A group of Grade 9 students from the Inter-Community School Zurich (ICS) came to visit SMD at the end of March 2015 – and had a lot of fun helping out in the Nursery and Lower Kindergarten classrooms.

Flying into Kathmandu on 25 March, the students’ plan was to come to SMD and engage in service learning for five days before going on a hike through Nepal.

While older children were siRng end-of-school-year exams, the ICS students worked with the younger children, aged from four upwards, teaching them simple acTon songs in English to help them learn words and numbers.

They also organised games such as ‘Duck, Duck, Goose’ – which soon became a favourite game among the kids – and engaged in memory games to learn each other’s names.

Arts and craXs were also on the agenda and by the end of the classes, paper planes and small paper origami were all over the place. The SMD children joined in with the acTviTes with so many smiles and enthusiasm. And the ICS students loved the experience.

“The kids were so happy and excited with everything we did,” said Andrea aXerwards. “I was really impressed by how well they listened and how enthusiasTc they were and how they just wanted to interact with everything we did. They were just overall very happy.”

The behaviour and acTons of the Nepali kids were greatly admired by the ICS students.

“I thought that they were very intelligent for their age. They are 5-year-olds and they can speak three languages plus their dialect language and they can spell proper English. I couldn’t believe how smart they were”, said Tobias.

“The kids are absolutely amazing. They are really mature and can do everything by themselves; they can put their shoes on and get themselves dressed. If you tell them to do something, they will do it, they can follow instrucTons really easily and well”, said Ana.

ICS has had a relaTonship with SMD for ten years. Since 2008 it has offered scholarships to SMD students so that they can go and study for their IB Diploma at ICS, and hopefully go on to higher educaTon. And ICS students and teachers have visited SMD, to volunteer and to see a very different school and country.

On this trip, the ICS Grade 9 students and their three teacher chaperones helped out around the school by doing various volunteer acTviTes. This included some work on the small patch of garden to help turn it into a vegetable garden. Working with SMD staff and Senior students, they started by clearing away all of the liber and rubbish from the garden, turning over the earth and geRng rid of the weeds. AXer a few hours, the garden was in much beber condiTon than it previously was, with freshly raked earth and marked beds. It is now ready to plant maize and beans.

The students had an audience of SMD children watching them while they worked, and hanging on the garden fence to see them.

The ICS leX SMD with very fond memories of the new friends they made while they were there.

Caleb said: “What struck me was just how easy it was to get them focused on the acTviTes we were doing together – like singing acTon songs or playing PicTonary or playing a spelling game – and to start enjoying our Tme with them from the start. It was really great.”

“I really liked how well-mannered they were and how they tried to make the best out of everything. They appreciated that we were there and that we were helping them,” said Zofia.