For my service as action, I decided to host a baking lesson for ladies working in the red light district and make and send cards to an organization called ‘Cards for hospitalized kids’.
1. Become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth
I became more aware of my artistic strengths as when making the cards, as I was able to utilize different media to create cards and create cards that I was proud of. One of the areas of growth that I became more aware of is my leadership skills. I found difficulty in describing my actions clearly as this was my first time holding a baking lesson and I never really had to explain my actions before. I hope to grow from this experience and improve my teaching skills and be more clear with my descriptions.
2.Undertake challenges that develop new skills
Again, one of the biggest challenges was teaching. As this was my first time teaching, I found that I wasn’t explaining things as thoroughly and detailed as I would have liked. However, as I continue doing these baking lessons I hope to develop my leadership and teaching skills.
3.Discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities
With the organization ‘Sons and Daughters’ I was able to plan a baking lesson with them, we discussed and evaluated which dessert would be a simple process to teach and bake. I proposed the idea to include a card making session within the baking lesson, so we could make cards while the cupcakes were baking and planned all of the materials I was going to bring.
In the start of the baking lesson, I was originally overly cautious as to whether I would say something that might offend them or me taking pictures of the lesson would make them feel uncomfortable. However, as the baking lesson progressed I my uncomfortableness faded away as we all had fun baking, and the ladies were able to develop new baking skills.
5. Work collaboratively with others
I worked collaboratively with the ladies as we all made one batch of cupcakes together, and we all gave each other ideas as to what to write on the cards, what to draw in the cards, and I was also able to teach them some calligraphy lettering.
6. Develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism, and intercultural understanding
I was able to develop international mindedness through global engagement, as the ladies that attended the lesson were from places all over the world (ie. Philipines and Africa). I was able to personally engage with one lady, as she told me about a Filipino banana bread that she enjoyed making and how she enjoyed cooking Italien food as well. Through this, I was able to gain an understanding of her culture, as well as the others.
7. Consider the ethical implications of your actions
I found that I genuinely enjoyed being able to teach these ladies new skills and help them find some independence and confidence in their new baking skills. I also found that I genuinely loved making cards for an organization that helps children. Just by taking 5 minutes out of my day to make a card for someone needing encouragement truly brought a sense of happiness to me. Seeing these ladies also enjoy knowing they were brightening up someone else’s day was fulfilling to me as well as them.
Plan: Next year I would ideally like to host a baking lesson once a month, but I will have to adjust those plans to the ladies’ schedules. I will personally send 10 cards a month by myself, and if the ladies still like the idea of card making I will implement that into the baking lesson.
Other images of the baking lesson:
Update: This year (Grade 10) I have continued making cards, however, the baking lessons have been quite difficult to arrange due to my school schedule and the ladies’ personal schedules. This year I have also done a short-term taught service as action during my CAS week trip where I taught English to children aged 7-11 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
This was a very rewarding experience, as I found so much joy in helping these children to be able to read and recognize words and connect them to images. Although this was quite a challenging process, as the children did not have much conversational language skills, however, I learned to use my body language more and be more enthusiastic to really communicate my points and teaching across. I hope to continue this in the future, maybe participating in a similar CAS week trip or joining a club with a similar approach.