Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) is at the core of the IB Diploma Program. It involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies to grow as unique individuals through experiential learning, and to understand they are members of local and global communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment. One such CAS initiative sparked by Year 11 students Melissa Clarke and Jaime Kirkpatrick was the creation of a ‘pop-up op-shop’ for the QACI community to donate clothing; fostering a positive attitude within the community to re-purpose one person’s trash to be made into another person’s treasure.
Melissa provides her reflection…
On Friday the 9th of November myself (Melissa Clarke) and Jaime Kirkpatrick helped to run a small op-shop for QACI as a part of our CAS project. We asked people to bring in items of clothing they wanted to get rid of – whether it was one shirt, or whether they wanted to have a big clear, so by the Friday we could setup the op-shop and students and teachers could buy the clothes donated. All clothes were priced at a minimum $2, however people could pay up to $10 dollars, depending on the item and how much they wanted to contribute to support the charity. All money raised was donated to Save the Children foundation, a charity which aims to improve the lives of vulnerable children in third-world countries through giving them access to food, healthcare, clean water, education and more. They also focus on the world’s most vulnerable children who have been affected by floods and droughts, experience extreme poverty or who have been separated from their families due to war and other circumstances.
Our main aim of running the op-shop was to encourage people to stop supporting the child labour industry. Our society is often driven by the price tag when we willingly trudge from store to store in search for that next great bargain, but rarely do we ever think about the true cost of our clothing. Many of the clothes available to us as consumers, are made available by the exploitation of the vulnerable in countries such as India, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan. These industries have been known to employ women and children to make clothes in dangerous factory conditions and for a very minimal amount of money. Child labour can be any work that deprives children from their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school and that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful. Therefore, any opportunity you get to shop at an op-shop or charity shop – take it! This way, you are not supporting the child labour industry and still getting new clothes! You never know what hidden treasures you might find!
Overall, the op-shop ran extremely well and any clothes that were not bought were donated to local charity shops. We raised about $170 which is enough to train two health workers to provide essential healthcare to children around the world, buy 100 bottles of water purification solution, which is enough to make 10,000 litres of water safe to drink and could buy enough materials to construct five household pit latrines, helping prevent the spread of disease!
Thanks QACI for your support and for helping us to make a small change to the world!