Life on Land

A celebration of Service in Action at Swiss International School Qatar.

A celebration of Service in Action at Swiss International School Qatar.


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MYP Service in Acti<strong>on</strong> - May 2022<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Life</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong> <strong>Land</strong>

Planting Future Leaders<br />

Kofi Annan argued that young people need to be “active<br />

architects” in building our future societies.<br />

At SISQ, our young leaders are prepared to make a<br />

difference and they are ready to inspire those around them.<br />

This issue celebrates the creati<strong>on</strong> of our Quranic medical<br />

garden; an amazing partnership with the Nati<strong>on</strong>al Museums<br />

and some w<strong>on</strong>derful displays of artistic talent.<br />

In classes like MFL, Design and Tech, ISQH and Culture<br />

Studies, young leaders are taking acti<strong>on</strong> to protect <str<strong>on</strong>g>Life</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong><br />

<strong>Land</strong> and <str<strong>on</strong>g>Life</str<strong>on</strong>g> Under Water.<br />

More importantly, they have been joined by our youngest<br />

students who have been planting, drawing and even sewing.<br />

We are also delighted that so many parents have been<br />

offering help and support.<br />

And we are especially proud of the<br />

support that we have received from HE<br />

Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa<br />

Al Thani who sent handwritten letters to<br />

our young leaders to encourage them to<br />

c<strong>on</strong>tinue their hard work.<br />


Meet our partners<br />

It takes a village to grow a leader<br />

Quranic Gardens<br />

(Qatar Foundati<strong>on</strong>)<br />

Nati<strong>on</strong>al Museums<br />

Qatar<br />

Qatar Animal Welfare<br />

Society<br />

Wa’hab Qatar<br />


Medical Treasures<br />

Looking at these pictures, it is hard to imagine that<br />

this tiny garden paradise was just lifeless sand.<br />

The students used permaculture to create a haven for<br />

biodiversity so you can imagine their delight when<br />

they discovered their very own EARTHWORMS who<br />

were living happily in the soil that they had been<br />

carefully enriching.<br />

Last year, we planted herbs and trees to attract<br />

pollinators and this year, we received a very generous<br />

sp<strong>on</strong>sorship from Quranic Gardens in Qatar.<br />

Medical Mysteries<br />

The Quranic Gardens sp<strong>on</strong>sored us to have a medical<br />

garden!<br />

Our students are now growing henna, sidra, olives,<br />

figs, citr<strong>on</strong>, We also have miswak trees and we will<br />

so<strong>on</strong> be releasing an <strong>on</strong>line textbook of all the uses<br />

and benefits of these plants.<br />


Small Voices<br />

Make a Big<br />

Impact<br />

On 31 March, our grade 7 GSL students<br />

presented their service in acti<strong>on</strong> projects<br />

to HE Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad bin<br />

Khalifa Al Thani and HE Buthaina Bint Ali<br />

Al Jabra al Nuaimi (the minister of<br />

educati<strong>on</strong> for Qatar).<br />

Imagine our delight when we received a<br />

handwritten letter from Sheikha Mayassa<br />

to praise us for our passi<strong>on</strong>. In the<br />

following article, the students discuss<br />

their project in their own words…<br />


Last year, we spent 171 hours <strong>on</strong> our<br />

Hummingbird Garden and we managed to<br />

educate more than 6000 people about the<br />

importance of biodiversity and ethical food<br />

producti<strong>on</strong> (life <strong>on</strong> land).We were struggling<br />

with Covid restricti<strong>on</strong>s so imagine our shock<br />

when, 6 m<strong>on</strong>ths later, our little 10m by 5m<br />

garden was being featured in The Gulf Times<br />

and Marhaba Magazine (readership of 15000)<br />

and we were being partnered and mentored by<br />

the oldest organic farm in Qatar! This was<br />

possible because of partnerships with<br />

businesses so we decided to focus <strong>on</strong><br />

“Partnerships for the Goal'' so that we could<br />

learn more and actively protect the biodiversity<br />

in this desert nati<strong>on</strong>.<br />

In additi<strong>on</strong>,we got to assist 5 classes of kindergarteners in<br />

making their own garden. While they watched bees<br />

pollinating their courgettes, it inspired them to feel<br />

passi<strong>on</strong>ate about gardening and creating a good impact <strong>on</strong><br />

