Another early start this morning: students arrived at school at 7.30am in order to get on buses for the ‘out and about’. Traditionally these excursions have been a chance to get out of school and visit a specific site in order to get inspiration for the drama work that follows, but at this festival the ‘out and about’ was a visit to one of ISM’s 5 service learning partners.
Our students visited a site belonging to Kids International Ministries (KIM).
It was a truly eye-opening experience for our students, and they definitely gained a better understanding of the city of Manila: the area in which the school is located is very affluent and well developed, and so it was good for them to see another side of the city.
The students worked with a group of mostly Grade 4 children who go to a school created by KIM: they started by playing a range of drama games before splitting into small groups. Each group was then given a simple children’s story for which they had to create props and costumes before developing a performance of that story.
It was great to see our students interacting with the local children, as well as with some of the students from ISM and some volunteers from a local service organisation. The Harrow Hong Kong students showed genuine leadership throughout the process, and the final performances were admirable for their creativity and enthusiastic presentation. Far more important, however, was the way in which they came away both humbled and energised by the experience: they clearly have much to think about as they move forwards with the rest of the weekend’s activities, and it was fascinating to see them reflecting on how they might like to be involved in future service events back in Hong Kong.
The students have now moved back into their ensemble groups, where they will embark more seriously on the process of exploring the theme of the festival, Bayanihan (the spirit of community) through drama and theatre. There were some very tired-looking faces this morning, but the positive energy is keeping them all going!
This evening there is a social event at the school, about which there is much excitement! This will end at 7.30pm, at which point they will be returning to their host families for what will no doubt be a very welcome and well-earned sleep.