WORK EXPERIENCE FOR A WORTHIER CAUSE
School calendars turned once again to the 30th January, the Three Hierarch’s Day – a day on which most schools are closed to commemorate the three Holy Fathers of Education in the Orthodox Church – and over ninety students from the English School participated in the first ever Youth Action Day (YAD) in Cyprus.
The venture was, from the very beginning an ambitious one, especially considering that its organisation was almost entirely the work of eleven teenagers. It was a fine example of a student-initiated and student-led project. The simple, yet praiseworthy aim was that participants would work for one day in local businesses, in areas of their interest. Instead of being paid for their day’s work, the firms they worked for would donate their pay to a Charity to help support the educational experiences of children in impoverished regions of the world. The students of the organising committee decided that the funds raised would go to the Sophia Foundation for Children which helps provide educational opportunities for children in a school and orphanage in Kenya.
A few months after the initial suggestion for the project was made to the management of the school, the idea gradually evolved from the abstract words of a few hopeful students, to a reality. The organisation of the first Youth Action Day on the 30 January 2018 was clearly a success; with the participation of 93 students, 21 businesses and the collection of approximately 3000 euros. The project was only available for Year 6 students of the English School as the students were advised to pilot the project on a small scale in its first year. However, given the momentum that has been ignited, the students are keen that the project be expanded next year to include other year groups of their school, as well as other schools around Cyprus.
It is worth noting that, in 2006, a similar project was organised in Belgium with the initial participation of 600 students. The same event last year, eleven years later, attracted over 15,000 students and raised more than half a million euros!
In a rapidly developing and ever-changing world that has led to the creation of a host of gaps in skills, it is beneficial that students have the opportunity for relevant work experience in professions that interest them. Youth Action Day has allowed students to gain from valuable work experience and be in a position to make more informed career choices. At the same time, it has allowed them to develop as individuals as they realise the value of volunteerism and the interconnectedness of the world. Youth Action Day has shown that the youth of Cyprus can take action guided by their humanity and creativity to learn new skills and simultaneously improve the opportunities and lives of children across the globe that are much less privileged than themselves.
A&P (Andreou & Paraskevaides) Enterprises Plc.
A.F. Modinos & S.A. Vrahimis
Hellenic Bank (sponsorship)
Linde-Hadjikyriakos Gas Ltd.
Maria Kythreotou Colocassidou Interior Design Studio
Nice Day Developments
Vafeades & Vafeades
Yiannoukas Medical Laboratories
Zopiros Vet Clinic