the planet. This activity will c<strong>on</strong>tinue next year and the<br />

school board has allocated 40,000 QAR (11,000 USD) for us<br />

to develop the gardening educati<strong>on</strong> for next year<br />

Over our sec<strong>on</strong>d year of doing this GSL<br />

project, most of the time, we were gardening.<br />

When we came back to school after being<br />

<strong>on</strong>line, we busied ourselves with pulling out<br />

weeds and planting more plants as we wanted<br />

to have a Quranic garden. We even created a<br />

list of the people who are open to volunteering<br />

to water the garden.<br />

.<br />

Ayaan, Soundus and Ghanim addressing educati<strong>on</strong>al leaders.<br />


Prepared to Shine<br />

The Quranic gardens d<strong>on</strong>ated a medical garden for us to<br />

have an outdoor class. We are currently growing and<br />

educating our community about the medical importance of<br />

biodiverse plants such as: miswak, frankinscence, sidra,<br />

henna, figs, olives and citr<strong>on</strong> trees. These plants were used<br />

for centuries by bedouins and are currently being<br />

researched as a cure for drug resistant bacteria.The<br />

Quranic gardens has agreed to sp<strong>on</strong>sor every school in<br />

Doha to have a garden similar to ours. This was <strong>on</strong>e of the<br />

biggest partnerships we’ve had so far through our journey.<br />

They have promised us additi<strong>on</strong>al d<strong>on</strong>ati<strong>on</strong>s of<br />

bougainvillea trees and we returned their generosity by<br />

marketing their work to every school in Doha.<br />

Last year, our projects were based in ISQH less<strong>on</strong>s and<br />

published <strong>on</strong>line with over 500 readers. This year, French<br />

mother t<strong>on</strong>gue c<strong>on</strong>tinued the learning and expanded the<br />

project to three grade levels.<br />

Qatar Nati<strong>on</strong>al Museums invited teachers to create less<strong>on</strong><br />

plans to teach other schools about an important aspect of<br />

Qatar. We were the <strong>on</strong>ly children to volunteer and we<br />

worked with museum staff to create a “week without walls”<br />

biodiversity project where children throughout Qatar could<br />

create a fully sp<strong>on</strong>sored biodiversity garden and learn more<br />

about bedouin medical traditi<strong>on</strong>s and the importance of<br />

preserving our green heritage. By creating their own soap<br />

products, they would also reduce 1,2 billi<strong>on</strong> items of waste<br />

from cosmetic use. We could really make a difference!<br />


A proud moment<br />

Our project was so successful that we got to tell our story to<br />

over 200 heads of school in Qatar and the minister of<br />

educati<strong>on</strong> (HE Buthaina Bint Ali Al Jabr Al Nuaimi). We were<br />

able to share our less<strong>on</strong> plans and inform them that every<br />

school in Doha had sp<strong>on</strong>sorship for a medical garden. We<br />

also presented to the director of museums Sheikha Mayassa<br />

Al Thani who features regularly <strong>on</strong> the list of top 100 people<br />

for Forbes and Times Magazine. She is also the sister of our<br />

country’s ruler. Sheikha Mayassa retweeted our story <strong>on</strong> her<br />

pers<strong>on</strong>al Twitter and Facebook where she has a following of<br />

over 500 000. We were also delighted to receive handwritten<br />

letters to let us know that our “passi<strong>on</strong> for sustainability was<br />

truly inspiring”. She also menti<strong>on</strong>ed that she is “looking<br />

forward to hearing more about our botanical projects”.<br />

C<strong>on</strong>gratulati<strong>on</strong>s to Soundus , Ghanim, Ayaan,<br />

Nathalie, Adwita, Jana and S<strong>on</strong>am for bringing the<br />

hummingbirds to life.<br />

A special thank you to Miss Roweida Bawab and<br />

Dr Jelena Trkulja from Qatar Nati<strong>on</strong>al Museums for<br />

supporting our young speakers.<br />

We asked Sheikha Mayassa if we could use the museums<br />

as a platform to create a biodiversity research magazine for<br />

children by children and she invited us to join a newly<br />

formed teenage acti<strong>on</strong> group from all over Qatar where we<br />

can launch our project nati<strong>on</strong>wide under the patr<strong>on</strong>age of<br />

Qatar Foundati<strong>on</strong> and Qatar Nati<strong>on</strong>al Museums.<br />

The hard work will c<strong>on</strong>tinue next year and we are excited to<br />

no l<strong>on</strong>ger have covid restricti<strong>on</strong>s.<br />

If you are interested in supporting the gardening activities at<br />

SISQ through d<strong>on</strong>ati<strong>on</strong>s or skills c<strong>on</strong>tributi<strong>on</strong>s, please c<strong>on</strong>tact<br />

