Service Learning

The International School Yangon integrates service learning and compassion into the curriculum empowering our students to be a force for positive change in the world.

When you look around you, what do you see?

Have you ever stopped and looked more deeply to notice the multitude of ways we can engage in change for the better?

Every student at ISY is provided the opportunity to give of their time, effort, thought, and material items and through that they begin to learn what Compassion, Kindness, Generosity, and Unconditional Love really means. They get to take all that learning they’ve done in school and in their personal lives and actually put it into good use! They integrate, empower, touch, explore, care, develop, practice and grow into a community that serves and learns along with the communities they are supporting.

They always get way more out of Service Learning than what they put into it. The more effort they put in, the greater the results they will receive. But these results are not measured in Grades like As, Bs, Cs, or 7s, 6s, and 5s, they’re measured in Joy, Contentment, and Satisfaction by knowing in their hearts that they have addressed an authentic need and what they’ve done has had a positive effect on the lives of others, and on the environment.

ISY supports three service organizations in Myanmar. All of these have Service Learning student support clubs associated with them. Read all about these organizations on our Service Partner Page.


Service Learning at ISY

Throughout ISY you will increasingly notice service learning happening both in the classroom, and in a wide-range of after school programs. Students can be seen using the 5 Stages of Service Learning, a method that supports the identification of authentic needs and a process that leads towards real solutions. See the 5 Stages of Service Learning explained below.


The Five Stages of Service Learning

Investigation – Preparation – Action – Reflection – Demonstration

These 5 stages can help students greatly with identifying authentic needs, and preparing for an action that addresses these needs in an impactful way. Reflection is at the core because it supports the whole process every step of the way. In this way, if in their course of study, a student comes across an authentic need, they then have a pathway that allows them to turn something that is unsatisfactory into a challenge and an opportunity for learning and growing.

In order to identify authentic needs students need to investigate. The investigation stage is all about uncovering the truths that can be found through effective research, which we call the MISO method. MISO stands for Media, Interviews, Surveys, and Observations. Often this research will connect directly with one or more of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are another sign-post that helps students know when they’re on the right track towards Service Learning.

ISY has clearly identified that the next logical step in the education of our students is to whole-heartedly embrace service learning. This is because when learning takes place within a real-world context students understand the “why” of what they are doing in the classroom and they become even more motivated to learn. Ultimately, we believe that this approach will result in the long-term flourishing of our students in a complex 21st century world.

Below are a list of the Service Learning Groups at ISY with a description of what they do.

Elementary School Service Learning Groups

Secondary School Service Learning Groups

Compassionate Chinthes

This activity focuses on being compassionate by engaging with local organizations, schools, orphanages and creating a reciprocal learning experience with the people in these places.

ES Student Council

Students elected to Student Council seek to make ISY a better place. They organize events that seek to build community and friendship. Each year the council investigates to develop a service learning endeavour to improve the school.

Growing Gardeners

Students get practical experience growing various kinds of plants through hands-on activities. They will learn how plants benefit our environment and hopefully the students will be able to share some of the produce with those who need it.

Kindness and Compassion Club

The goal of kindness and compassion club is to spread a chain reaction of kindness throughout our school community. Students will have fun exploring their interests, skills, and talents and then bring their ideas to life for the school community to enjoy.

Newspaper Club

This activity involves reading and talking about current events, learning about how the news is written and creating our own news and magazine articles.

Recycle Club

Based on investigations, students will formulate an action plan for reducing, reusing, and recycling waste materials both on and off campus. Examples of past actions include an awareness campaign where students created videos about the disposal of waste after eating a snack or lunch on campus. Videos were shared during Friday ES-assemblies. Another group of students decided to learn more about the composting process at ISY. Another group decided to make usable paper from collected old paper. Students are encouraged to take photos so they can demonstrate their process towards meaningful action.

Roots and Shoots

“Roots and Shoots” is an environmental club started by Jane Goodall. You will be inspired to think of how you can make a difference by learning about Jane Goodall as well as learning about other “Roots and Shoots” groups around the world. Get involved in the action to make the world a better place. We can start right here at ISY!

United World Schools (UWS)

This elementary group is a hands-on group working with United World Schools to assist in supporting Wan Kaung Village School. They are focused on SDG 4 – Quality Education. Their projects include supporting literacy through book drives and sending those books up to Wan Kaung Village. They try to bring the children of Wan Kaung to life at ISY.

Chinthe ROAR

Chinthe Roar is a communications club focusing on engaging video content to promote school initiatives, events, ideas and people.

Community Action

The Community Action group acts on and fulfills authentic needs of the community around us. We work with local organizations including orphanages, home for the aged, education centers, and assisting our staff in their communication skills in English. We use the 5 Stages of Service Learning (investigation, preparation, action, reflection, and demonstration) in order to create a positive impact in the community.

Doh Eain

We’re collaborating with Doh Eain to clean up and refurbish the back alleys of downtown Yangon. Our goal is to focus on more hands-on activities such as cleaning trash, painting murals, making gardens, fundraising and overall making Yangon a more beautiful and livable place.

ECO Schools

The Eco Schools group meets weekly to plan and then implement schemes that can reduce our negative impact on the environment.

