CAS stands for Creativity, Action, and Service, and it is one of three essential elements that every student must complete to receive the IB Diploma. While not formally assessed, CAS provides opportunities for students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through hands-on learning.
One of the components of CAS is a ‘CAS Project’, a collaborative series of student-initiated CAS experiences over several months engaging students in one or more CAS strands (creativity, activity, and service). Following the five CAS stages of Investigation, Preparation, Demonstration, Action, and Reflection, students can explore their passions whilst challenging themselves to initiate purposeful action around defined goals. The following months will bring a series of interviews where the STC Media Team interviews different students around school to highlight their CAS projects and initiatives.
This week, the Blood for All team, consisting of Nathan Mak, Megan Szeto, Rochelle Lui, Yvonne Yau and Matthew Martin, speaks to the STC Media Team about their CAS project. They started Blood For All after learning about the decrease of blood donors in Hong Kong due to the pandemic; thus, they want to encourage more people to become blood donors and spread awareness about the implications of blood shortages in the medical world.
Can you introduce Blood 4 All (b4a)? What is the purpose of your CAS project?
Blood for All is a student-led project that seeks to raise awareness about the importance of blood donations to people suffering from diseases that require blood transfusions. Our goal is to encourage more students to actively participate in blood donations while spreading knowledge about the uses and importance of donating blood.
What impact/outcome do you hope your project will have on the community?
After the conclusion of our project, we hope Blood For All will encourage students and staff who have not yet made a blood donation to donate blood to Red Cross regularly. Of course, some people in the school community are ineligible for blood donations or have already participated in blood donations before. Regardless, we still want to provide the STC community with more insight into the significance of blood donations for the medical community.
Are there any events/initiatives planned to take place? Did the pandemic affect the workings of your project?
We are currently planning a questionnaire to gauge the initial attitudes of the STC community towards blood donations. Moreover, we have designed a series of interviews, public service announcements, and infographics that we will send out soon and hope people will find interesting.
B4a has also originally planned to do an in-school blood donation drive, where Red Cross would come to STC for students to donate blood in the hall or on a Red Cross mobile blood donation centre. However, due to the ever-tightening social distancing rules due to the coronavirus fifth wave in Hong Kong, we cannot do this for the foreseeable future.
Why should people donate blood?
People should donate blood for many reasons. First, blood is crucial to medical patients, especially those who have lost too much blood due to an injury; an emergency blood transfusion gives them essential time to get to the hospital and undergo medical treatment. Second, people suffering from diseases like leukaemia require blood transfusions to replenish their blood; therefore, blood is essential for those suffering from these life-threatening diseases.
How does the blood donation process work?
First, the prospective blood donor heads to a blood donation centre to fill out a registration form. They will then take a haemoglobin test and undergo a health screening by a nurse. After that, the nurse will apply local anaesthesia before taking a sample of their blood, after which they will check the donor’s blood for any diseases. After the donation, Red Cross will give donors snacks and a drink to replenish their fluids. Overall, the process is quite simple. However, due to the pandemic, donors also have to fill out an additional health declaration form before their blood donation to ensure the safety of potential patients.
Written by: Michelle Geng
Edited by: Kadence Wong