Claire Olivier at colivier@sisq.qa<br />


Changing Lives<br />

“Whoever is kind to the<br />

creatures of God is kind to<br />

himself”<br />

Hadith Bukhari<br />


There are many reas<strong>on</strong>s why people<br />

aband<strong>on</strong> animals. Firstly, a pet can<br />

have behavioral issues such as<br />

biting and barking. It is a lot of<br />

resp<strong>on</strong>sibility to train the pet, clean<br />

it, feed it, etc. Apart from this,<br />

humans have lifestyle changes such<br />

as a new child’s birth, a change of<br />

residence, or a job offer in another<br />

country. This can also include<br />

holidays and traveling. How will you<br />

take the pet somewhere else?<br />

Having a pet is expensive and<br />

requires a lot of hard work! 90% of<br />

Qatar’s residents are expats and<br />

this would explain why so many<br />

animals are aband<strong>on</strong>ed. These<br />

animals are so traumatised that they<br />

might never be adopted again.<br />

The penalty for abuse is <strong>on</strong>ly two<br />

weeks in jail or a fine of two<br />

thousand QR. Compared to many<br />

other countries, Qatar’s laws for<br />

animal cruelty are not enough.! In<br />

Greece the government has said<br />

that whoever abuses an animal will<br />

be sent to pris<strong>on</strong> for 10 years and<br />

pay a fine of 5,000 - 15,000 Euros. In<br />

Germany you pay €25,000 or<br />

impris<strong>on</strong>ment of 3 years and in<br />

countries like Georgia, it is against<br />

the law to aband<strong>on</strong> a domestic<br />

animal. The shocking thing is that<br />

animal abuse is a grave sin in Islam<br />

but many muslims d<strong>on</strong>’t know this.<br />

This is why we made a display <strong>on</strong><br />

animal rights in Islam.we talked<br />

about what the rules are and why<br />

they are there to keep us and<br />

animals safe. The Quran protects all<br />

living creatures.But still this does<br />

not stop people from aband<strong>on</strong>ing<br />

them <strong>on</strong> the<br />

street to die<br />

or injuring<br />

them because<br />

people d<strong>on</strong>’t<br />

know the<br />

rules. We also<br />

decided, as a<br />

group, to<br />

make posters<br />

for the stray<br />

cats and dogs<br />

in QAWS. We<br />

knew and<br />

understood<br />

that the problem was big and<br />

therefore, we had passi<strong>on</strong> to take<br />

acti<strong>on</strong>. Kyan and Enrique went to<br />

the Qaws website and searched for<br />

info <strong>on</strong> the dogs and cats that<br />

needed to be adopted.Isabella and<br />

Sabine made posters of the animals<br />

they rescued. We were delighted<br />

when the kindergarten did less<strong>on</strong>s<br />

using our display and drew pictures<br />

of the animals to make their own<br />

display.<br />


Hands <strong>on</strong> Help<br />

Toy making was the most important part of our acti<strong>on</strong><br />

as we had to listen to the problem and use our critical<br />

thinking with the informati<strong>on</strong> we already knew. We<br />

would not want to hurt the animals with good<br />

intenti<strong>on</strong>s without knowing the facts. One of our<br />

teammates, Arianna, visited the shelter and<br />

interviewed them <strong>on</strong> how we could help them and the<br />

animals. It turns out, many of the cats at the shelter<br />

were dealing with unhealthy emoti<strong>on</strong>al damage<br />

because of aband<strong>on</strong>ment and cruelty. Janet Berry, the<br />

owner of QAWS, kindly requested soft and cuddly<br />

toys for the cats to help them deal with their<br />

emoti<strong>on</strong>al health and a doggy playground so families<br />

could b<strong>on</strong>d with future animals and see how they<br />

interact with young children. The very first step was<br />

creating a moodboard to help spark our ideas. Most<br />

of our supplies were from ‘old, orphaned’ socks and<br />

old shirts. Each kid in our class produced at least <strong>on</strong>e<br />

cat toy, keeping in mind about the durability of the<br />

toys and the safety as aband<strong>on</strong>ed cats tend to chew<br />

<strong>on</strong> everything. We tested our toys <strong>on</strong> street cats or<br />

our cats at home, by this we could see if the stitches<br />

needed to be str<strong>on</strong>ger or the fabric was too soft and<br />

was able to be ripped. If the toys failed their test, we<br />

would have to redo them or make a new <strong>on</strong>e as we<br />

did not want to harm or even kill them.<br />


During our time of prototyping, we experienced: failure, acceptance, ethical<br />

thinking and most of all pleasure with our work and pride in the difference<br />

we had made in this world<br />

At the same time, the grade 10s created a puppy playground and cat<br />

exercise centre for us. They spent an entire term researching the animals’<br />

needs and building the equipment from recycled wood as many aband<strong>on</strong>ed<br />

