SAMMAN – GIFT OF KINDNESS

Jewels of Kindness and Respect Initiative

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As part of the GEMS’ Jewels of Kindness and Respect program, The Westminster School, Dubai has pioneered yet another initiative in encouraging student-led projects to create ripples of kindness which will have a tremendous impact on the society at large. Students from all the year levels were motivated to practice simple acts of kindness like getting involved in voluntary work and support acts of kindness. Jewels of Kindness and Respect program encourages our learners to be kind to each other, to their family members and the larger community.  Its aim is to inculcate kindness as part of the daily lives of the students.

At TWS, year 2020-21 focused mainly on student led programs and activities linking to climate change and sustainability. Green Ambassadors drafted an action plan for sustainable solution within the school and the community at large.  Jewels of kindness and respect was reflected predominantly through acts of kindness towards mother nature.  Student leaders organized in-house green initiatives as well as mega events connecting with the larger community. Three mega programs in collaboration with the community links are-

1) GREEN VOGUE: First virtual sustainable fashion conference

2) YOUTH VISION, GREEN SOLUTION: student collaboration program where 3 schools, 5 teams, 34 students competed for the best sustainable solution on real life climate issues.

3) GREEN SOUQSUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS CONFERENCE (Upcoming)- Green Souq conference aims to connect environmentalist/ climate change activists from different parts of the world to share their sustainable journey and ONE sustainable solution which can be implemented at the individual level. This would ensure that the learners will not only be inspired but will also be a part of the new sustainable world. It is the Green Souq conference that connected TWS with Pure Living and SAMMAN.

SAMMAN a part of the Green Souq sustainable solutions, is an initiative by Ms. Lakshmi Menon, a social entrepreneur and founder of Pure Living, an NGO in India. This project involves converting unsold handloom material into mommy kits for infants from underprivileged backgrounds or from war-torn areas in different parts of the world. This project is supported by the United Nations Development Program and weaves sustainability with a touch of kindness and purity. TWS community joined hands with ‘Pure Living’ organization to be part of ‘SAMMAN’ which means ‘Gift of Giving’.

Ms. Lakshmi Menon is one of the key note speakers at the Green Souq conference.

Unsold fabric stocks were sourced from the artisans and weavers in India through the Pure Living team.  Student and teacher coordinators took over the responsibility of distribution of material, orientation to volunteers, stitching baby clothes and collecting the finished products. Over 500 mommy kits, including baby frocks and nappy sheets were stitched.  Students of Year 10 and 11 were more than eager to get involved in embroidering intricate thread work and paint on the cute little frocks.  Finally, the month long project “Samman” culminated with an exhibition of the handiwork of the students, staff and parents.  It was indeed a proud moment for many students to see their work displayed.

Carl Roberts, Principal / CEO, The Westminster School – Dubai, said I am so proud of our staff and students who are constantly looking at ways in which they can help others, both in the UAE and around the world. The Samman project, carried out at The Westminster School, will have put smiles on the faces of hundreds of children and parents and I thank all involved for the time they spent making our world a happier place.

Vijayakumari Sathyan, Head of School, The Westminster School – Dubai, said The Westminster School has always held a belief in giving back and helping those in need. The Samman Project is one of the ways in which the staff and students of TWS have given back by hand stitching “mommy kits” which are being delivered to mothers and infants in need. It makes me proud to see the TWS community take such an active role in making the world a kinder place.

Celia Maneia, Student, said The Samman project is indeed a noble act; it is a display of character, love, passion, and above all, kindness. What would have been used as contributors to the increase of landfills will now be the joy and hope of a better world for countless families out there.

Mathani Mudathir, Student, said, being part of this remarkable project was such a special experience for me as I realized how my little contribution could benefit struggling infants and mothers thousands of miles away. This realization of contributing to such a pivotal movement makes me feel very thankful for the opportunity to help others from across the world.