was my daughter’s birthday. She was so excited about getting one of those treats. Thank you for that.”
Today, I don’t see where I live as a compound anymore. It’s a community. We’re engaged and we look out for one another.
(The article is contributed by Andrisa Arruda and Paulo Arruda, whose children are pupils at Wellington College International Shanghai.)