animals are under stimulated and depressed. The playground allows<br />

traumatised animals to reb<strong>on</strong>d with humans and their future animal<br />

siblings.<br />

When we went, we took the dogs to the puppy playground and let them test<br />

it out whilst bribing them with treats. On the other hand, when we gave the<br />

cats their little plush toys they didn't need to be bribed - they just went<br />

straight into the bag and grabbed some toys themselves<br />

Our deepest gratitude to Dr Sophie Peralba<br />

for the excellent work she does to rescue<br />

cats. <br />

We also thank all the moms and dads.<br />

This project would not have been possible<br />

without the passi<strong>on</strong> and expertise of the<br />

Design and Technology department. It gives<br />

us great pleasure to showcase some of the<br />

excepti<strong>on</strong>al grade 10 projects in the next<br />

few pages…<br />

We were delighted to receive an official thank you from QAWS who<br />

published this statement <strong>on</strong> their official page: “ From cat scratch posts to<br />

bird houses to dog bridges, a truck full of fun play equipment arrived at the<br />

shelter much to the delight of our animals! Al<strong>on</strong>g with all the cat hidey holes<br />

and climbers, our Kitties also got stacks of the cutest handmade toys too!!<br />

We are so impressed with the pieces d<strong>on</strong>ated and so very grateful we were<br />

made their project for the term! Our dogs have already been testing out<br />

their new activity pieces in the off-lead run and they were a huge success.<br />

Our school leadership has approved a budget for us to c<strong>on</strong>tinue next year<br />

to create more toys, exercise equipment and wooden signs and the project<br />

is now part of the curriculum for DT, Art and Culture Studies so we truly<br />

transform the lives of over 300 animals. We already engaged over 300<br />

students and we spent nearly 3000 hours <strong>on</strong> this project.<br />

Our youngest member was just 4 years old.<br />




15<br />

Well d<strong>on</strong>e to the grade 6 GSL<br />

team and the grade 6 Culture<br />

Studies class. We also<br />

c<strong>on</strong>gratulate the following<br />

grade 10s <strong>on</strong> excellent<br />

projects:<br />

Claire<br />

Aya<br />

Vasil<br />

Emma<br />

Ali <br />

Ghalia <br />

Jhanae <br />

Mariam<br />

Mohamad <br />

Lalique<br />

Taha <br />


If any members of our community<br />

would like to help create furniture and<br />

play equipment for abused animals (or<br />

if you would like to d<strong>on</strong>ate supplies)<br />

please c<strong>on</strong>tact Claire <strong>on</strong><br />

colivier@sisq.qa.<br />

We are especially grateful for wood,<br />

sisal rope and animal friendly paints<br />

and varnish.<br />


Turtle Hatching<br />

On the 12 May, our<br />

school will be allowed to<br />

send 3 delegates to the<br />

turtle nesting program in<br />

Fuwairit. Only 12<br />

members of the public<br />

are allowed to attend.<br />

Furthermore, our<br />

talented Hailey in grade<br />

9 will be having an<br />

exclusive interview with<br />

the staff at the facility<br />

due to her amazing<br />

research project to<br />

preserve marine life in<br />

Qatar.<br />

A beautiful turtle created by Hailey Tynes in grade 9.<br />

If you wish to support Hailey in her project to<br />

support marine life, please come to our spring fair<br />

and purchase her amazing clay animals.<br />



Composting<br />

A massive thank you to Mr<br />

Wils<strong>on</strong> and 7B for helping to get<br />

the composting going! <br />

The composting initiative was<br />

started by the “Fume Buster”<br />

team and we are currently<br />

composting food waste in grade<br />

7 and grade 6.<br />

If you are interested in<br />

composting your own food<br />

waste then please c<strong>on</strong>tact<br />

www.wahab.qa for the best<br />

compost bins for home use.<br />


Watering the next<br />

generati<strong>on</strong><br />

Our GSL teams were very privileged<br />

to assist the early years children to<br />

develop their own biodiversity<br />

gardens.<br />

The Creepy Critters went the extra<br />

mile and helped create the gnome<br />

belts so that each child could be an<br />

eco guardian and protect bees,<br />

worms and other important creatures.<br />

We can all learn a lot from the love<br />

and diligence shown by our youngest<br />

members of the SISQ family.<br />


Final Words of<br />

Gratitude<br />

It take a village to raise a child<br />

Mrs Susanna G<strong>on</strong>calves for financial<br />

guidance and logistical support<br />

Mr Sam Gath<strong>on</strong>i for transporting plants<br />

and furniture<br />

Mr Giuseppe Paolillo for all the practical<br />

arrangements<br />

Our amazing cleaning and support staff<br />


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