Girl Up

Girl Up Yangon is part of a international organization connected to the UN that works towards women’s empowerment and gender equality. The main goals of this group are to create awareness in order to advocate for change, to take action within the community and foster tolerance. Being part of Girl Up means you are part of a movement that works toward raising awareness within our school and expanding to the greater Yangon community. This is done through discussions of what issues women today face and proposing solutions that are both creative and unique. Girl Up is always looking for proactive and openminded individuals who believe in equality and aren’t afraid to take action in order to see change.


Global is an online student magazine focusing on Service learning initiatives happening at ISY.  Check out their weekly blog here.

HS Community Kitchen

We cook healthy meals and snacks for the disabled children living in Kyaikwaing Orphanage. Students will be asked to bring some ingredients.

HS Student Council

This is an opportunity for students to take on a leadership role in the HS. STUCO will be responsible for organizing and running all HS dances, movie nights, sports night, fundraising activities, family fun fair, spirit week, and several other community service events.

ISY Canvas - Mural Project

ISY has many walls that need some decoration! In this ASA, we decide which walls need some art, design proposals for what to put there, seek approval, and finally paint murals!


A group that supports local nurses efforts to give the Hepatitis B vaccination to school children in villages around Yangon. The group fundraises to purchase vaccinations and snacks. Participants teach basic health concepts to children, help to organize on the day when vaccinations are given and have weekly meetings. Any interested students must apply in order to be a part of this group.

MS Community Kitchen

MS students prepare snacks and drinks for the students from Kyait Waing Disabled Center.

MS/HS Gardening

Plan, plant, maintain and harvest vegetables and herbs. This will also contain a regular composting element.

Music for the Community

Students in music for the community provide production support for ISYs Orchestra, MS Choir, HS Choir, and Jazz Band. This is an opportunity for students to learn the technical skills needed to put on a performance including lights, sound, stage props, etc.

Passion Project

We are the “Passion Project”, a service learning group lead by Sana, Odette, Ananya, La Min, and Chan Mya as part of our CAS Project. This project is exclusive to high school students since it requires working with and teaching kids from the ages of 7-14. The aim of this group is to help local working kids from Myanmar to understand the importance of having a passion. Especially working at a young age to provide for their families, it can be easy for them to forget about enjoying the simple things in life and have fun like any child should. Due to this, it is our mission to teach these children various activities such as sports, music, arts, and to bring happiness, joy and something different they could look forward to each month. With the help of MYMe, a non-profit organization that educates working children and our school-wide facilities we would like to make this dream become a reality. Ms. Kalu is the faculty supervisor.

Photo Club

Explore how personal interests and skills related to photography can have a positive impact on the community.

Tutoring Club for Secondary Students

This activity provides the time and space to receive help from adults and service learning tutors on various school academic subjects.

United World Schools (UWS) Club

This group will support ISY’s partnership with the village of Wan Kaung and the NGO United World Schools to work towards improving access to education and learning opportunities.

Urban Bee Keeping

We will be exploring Bees, hive, honey production and pollinators! Come join us as we try to bring a bee hive to ISY, raise funds, and take care of these amazing creatures. The date and time will be decided in function of your availability – the activity will not necessarily take place on Wednesdays. However, if we do take care of a hive, you will need to procure bee suits and veils (I can give you where to find it, we can order together, etc). If you want to learn, but not take care of the hive, that’s OK also. You can be with us from a distance as you get to know these most valuable insects!

Yangon Animal Shelter

We help spread the word about the rescue and care of stray animals. YAS wants to help foster healthier and happier human-animal interactions and educate people about the benefits of vaccination, and sterilization for pets and strays alike. As a member you would help us find ways to promote adoption, fostering, and help with fund raising activities. We will also visit the shelter and interact and socialize with the dogs. Shelter visits will take place on Saturdays.

Yearbook Club

Get the chance to leave your mark on the Yearbook, the most important publication of the year! This class will take photos and build layouts that may get used in the actual Yearbook. It’s your Yearbook – get involved!

Youth Action Aid

Youth Action Aid (Y.A.A) is a student led social service group founded in 2017. The objective of this group is to serve the authentic needs of the community through the deeds of the students studying at ISY. Y.A.A also focuses on supporting local businesses such as the eco-shoes project which was a two-pronged approach of promoting eco-friendliness and support for local businesses in the ISY family.

Service Learning News

Strategic Themes Review, Service learning

Strategic Themes Review, Service learning

A review of the last 4 years of Service Learning at ISY. Read about ISY’s introduction of Service Learning into the curriculum, our service organization partnerships and so much more.

UWS Update December 2021

UWS Update December 2021

The United World Schools group of students have made a video for this update. Find out all the latest about the school in Wan Kaung and how you can get involved.

UWS Update November 2021

UWS Update November 2021

Read the latest from the students of the UWS Service learning group. Find out about the Student Sponsorship program and Dr. Hedger’s Mississippi challenge.

The Mississippi Challenge

The Mississippi Challenge

Dr. Hedger and his son Max are going to attempt to canoe the Mississippi river this coming summer to raise funds for UWS and the Care for the least Center.

UWS Update June 2021

UWS Update June 2021

This time around the United World Schools group of students have chosen a video format for their update. Find out all the latest about the school in Wan Kaung.