Making a Difference

ISM Makes a Difference in Ecuador

Sep 2014 #MakingADifference

The potential to make a difference in the lives of others drives not only SABIS®, but also schools within its global school network.  By participating in a multitude of community service activities, students in SABIS® member schools develop into compassionate individuals who understand the value of being active and responsible global citizens.

The International School of Minnesota (ISM) is a private SABIS® member school located in Minnesota, U.S.A., and it is currently starting its 30th year in operation.  The school has a long history of giving back to the local and the global community and regularly explores new opportunities to give back.  The school’s most recent community service initiative partnered them with “Free the Children,” an organization that seeks to provide all children in the world with the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

In its efforts to support “Free the Children” and its “Adopt-A-Village” program, throughout the 2013-14 school year, ISM organized a number of fundraising activities.  “Through various fundraising activities and projects, the ISM community was able to collect close to $20,000 to help support the village of Mondana, Ecuador,” stated Mr. Stephan Michaud, ISM Student Life Coordinator. “The collected funds were used to build school facilities and support education and health in Mondana.”

The year-long fundraising efforts culminated in a trip in July 2014 organized by ISM’s SABIS Student Life Organization® (SLO®) to Ecuador, where two parents, two members of ISM staff, and five ISM students spent eight days helping the Mondana community on the Napo River in the Amazon with the construction of a school kitchen which will feed over 150 students during the academic year.

 “Being able to be part of making the world a better place and supporting communities in need around the world was truly inspiring and we are proud to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Michaud.  

Carmen Chavez, a Grade 10 student at ISM, was extremely pleased upon her return home from the service trip. “The people I met in Ecuador were so happy even though they had so little.  They all work together to help their community grow.  It just seemed like everyone there loved each other.  Despite their situation, they were all happy and smiling.  I am privileged to have been able to meet and help these people.  They have taught me so much.”

ISM students, parents, and teachers will return to the Amazon during the 2015 summer to continue supporting the Mondana community. For more information about ISM, visit  For more information about Free the Children’s Adopt-A-Village program, visit  

ISM students during their trip to Ecuador
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