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.

Chinthe Cubs

A chance for Elementary Students to emulate the Chinthe Roar producing service announcements for the TV screens around school.

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.

Environmental Club

This environmental club provides a great way for students to learn about gardening and gain hands-on experience growing their own food and plants. We will be planting seeds and growing all kind of plants and vegetables. We will do just about anything really to do with our Environmental Strategic theme.

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.

Care to the Least Center

The goal of this Service Learning group is to support Care to The Least, an organization that runs an orphanage and provides other necessary services for impoverished families living in Yangon. New participants are welcome! Students will work on social media campaigns and website design for this program. There will hopefully be at least one Tuesday and one Saturday trip to the center. We also aim to do several collections for toys, stationery, clothes, food and other needs.

Pay it Forward

In this group we are finding ways to pay forward kindness, inspiration, and hope to the ISY community. As participants, we will discover ways to do this in our everyday lives as well as develop projects designed to impact the wider ISY community.

Green Initiative

Green Initiative aims to research environmental initiatives that are active in school and at a local level, through analyzing and quantifying their impacts to find how we can improve on or implement new initiatives in our community.


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

ISY Canvas is a student-led group that uses art to better our immediate community. Each year we try to take on at least one mural (but always try for more). We always start with planning what kind of mural could go where, investigate what the community thinks and wants, and then start designing a solution to meet the needs of the community. We usually need a team of about 10-12 students with 2-3 student leaders to successfully paint our 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.

iMPACT Launch

An opportunity for students that designed iMPACT projects during the festival to access the support and guidance they need to bring their visions into reality and develop their projects further.

Diverse Identity Alliance DIA

The mission of DIA is to create a safe space where all queer identities across the spectrum, as well as their allies, can openly express themselves. We want to bridge the disconnect within our school by raising awareness about the social issues and discrimination affecting the LGBTQ+ community.

Peer Support Group

The Peer Support Group is open to students who want to take action to support the mental health and well being of ISY students. We will develop ideas, activities and resources that will address the stress, anxiety and other social/emotional challenges that ISY students face on a daily basis.


This is STUCO! If you feel like you are or can be a leader, and can make our student body a greater place, join us! We are looking for passionate individuals, who are willing to make our Chinthe community even better! We would love to have representation from every grade student in middle school, in grades 6, 7 and 8. We’d love to have you!

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.

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.

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

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.

UWS Newsletter Feb 2021

UWS Newsletter Feb 2021

The latest news from the UWS group & Wan Kaung’. Two great videos and how you can get involved.

ISY 65K Challenge

ISY 65K Challenge

Learn about the 65K challenge where the whole community moves 65,000 km this academic year and raises money for UWS at the same time.

UWS Sports-a-thon 2020

UWS Sports-a-thon 2020

It’s back! The United World Schools Sport-a-thon fundraising event will take place on Saturday 12th December. Learn how you can get involved in this fun and important activity.