Community in the time of covid-19
As practices around social distancing and self isolation become more normalized within our community, it is important we recognise the beautiful acts of kindness, care and gratitude springing to life around the world. As a welcome antidote to the abundance of news stories and grim statistics, many affirming initiatives and gestures have been blossoming within our own ISB community.
In early March colourful chalk messages appeared around Nichada Thani, the community surrounding ISB. Seeing the sidewalks beautified with messages of hope and encouragement brought a smile to the faces of many community members. Some messages were just a simple “hello” or “dance here”, but a special tenderness was expressed in this simplicity. What an innovative way for the community to connect, while also being creative, kind, and responsible.
The ISB Grade 4 students’ “positivity rocks” project also evoked so much delight within the community. It was a joy to find these small, colourful rocks tucked away like hidden treasure; joy in the reading of those positive and inspiring messages, and joy in the sharing the message as people posted their finds online.
The two global themes of Rainbows and Bears also came to town! Inspired by the popular children’s book "We’re Going on a Bear Hunt" by former UK Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, the teddy bear hunt has become a global phenomenon inspiring millions in isolation. The motto of the book – “We’re not scared” – has resonated for many. Seeing so many people participating in both these projects was uplifting; colourful rainbows revealed themselves in all corners of Nichada Thani as bears and rainbows soon found their way across the city.
Sally Elliott, Nonthaburi Neighbourhood Reach (NNR) Chair explained it well:
“I was among many who responded to the cry to 'bring forth our bear friends' to encourage the children of our community... Along with rainbows, our bears have been proudly sending a message of hope and solidarity to all as we take a breath outside and walk/bike/run around the lake. Peeking out, smiling and just 'being', our bears have shown that they are everybody's friend, as well as simply cute!”
We have also seen our community come together to honor our graduating class of Seniors. As we welcome these graduates to our global alumni family, we recognise and appreciate this group has overcome an extraordinary challenge unseen in our 70-year history. It has been touching to witness teachers, students, parents and alumni come together to create unique programs and share their feelings through artwork and messages in this bitter-sweet send-off.
Most strikingly, we have seen parents, students and teachers come together in partnership to navigate the learning transition we’ve had to face as a community. The constant shows of support, appreciation, understanding, and good-will shall never be forgotten.
As many of us feel the distance between our family and loved ones, being part of a supportive community that shows such solidarity and care is a real comfort. We extend our gratitude to all those who started, supported and celebrated these beautiful initiatives. Your efforts have buoyed the spirits of many and we are truly thankful.