Anniversary Challenge Award Winners

By Rachael on 11/10/2017

At the Round Square International Conference in 2016, Our President, His Majesty King Constantine, set a challenge to all assembled schools in honour of Round Square’s 50th year. His Anniversary Challenge to each Student Committee was this: Armed with a small contribution of funds, go out and find a way to make a positive difference in your local or wider community.

His challenge was accepted by more than 80 student committees in Round Square schools throughout the world.

In July, we invited entries for five Anniversary Challenge Awards, and the following award winners were presented with trophies in recognition of their achievements at the RSIC2017 Opening Ceremony:

Students from St. Andrew's School, Turi, winners of the award for ‘Commitment to Sustainability’, created a fundraising project, taking and selling photographs on canvas to finance their service objective to provide daily porridge for 800 malnourished children. The students volunteer on rota travelling to work in the porridge kitchen, and their photography business pays for their ingredients.

The Student Committee from St Paul's Co-educational College won the award for ‘Problem solving’, having established an online education and mentoring platform to assist in closing the opportunity gap in China between those that have resources and opportunity to attend good schools and those, often in more rural areas, that do not. They carried out thorough research to fully understand the problem before they tried to solve it, including field research in rural schools. Their solution to tackle students’ ability to access online-learning via an online learning platform was an ingenious solution to the problem that very much came from a young-person’s perspective.

Students from the Emerald Heights International School won the award for ‘Inventiveness’ for their brilliant awareness-raising campaign about cancer symptoms and causes. Working with the Indore Cancer Foundation they designed a survey to measure where individuals sit on the ‘at risk’ scale. They have also created an innovative ‘self-help’ mobile app aimed to educate individuals in terms of their own susceptibility to cancer. The students plan to continue to monitor and analyse the results of their work in conjunction with the Indore Cancer hospital with whom they have struck up a good working relationship.

The Student body of The Southport School won the award for ‘Tenacity’ having so far purchased and distributed 600 birthing kits in developing countries. Having initially settled on this idea for their Anniversary Challenge, the students found that the funding provided by Round Square wasn’t enough to finance the level of impact they wanted to have. Undeterred, they embarked on a fundraising campaign, and hours of food preparation and cooking for fundraising barbeques. Every week since the start of the project they have given up the majority of their lunchbreak to run year 10 awareness-raising assembly lessons, teaching about the importance of women’s health and wellbeing. The team has also spent a considerable number of Friday evenings after school preparing for, and cleaning up after, assembly evenings. In addition, they have demonstrated tenacity in persisting with promoting and organising their program through speeches at assemblies, reports and meetings.

The student community of AKS Lytham won the award for ‘Greatest Whole School Involvement’ for their initiative to engage students throughout their school with the elderly community in their local town, where there is a ratio of 3 senior citizens to every teenager. Many members of the elderly community live a secluded or isolated lifestyle and the students were determined to change that. The “Bring Me Sunshine” campaign was spearheaded by the student committee who engaged the whole school and organised a full programme of meeting and social events including tea parties, concerts, keep fit classes and inter-generational dances, all supported by brilliant social media activity.