Syou Nam Thai

  TASSEL volunteer Syou Nam with his students at the Ratting TASSEL School, summer 2016.

TASSEL volunteer Syou Nam with his students at the Ratting TASSEL School, summer 2016.

SAINT MARY'S INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, TOKYO, JAPAN

"TASSEL? Huh. Just another one of those high school clubs, right?" 

This is a typical response from a high schooler when I start a conversation about TASSEL. Somewhere deep my heart, I want to grab them by their head and shake them until they realize that TASSEL isn't just another one of “them." Unfortunately, it is not them to blame. In the recent years, our school has adopted a bad habit of volunteering just to fill a community service requirement. Thanks to this faulty part of our curriculum, many of the high school students seem to have lost the genuine desire to help. Within this mentality, it is easy to see how TASSEL can be perceived as just another one of the service clubs.

  Syou Nam with his students at the Samrang TASSEL School, summer 2016. 

Syou Nam with his students at the Samrang TASSEL School, summer 2016. 

Despite this trend, TASSEL continued to show structural integrity, and persevered through the hard times, and has grown to become one of the most reputable service clubs that the school offers. TASSEL has evolved to become not only a HS service club, but a club that the entire school is involved in. Last year, the school, including the Elementary and Middle Schools, were able to raise $10,000 for TASSEL. Such large initiatives that drive hearts to give can only be accomplished by organisations with strong structural integrity such as TASSEL. The organization motivated school community members to take part in the reconstruction of Cambodia and to inform them about the urgency of their needs. The works of TASSEL in SMIS has caused a chain reaction in the hearts of many by urging students to start taking part in global development and has evoked a tradition of giving and caring. In the privileged culture of a private international school, TASSEL is a solid and special organization that never fails to protect its core values and to give. Besides instilling the important of charity into students, TASSEL has become an example for all service clubs, in and outside of the school. Sure, all these large corporate NGOs may dump more money and manpower into the country, but TASSEL provides something that they cannot provide: the intimate connection between the Cambodians and those abroad. TASSEL isn't just an organization, but a family that supports each other when the other is in need. It isn't about numbers but more about the quality of our support. TASSEL not only teaches and donates, but provides the love and moral support the people need to get through their crises. It it my utmost hope that TASSEL will continue to incite our charitable selves and provide a family-like environment for all those who have kind hearts. 

A video created by Syou Nam about his TASSEL trip, summer 2016.

  TASSEL volunteers from SMIS pose with their students. 

TASSEL volunteers from SMIS pose with their students.