Many students from Ecole H.J. Cody School stood up for those who, for whatever reason, do not have a voice, while raising money to build a school in Haiti.
We Are Silent was held at the school on March 15, with students placing duct tape over their mouths, and not speaking throughout the day.
This year’s fundraiser was entirely arranged by the school’s Interact Club, according to Alana Routhier the club’s faculty advisor.
“I am so proud of them,” said Routhier. “Everything with this event was done completely by them, I didn’t have anything to do with it.”
The We Are Silent fundraiser was a part of the club’s We Day promise, to make an impact both locally and internationally.
The club has been working for a few years to build a school in Haiti, a project they decided on as a group after a We Day conference.
“It just made sense to us to build a school,” said Brynne Takhar, a student at H.J. Cody. “It took us a while to decide on where to do it, but we thought that Haiti could use it the most.”
Routhier says the Interact Club has gained a whole new independence and view of the world, through their work with Rotary and We Day.
She says the group has a new appreciation for what they can do to help others.
“This isn’t our only project. We also make pads to send to Africa for girls to use,” said Routhier. “The club feels a strongly with this one because these girls can’t go to school or get an education during that time because they are considered to be unclean.”
For Takhar, We Are Silent is a huge statement made by students. She says the event is both a fundraiser and a protest.
We Are Silent is a protest movement across North America to stand up for those who have been silenced or feel they have no voice.
“It is a very humbling experience,” Takhar said of not speaking throughout the day. “It is a great way to exercise empathy.”
Students from the Interact Club, and many who are not with the club, signed a pledge sheet stating who long they would stay silent on March 15.
They were able to choose a time period, some stating they will not speak during the morning or just the school day.
Then they were also able to choose the “level of difficulty.” This include no communication at all or the option to not text throughout the period.
“Most students chose to go the entire day without speaking, but could choose what worked for them,” said Routhier.
The fundraiser brought the students passed the halfway mark of their goal. With this event no complete the students estimate they have raised $6,000 out of the $10,000 for the new school.
“I am so inspired [by my fellow students.] It is amazing what we can accomplish,” said Takhar.
H.J. Cody’s Interact Club will be holding another fundraiser later this spring. This one will be a car wash, planned once again by the students.