Student Volunteer: Tanya Glafenhein
School: The Regent’s International School Bangkok
Campaign: Colour Miles for Smiles 2016: Neon Edition
Colour Miles for Smiles is a student-led event that has carried on annually since 2013 to raise funds for Operation Smile Thailand. The run is intended to represent the ability to spread smiles, colours and change the lives of the children of the charity.
Personally, my friends and I learned about the Colour Miles For Smiles 2014 through Facebook. The colour, excitement and being able to change the lives of children caught our attention. The Regent’s International School Bangkok has been involved with Operation Smile since I was in primary, but somehow our attention shifted elsewhere. Believing in the charity, I thought that being part of the organising team for the Colour Miles for Smiles 2015 would increase the interest at our school again. That being said, Mo and I became a student representative for our school and sparked interest in both teachers and students.
I believe that Colour Miles For Smiles (CMFS) has the ability to change the lives of children with cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial deformities. Throughout the years, the donation goals set by Colour Miles for Smiles has increased and we have continuously reached or overachieve them. Moreover, we are able to increase awareness of the Operation Smile Foundation within the international school community, as well as the public and companies all over Thailand. In which, all participation - big or small, has helped us massively through the years. This year for CMFS 2016, we now have student representatives from 11 international schools.
The Regent’s International School Bangkok has always been supportive with student’s ideas and suggestions. As we believe in the Round Square ideology, students are guided to thrive and achieve more, not only for themselves but also for those around them. So far, the Regent’s Smile Club has 8 members in the organising team. We have contacted different corporate companies and the media for sponsorship, through personal connection and school connections.
Furthermore, being in a supportive community, we are allowed to promote the event as well as the CMFS 2016 poster in the school’s daily Student and Teacher notices; we wrote an article for the school E-Newsletter and website; had a chance to speak in front of teachers, parents and students; provide information of the event, sponsors and Operation Smile on the school’s projector in the foyer; parents will also be receiving two emails reminding them about sponsorship or donation opportunities; created fundraisers and opportunities for students to volunteer and participate in student programs; we are also looking forward in being in the CMFS promotion video for the BTS.
Being a student representative has definitely improved my leadership skills, I am able to step out of my comfort zone and learn to speak up about what I am passionate about, and be aware of the community around me. This experience has provided me with many different opportunities nationally and internationally. I can’t wait for Colour Miles For Smiles to be an even bigger success than we believe it to be!