Making a Difference
The Western Academy of Beijing realizes that, as global citizens, we have a responsibility towards the world around us that extends outside the classroom. Being global citizens is about making a difference.
At WAB, student-run groups challenge themselves and others by matching their interests with meaningful projects, all with the guidance of CAS coordinator and activity supervisors.
Some of these groups participate in the annual Global Issues Conference, while others receive recognition through the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award which is designed to foster a spirit of adventure, discovery and community responsibility. CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) is a continuation of WAB's Global Citizenship program for Grade 11 and 12 students, and a mandatory core component of the IB Diploma Programme. CAS is the heart of the diploma and takes seriously the importance of life outside the world of scholarship, providing a refreshing counterbalance to academic studies. The CAS components are an integral part of the WAB mission to connect, inspire, challenge and make a difference. We currently run over 60 CAS-related activities and projects in the High School.
WAB has definitely opened my mind to think globally, and through the help of the CAS program here, act locally. Through the opportunities that are presented at WAB, I've increased my understanding of how I can make a difference.
Below are just some of a long list of Global Citizenship and CAS endeavors undertaken throughout WAB:
Roots & Shoots (R&S)
In 1994, WAB was honored to become the first home in China for the “Roots & Shoots” program of the Jane Goodall Institute. With tens of thousands of young people in almost 100 countries, the Roots & Shoots network connects youth of all ages who share a desire to create a better world. Through service projects, youth-led campaigns and an interactive website, Roots & Shoots members are making a difference across the globe.
Pro Farmer Project
This student-led activity works towards reducing poverty, as defined by the United Nations developmental goals. The focus of the group has been assisting farming communities of rural China to sell their products, and returning the profits from the sales to the community.
Those interested in reducing poverty, learning about marketing, budgeting and sales, are invited to join the Pro Farmer Project!
Kuthor School Foundation
The Kuthor School Foundation started at WAB as a result of one WAB family's visit to the Kuthor School in 2008.
Efforts to support the Kuthor School continued with the Grade 12 Legacy Project in 2012, and WAB students continue to support this orphanage school and village through fundraisers like clothing drives, the scarf drive and other awareness-raising events.
Migrant School Group
The Migrant School group started 5 years ago as a Grade 10 Personal Project. It has developed since then, and now includes a group of students who visit a local migrant school on Saturday mornings, a fundraising group, and a small group who go to a local Elementary school to work with the students on pronunciation. Students may choose to be involved in whichever part of the project interests them.
The ‘Build a School’ project began in 2008 as a Grade 8 homeroom initiative to raise money to help disadvantaged children in China. Students hosted a variety of fundraisers, including selling aquariums they had made in science class, and holding a student ‘lock out’. In 2009, the group donated those funds to Jiashan Primary School, a school in Gansu province that was severely damaged by the devastating earthquake of 2008.