PIECES was founded in 2009 by students of the University of St. Gallen within the SIM Master’s program. As part of its curriculum, the SIM (Strategy and International Management) requires students to get involved in a social project. This is how a first group of three students went to Isla Ometepe in Nicaragua to teach as volunteers for the very first time. The experience was a huge success so the team decided to keep it going and turned this one-time project into an organisation, PIECES, that would continue to engage students in such initiatives. Since then, PIECES has greatly evolved and is currently organised with a board counting the heads of departments, active members, and an advisory board including the founding members and others, for them to guide and support the organisation at the university.
“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”
Our goal is to improve English skills of highly motivated and enthusiastic kids, while imparting them essential values that can contribute to the sustainable development of their community. We hope to open them a path to a better future.
It is important to us to not only foster growth in children but also in our volunteers. We support them in every way possible to guarantee a successful experience for everyone involved. Our volunteers travel to the country and work directly with the children to improve their English skills, triggering a process of cultural exchange and sharing global values. The volunteers should ultimately also transmit essential knowledge, which they have as committed and experienced students, and support the children in becoming capable leaders in their societies. Inspiration is our primary goal.
The idea of social sustainability has gone largerly underappreciated in a world in which the gap between those that have ressources and those who don't is increasing every day. Our initiative fundamentally aims at connecting the world and to think beyond borders. Sharing this mission with students, our partners and other interested parties is an essential component of no longer viewing social issues through a national/regional lens but to view them as global problems which concern all of us! In this context we foster an internal culture of future problem solvers who are actively looking to enable and to enact global social sustainability - piece by piece.