No doubt, ISM has a penchant for giving back. One of the defining characteristics of our school is our plethora of service partners: CCV, SPECS, EPIC and CFK, to name a few. Over the years, the school has consistently been supportive of such groups, and is constantly looking for new ways to expand our service projects. This year, a new student-led service club called NKOO is in the spotlight. NKOO, which stands for Nayong ng Kabataan Outreach Orphanage, aims to provide education to the underprivileged kids in the orphanage. Ultimately, it hopes to provide children with the skills and knowledge they need in order to be independent by the time they are 18.
Since last year, a group of students have worked ardently hard to organize and plan trips for this service club. So, how was it founded? “[In the] beginning, nothing was set. Nothing was planned out for us: no budget and no knowledge of what the best way to help those kids in the orphanage is,” one of the organizers of NKOO recalls. Indeed, it was difficult to get started as students had to fight with permits, gather donations and promote Saturday service trips. However, upon visiting the orphanage, the struggles all seemed to dissipate. One NKOO volunteer shares, “[the] kids were more energetic than I thought. They were optimistic even with the most traumatic [experiences] they might have had in their early ages. [I felt there was] something I could learn from them, [and I will] never forget those smiles.”
The Nayon ng Kabataan Orphanage is unique from other service clubs in ISM, as it truly enhances the close relationship between the orphans and the students visiting. So, if you want to help brighten the lives of children, join the trips to NKOO every Saturday!
Artcle and Photos by: Sun Joo Lee