The seven core values of Sekolah Bogor Raya; Equality, Respect, Discipline, Integrity, Resilience, Self Awareness, and Empathy, are not listed in order of importance. While Empathy is the last on this list, it is the cornerstone of how we treat our students and how we expect them to treat each other.

Empathy is the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes, the ability to feel what other people are feeling and understand the perspective of those who are different from us.

Our PG, TK, SD, SMP, and SMA students showed great empathy last month with their fundraising projects for the victims of the disasters in Merapi, Mentawai, and Wasior. After learning about the tragedies that had befallen people – many of them children – as a result of natural disasters, our students were motivated to act and to raise funds to help those most in need.

We decided that our program should not simply be based on our students requesting money from their parents. Instead, we asked our students to complete a challenge and to make a personal effort to raise funds. These personal efforts ranged from sponsored book readings and preparing food for sale to  donating toys and books from home.

In total, from Playgroup to Senior High School, we raised over Rp50 million which was shared between the Indonesian Red Cross, SBI Kroyo near Merapi, and TV-One’s disaster appeal. The school would like to thank the POM, the parents, and the organizers of this event, but most of all we would like to thank our students for demonstrating the true meaning of empathy.

Gerald Donovan