A Reflection on Service Learning at ISB: the CAP48 Campaign
Posted 11/12/2017 15:02

As part of its CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) programme, ISB has been proud to partner with CAP48, a local charity working in support of the Belgian disabled community, for many years. This year's campaign was of particular note for many reasons, including:

Our congratulations to the many ISB students, faculty, and community members who participated in making this year's CAP48 Campaign the most successful yet.

The following is excerpted from a reflection by current ISB students about their leadership of the CAP48 Campaign.

By Sophie Hoeg '19, Sophie Ceruti '19, and Alejandro Laureyssens '19

We were soon reminded that the key to a successful campaign is planning and commitment! As leaders of ISB's contribution to the CAP48 Post-It note campaign we were responsible for the student volunteer participation and overall organisation of how the 10 days of fundraising should be initiated, executed and concluded.

This meant that before the actual campaign started, we had a pitch in the Atrium where we talked about - and promoted as convincingly as we could – the CAP48 charity and its events in order to generate as much student interest and support as we could. Some 50 High School students signed up with us so we considered that as a good start and commitment from ISB's student body. We then embarked on a larger planning process of assigning and distributing the student-volunteers – or sellers – to various locations in Brussels, specifically in Ixelles, Uccle, Etterbeek and Saint-Gilles, on specific dates and times. This was quite a planning puzzle but we got there in the end thanks to a considerable amount of flexibility, persuasion and ready-to-help-when-in-need attitude by all sellers. Finally, we organised that everyone would receive the necessary materials ahead of the campaign. With so many different tasks at hand we, as a team, learnt how important it was to not only delegate but also coordinate throughout the process in order to ensure a timely organisation and continuous support of all 50 sellers.

The first day of the Post-It note campaign finally arrived and from the early morning the streets of Brussels were filled with enthusiastic ISB sellers in their bright-yellow CAP48 vests, equipped with stacks of Post-It notes to be sold at the favorable prices of 5 and 10 euros, depending on the size. As all proceeds would go to CAP48, the objective of the selling was to inform the public as well as possible (and in any language, within reason) about the charity, who the profits would benefit and how, and finally a gentle plea to support the cause by buying at least one pack of Post-It notes. Generally, our approaches were well-received by most members of the public – and even to the extent that we had to get more supplies out with very short notice to some of the more successful sellers.

As with any large-scale project, there are always some unforeseen developments or surprises. In our case it was the unpredictable Belgian weather! Let's just say that the rain and wind were not in our favour during the most important selling days over the weekends and the bad weather clearly affected the number of shoppers in the streets as well as their moods and attitudes in some cases. However, in true ISB spirit we faced the challenge head-on and all sellers maintained their inner smile, determination and motivation, to the ultimate benefit of the charity. We all learnt that perseverance is an indispensable quality – especially on rainy days.

By the end of the campaign each seller was responsible for presenting an account of the number of Post-It notes sold and the money received. In turn, we as the organisers were responsible for verifying, collecting and counting the sales. In addition, we had the chance to volunteer at the Sergio Tiempo piano concert held at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels towards the end of the campaign. All funds raised by the concert were also given to CAP48.

Sergio Tiempo '91, whose benefit concert for the CAP48 campaign was supported by ISB CAS students.

All in all, it was with pride that we could announce that due to the sheer commitment, energy and dedication of 50 High School students over ten intense days, ISB raised an outstanding total of 15,000 euros for the charity. With this result we think and hope that we have contributed in a meaningful way to raising even more awareness of CAP48's mission and slogan "Together, even if we are different" with the ultimate goal of changing the public's perception of persons with disabilities in order to encourage their integration in the society.