@thatboardingvibe How do we define what a Global Citizen is? #thatboardingvibe #globalcitizen #worldview #boardinglife #cdl ♬ Emotional – Bang Nono
In our ongoing effort to cultivate a nurturing and inclusive environment, Week 3 of Pillar 3 was dedicated to exploring the complexities and joys of international friendships. These friendships, rich in diversity, open our eyes to new cultures, traditions, and perspectives, contributing immensely to our school’s vibrant community. However, with this diversity comes the responsibility of navigating cultural differences sensitively.
Despite the best intentions, cultural misunderstandings can lead to microaggressions – subtle, often unintentional acts of discrimination or insults towards marginalised groups. These can stem from ingrained stereotypes or simply a lack of awareness. Recognising and addressing these microaggressions is crucial for maintaining the integrity and health of international friendships.
Nikolai and Andre gave brilliant definitions of Microaggression and some examples of how we may be guilty of this in our interactions with each other without ill intent.
To deepen understanding and self-awareness, students completed a questionnaire, with the central question being, “What microaggressions have you personally dealt with or witnessed?” This exercise encouraged our boys to reflect on their experiences, share them with their peers, and contribute to a more empathetic and inclusive environment.
Continuing our journey on Pillar 3, this week we looked into what makes a good friend.
In our journey through life, the friends we make are not just companions, but mirrors reflecting our own selves. But what exactly makes a good friend? What traits do we seek in these important people who walk alongside us in our lives? To delve deeper into this question, we conducted an exercise focusing on the key qualities people value in friendships.
We played a game with the students for them to identify what quality they felt their friends had – and to stick it on them!
The top qualities were brotherhood, loyalty, trust, honour, company, help, and honesty, each embodying a critical aspect of what it means to be a good friend.
We continue on the path of our Wellbeing Programme and now begin Pillar 3: Building Positive Friendships.
Undoubtedly, friendships stand as a cornerstone of the Boarding Experience, profoundly influencing and enriching a student’s daily life. In this Pillar, we are dedicated to guiding students in appreciating the value of these relationships, emphasising the importance of maintaining a positive outlook. Adolescents frequently face the challenges of peer pressure, which can have both beneficial and detrimental effects. It’s a crucial life skill to discern whether these friendships are exerting the right kind of influence and contributing positively to their personal growth.
By Gillian Jones
A person who listens and not condemn
Someone on whom you can depend
They will not flee when bad times are here
Instead, they will be there to lend an ear
They will think of ways to make you smile
So you can be happy for a while
When times are good and happy thereafter
They will be there to share the laughter
Do not forget your friends at all
For they pick you up when you fall
Do not expect to just take and hold
Give friendship back, it is pure gold.
Continuing our actions on Pillar 2, we at Olympus have taken a closer look at what respect means in our community. We asked each of our boys to share their views on respect. To emphasise the diversity within Olympus, we encouraged them to express themselves in their native languages.
The responses were varied and insightful, reflecting different cultural understandings of respect. We selected a few of these to display in our lobby. This not only highlights the diversity of our group but also offers a glimpse into how respect is perceived differently by each individual.
This initiative is part of our effort to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of diverse perspectives within Olympus.
At CDL, we believe in fostering an environment where every student feels valued and respected. This half-semester, we’ve taken significant steps under the second Pillar of our Well-being Programme, focusing on ‘Protecting against Bullying and Respecting Diversity.’
Celebrating Race and Ethnicity
We kicked off with an insightful challenge centered on Race and Ethnicity. Understanding that diversity is our strength, we asked our boys to explore and celebrate the similarities they share with their roommates. This exercise went beyond mere discussions – students recorded videos and audio clips, sharing their reflections and insights. It was heartening to see how this activity brought them closer, highlighting that beneath the surface, we have more in common than what might separate us.
Addressing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
The following week, we delved into a more sensitive yet equally important topic: sexual orientation and gender identity. Recognising the complexities and personal nature of these subjects, we introduced an innovative approach. Our advocates set up a platform for anonymous inquiries, allowing students to express their doubts, fears, or questions without any embarrassment or judgment. This initiative has been instrumental in fostering an environment of understanding and empathy.
Fostering Inclusivity for People with Disabilities
We turned our focus to inclusivity for people with disabilities. The boys were challenged to think about how they could make our boarding house more accessible for a disabled peer. Their innovative ideas addressed various needs, including enhancements for individuals with reduced mobility, visual impairments, and hearing difficulties. This exercise not only sparked creativity but also deepened our understanding of the daily challenges faced by people with disabilities. It was inspiring to see our students engage so thoughtfully with this important issue.
Today we did the wrapping for our Gift Box Appeal. The boarding community donated money for us to be able to buy the items needed and a group of boarders gave up their time to pack the boxes and write personalised messages. This is always an annual highlight of students coming together for a good cause to share their love and support for others. We were happy to be represented in Olympus by Nikolai, David and Artem.
@thatboardingvibe CDL Gift Box Appeal!!! #thatboardingvibe #giftboxappeal #giftwrapping #giftbox #giving #shoeboxappeal #cdl ♬ Christmas Is Coming – DM Production
As part of our Wellbeing Programme we are embarking on;
Pillar 2: Protecting Against Bullying and Promoting Diversity.
At CDL, we believe that our strength lies in our diversity. As we embark on the second pillar of our Wellbeing Programme, our dedication to creating a safe, inclusive, and respectful community has never been more evident. This week, we have taken the first steps in what we hope will be a transformative journey for every member of our community.
We are particularly proud to have student advocates taking the helm in guiding us through this pillar. These passionate individuals have been instrumental in creating initiatives and discussions that challenge us to think deeper about what it means to truly embrace diversity and stand united against bullying.
The theme of our first week has been discovering and appreciating the similarities that exist between roommates from different backgrounds. It has been an enlightening experience to see students engage in dialogue, share stories, and find common ground amidst their diverse cultures, beliefs, and personalities.
Last night we started this with You-How doing a speech to the boarding house, followed by Kostya presenting a game to promote unity.