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Inspiration from our community in India

By Claire Ijsbrandij

Claire India video shoot

I have just returned from a video production shoot at IB World Schools in India. The trip gave me a unique opportunity to witness the impact of IB programmes in action and capture it on film to share with the wider community. As always, visiting IB World Schools reignited my belief in what the IB does and why I want to be a part of this organization. The cameraman and I were warmly welcomed at Sreenidhi International School, Oakridge International School and the Aga Khan Academy, all situated in and around Hyderabad  – the location of the 2016 IB Asia Pacific Regional Conference in March.

Over the course of the shoot, I interviewed around 30 students, as well as teachers, parents, and heads. The students were all bursting to tell me about their actions and aspirations for making the world a better place. These engaged and articulate young people are already making a difference, and they continually credit the IB programmes for empowering them to do so. Hearing them speak, it’s obvious that they are receiving a different kind of education. They are analytic, creative, critical and active – they are “do’ers”. The IB Learner Profile attributes are alive in all of them. I was in awe of their motivation and confidence.

Claire India video shoot2

MYP students on their way to visit Mandal Parishad Primary School, Devendar Nagar, Pahadisharif, Maheswaram Mamdal, Hyderbad.

A highlight was joining a group of Middle Years Programme (MYP) students from the Aga Khan Academy during their “service as action” activity. 60% of the Aga Khan Academy students are on scholarships and want to give back to the community they came from – often deprived ones. Every two weeks they travel to a local government school, a dilapidated building filled with children whose frowns turned to smiles when we arrived. On site, there was one teacher and the principal. They had few school materials: no books, no crayons. The principal told me his pupils come from very poor households and that it was hard to run a school with so many kids and so few resources. But he smiled and told me about the positive impact that the MYP students have on the lives of his pupils who jumped and laughed and climbed around me,  dishing out high fives. The MYP students had planned activities, a play, painting, and origami and their government school peers were excited to sing me songs and tell me the English they’d learned.

On camera, the older students told me about initiatives they’d started—fundraisers and book drives—and how they are helping these kids realize that education is their ticket to a better future.

All the footage captured during my trip will be used in several films which explore an IB education in an Indian context. This was my most humbling and inspiring video shoot to date.

Claire India video shoot3

Claire pictured with MYP students and the younger children from the government school.

Claire IJsbrandij is the Video Production Associate Manager in the Global Communications and Branding team