EC MALTA CSR DAY… Giving Back to Fred… By Rebeka Mizzi

Sometimes giving back seems like a totally surreal concept and no one bothers to even consider it, especially not in terms when we have to sacrifice something. It is almost as though as long as we are happy, that is all that seems to matter, however, sometimes all it takes is one person’s innovative incentive to encourage a few more people and the results of that can be outstanding. A good idea is contagious and it is easy to get others interested and excited about it, hence, the idea for ‘Giving back for Fred day’ was shaped and carried out. The name has quite a lot of significance to EC members; Fred was a beloved member of the management team in Brighton, known for his caring, friendly nature and willingness to give back to society. EC deemed it fit to name this day in his memory, as he sadly passed away a while ago. Different schools decided to go with their own ideas of what they thought would be a good idea to help and give back and the EC Malta team chose to go with what is at the heart of the school, education, and so everyone on board got busy with the preparations to hold a day where refugees from the Hal-Far open centre could come to the school and attend a variation of lessons. A packed Koptaco coach arrived at the school just past 10 o’clock and at once the school reception area was flooded with around 70 eager students all queuing up at the different check points to choose their lessons. They were given 4 options to choose three for the different lessons, based on what they felt would be most useful to them. These lessons included interview skills, basic conversation skills, phone skills and a Maltese culture lesson all of which were full to the brim. Each lesson lasted one hour, and I can say with absolute certainty that all the students enjoyed the lessons thoroughly and took as much as possible out of them. During the first lesson the welcome team prepared some crisps, crackers, soft drinks, and of course, pastizzi and pizzas, that the students could enjoy in their breaks between one lesson and the other. However, when the second break started, they almost forgot about the food and were enjoying going round and speaking to their friends and the team, asking everyone if they could take a photo with them. The smiley group photos with all the bright eyed, eager looking students is proof of the wonderful time they were having, and if that wasn’t enough, they were constantly thanking everyone in the team for everything that was done for them. At the end of the day, when the students emerged from their last lessons they were given a certificate stating the lessons they attended that day, something we hope will come in handy sometime if ever needed, or perhaps an item which will prove as motivation to continue learning the language. Furthermore, they were all given a book to help them pursue their studies, and any that were left over were donated to different centres. All in all it was an extremely successful day for both the students and the staff members who participated. Everyone left the school on a high with good feelings for having helped in some way, and seeing the appreciation and content expressions on the pupils’ faces just made it that much better. We all realised that a small gesture from our part can go such a long way for those less fortunate and who unfortunately do not have all the possibilities that some others do. Extremely good feedback was given by everyone who took part and they all showed extreme interest in having a similar occasion take place, and soon! Hopefully next time around more people will volunteer to help and we can have more events like this… like I said, a good idea is contagious, who knows where this one could go!

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