No matter which our place in this world is, we can always make a difference. And the corporate environment, sometimes considered to be a structured, frivolous and selfish environment is increasingly undertaking to promote social change.
Prysmian Group recently engaged in a food processing initiative with Rise Against Hunger, an international non-profit organization, committed to the fighting against world hunger, through the distribution of food and other types of humanitarian aids to the populations in serious state of emergency.
Gianluca Meroni, Energy Quality Engineer from Prysmian Group, said that taking part in the process was a mobilizing experience and stressed the importance of this type of action: “If you teach children to be owners of their lives, they will be emotionally strong.” Rise Against Hunger has imposed certain conditions that must be met in order to give food to children: only those who go to school can receive food. In this way, by changing child labour for school, they can progress and grow.
The requirement for schools to receive food rations is that there should be young women and girls among their students. In this sense, it is possible to influence culture and try to help girls to abandon the vicious circle that obliges them to get married when they are 12 years old. “It is not only about providing food, but it is a way to make sure they have access to education,” explains Gianluca.
Volunteering is a win-win experience: children receive their ration of food and access to education; and the volunteers, join in a common feeling: gratitude. This was the case of one hundred volunteers from Prysmian, but experience does not come to an end when they finish packing food rations. Once everything is ready, they were told where rations wouldbe sent to. In this case, it was to the Joseph Foundation in Zimbabwe. Soon, they will receive photos of the children enjoying the rations, and that hour and a half collaboration will translate into pictures that most volunteers will treasure forever.
“What struck me the most was the story of the children from those countries, living in condition of malnutrition and childbearing at a very young age,” explains Mónica Catelani, Domestic Utilities HV team. For her, this Prysmian Group initiative helped her to fulfill one of her goals: to be a volunteer so she could develop not only in the professional, but also in the human aspect. “Taking part in experiences like these makes me feel good and I realize that there are more important and serious things than the small problems of everyday life we might have here [in Italy].”
The employees of the company also find in volunteer work an opportunity to get to know each other more and join efforts to achieve a common purpose. They all agree they would love the company to continue doing these kind of activities, since it allows them to change the focus from a professional to a person: “It’s a way of getting to know our colleagues better, more than we can know of them while we are next to the coffee machine. It’s something concrete that we can do together and that allows us to create a warm atmosphere among colleagues,” says Gianluca.
Photos: Prysmian Group