It’s that time of the school year again – another CAS reflection. This time, we are specifically focusing on the Service aspect of CAS. The 2 main service projects I will be incorporating into this reflection are the “Sekolah Bisa Online” project and my “Speak Up” project.
LO 1: I identify my strengths, I identify areas for growth
I addressed this learning outcome by identifying my strengths and experience in online marketing and utilizing the vast connections I have with students, companies, media outlets, CEOs, entrepreneurs and government officials. Along with that, I have always had a strong passion for helping children with cancer in Indonesia. With this, I had the confidence to create an online public speaking competition as a fundraiser for cancer patients. To make sure that the project can be successful, I needed to utilize my communication skills, which I knew I needed to develop. This project helped me a lot in doing so, as I needed to communicate with media outlets, government officials, my website team, and much more. Another aspect that is needed for a project like this is patience and persistence. In general, I am a person who lacks both those traits. I give up quite easily when I can’t find a way out. This project has helped train my patience when waiting for sponsors to respond, going through the website development, so on and so forth. I learned to persevere when I had to revise my marketing plan several times, as it did not fit my sponsors’ needs. All these contributed to developing those 2 traits I previously lacked.
In creating the SB website, I identified my strengths in website designing and my fluency in speaking Bahasa Indonesia. This way, I could use my skills in establishing and the aesthetic aspect of the website, as well as communicate with the people from Sekolah Bisa for interviews and picture-taking purposes. I knew I needed to develop my teamwork skills with my fellow peers, which is why I decided to join the SB website team.
LO 2: I undertake new challenges, I undertake new skills
In planning and initiating my Speak Up Public Speaking competition, I went through tough challenges. I found it difficult to creep ate a proposal for the project and search for sponsors. Promoting the competition was, in my opinion, the hardest part of this project. I had to create a marketing plan that was cost-efficient yet effective and propose this to my sponsors. But at the end, I overcame all those challenges. I learned simple skills such as being able to write “proper” emails to sponsors and other parties involved. Also, I had to be able to communicate my thoughts and ideas properly and accurately to my website developer team, which helped develop my communication skills.
Before creating the Sekolah Bisa website, I had very little experience in creating websites, other than my own personal blog. We had to create the Sekolah Bisa website using several different programs, applications and manually coding it, which I have never done before. But eventually, it all came together perfectly. I gained programming and website development skills throughout the process.
LO 3: I plan and initiate
Planning and initiating was one of the most crucial aspects of my CAS service projects.
I went through a tough planning process for my Speak Up competition. I spent a lot of time planning the website, promotion, sponsorship deals, marketing plan, and even things as simple as planning when to meet my website team. I also had to plan ahead for the Speak Up Cancer Project and how the public speaking competition can be linked to the cancer project. Initiating the competition itself was also a difficult step to take. There were a few difficulties in meeting the initial launch date of the competition, due to technical difficulties and communication problems, but we managed to initiate the competition within that week.
Furthermore, we had to plan the initial setup and layout of the SB website, along with the financial aspects of it. We initially planned to use SquareSpace, a simple website builder, but our proposal was rejected as it exceeded our budget. Therefore, we had to change our website plans to fit the tight budget given to us. We initiated a method to get the funds by contacting the procurement team. Afterward, we went on to create the website itself using the applications and programs needed.
LO 4: I show commitment, I persevere
Perseverance and commitment were detrimental to the success of my service projects. There were times where I wanted to give up my Speak Up project and opt for a simpler project. Initially, I felt very overwhelmed by the things I had to do, such as creating the proposal, looking for sponsors, looking for a website team, and creating the marketing plan. But I persevered, and at the end, it turned out well.
Creating the SB website also needed a lot of dedication. Since we were quite inexperienced, it took us quite a while to get a hang of creating the website from scratch. We had to frequently ask for help from people who were more experienced. Sometimes, we had to sacrifice our free periods and after-school time to sit down together and work on the website. We definitely showed strong commitment throughout the whole process.
LO 5: I demonstrate collaborative skills, I recognize the benefits of collaboration
For the Speak Up project, I collaborated with a group of university students in order to create the website and the marketing aspect of the project. We shared our ideas, thoughts and each of us contributed something unique to the team. I couldn’t have gone this far without my team. There were certain things that I would have never been able to do effectively alone, such as creating the website in under 3 weeks, handling the social media promotion and design the logo, posters, etc.
The SB Online project strongly addresses this LO. In order for this project to work, there must be a strong collaboration as a team. Throughout the process, we have all displayed strong collaborative skills. We constantly motivated and helped each other to complete all the tasks. I have always found it quite challenging to work collaboratively, as I tend to take the wheel and want things to go my way. This project has taught me to be open to other people’s opinions and thoughts. I truly recognized the benefits of collaboration. Every one of us in the team had something unique to contribute, and I couldn’t have been able to do this alone. We also divided roles to each of the team members to be as effective and efficient as possible.
LO 6: I engage with issues of global significance
The theme of the Speak Up competitions are focused on Anti-Drug and Anti-Corruption in Indonesia. Indonesia is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Because of the corruption, our country cannot grow. There is a huge lack of funding in the education sector and health sector. This is also the reason why drug addiction is a huge problem in Indonesia. According to the National Narcotics Agency of Indonesia – the government organization that I am working with for this competition – about 33 people in Indonesia die due to drug abuse every single day. I am hoping that this competition can raise people’s and the government’s awareness and help fight these issues.
With the profits made from the Speak Up competition, I am donating it to help with the treatment of cancer patients in the Indonesian Childhood Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organization. All of the patients lack funding for their treatment, which is a significant issue in our country in general. Many patients do not get the funding and treatment they need from the government. However, I feel like this LO is one that I will have to further develop in the near future. I am in the planning process of creating the cancer project that will incorporate cancer patients in Indonesia in an event (maybe an event to showcase their talents such as drawing, writing, etc).
LO 7: I recognize ethical issues, I act ethically
In both my CAS projects, there were several ethical issues that I had to address. Since my Speak Up competition is a public competition that is open to all students of all race, sex, and social status, I had to make sure that the content within the website and the competition itself were open to all. Most likely the majority of people viewing/registering in our competition on the website are from different religious backgrounds, so everything posted there must be applicable to all religions and not bias/racist in any way possible. We chose the theme of Anti-Drug and Anti-Corruption because we know that these are issues that are not limited to any religion, social status, race or sex. We made sure to not discriminate anyone in terms of their social status. An example of this is by setting the registration fee fairly affordable. This makes sure that everyone can afford to join the competition.
When doing the SB online project, we went to Sekolah Bisa to interview some of the kids and staff there for the content of the website. We had to make sure the questions we asked are not offensive and discriminating in any way. Also, we had to make sure that these kids and the staff are comfortable with sharing a bit about themselves online.