Responsible Business Week - Education
Responsible Business Week - Education
A responsible business is committed to building a fairer society and a more sustainable future, with Business In The Community breaking this down into five key areas. Today we focus on Education
Following on from the success of our management team building adventure to the Arctic, last September we sent an intrepid team of nine volunteers all the way to Vietnam.
It was still to be an adventure of a lifetime with kayaking, cave trips and an overnight fishing experience; the purpose of this trip however was different. Whilst we wanted again to take the team completely out of their comfort zones and bring together colleagues from different parts of the organisation, this time we wanted to make a difference to a community in need.
Heading to a small village in the Mai Chau region of Vietnam we funded the installation of a toilet block in a kindergarten that the team had to build from scratch with the most basic of tools, including a wonky wheelbarrow and four small buckets! This project allowed us to help develop the potential of future generations of children by improving their education facilities.
The team enjoying some down time in beautiful Vietnam
Vietnam Community Education Project
By Sales Account Manager Sharrona Bryans
This was my third trip to South East Asia and I never fail to be amazed by the cultural difference and heartbroken by the poverty I see but for some reason, Vietnam hit me the hardest.
When we arrived at the homestay we were all blown away by how beautiful the village was. The house was traditional and simple but the views were priceless. After we had a chance to absorb our surroundings we really started to see how little our hosts had and how simply they lead their lives. It was humbling to see how hard they worked to chieve the simplest tasks yet they were always laughing, smiling and in high spirits. It definitely put things into perspective.
Good morning Vietnam!
Seeing adults struggle with the simplest things is one thing, but seeing children is totally different. We arrived at the school and that’s when it really struck us how important the work we were about to do was going to be to this village. The school is literally a room and there were no toilet facilities at all. The children would have toilet breaks and would have to walk in the blistering heat along a dirt road to the nearest toilet. If they were bursting, it wasn’t a case of nipping to the loo and carrying on with their studies. It was grin and bear it!
So we got to work! The children looked on excitedly, shouting at us in Vietnamese to spur us on. It was a great feeling. I think one of my favourite parts of the experience was working with the local builders. There was a language barrier but we learnt to communicate as the project developed and started having a good laugh with them. They showed us techniques to do the jobs and seemed pleased with our hard work.
Team AP hard at work
We got rained off for a day and half during the project and as well as soaking us to the bone it really dampened our spirits. We were desperate to get the project finished on time. By this time we had a great relationship with the community and we were desperate to help them and finish what we started so when the rain eased we worked double time to ensure we got the job done.
It was a great feeling seeing the roof go onto the finished building and seeing all our names on the plaque. We felt a real sense of achievement and pride in our work.
A very proud team AP on completion of the wash block
The local community came together and held a Thank You ceremony in our honour and it really warmed my heart seeing how much our work had helped them. We presented them with a bag a stationary that our colleagues, friends and family had all generously donated. I still can’t fathom how something so simple as a toilet and pens and paper can have such a huge impact on the education of hundreds of children.
It really opened my eyes seeing people with so little, be so happy and seeing how they all come together to help each other. Being a part of that is amazing as it is a rare occurrence when you live such a privileged life.
"So thanks to Access Point for donating all the materials, my colleagues, friends and families for their stationary donations and the hard work of our team; there is a tiny community in a little village on the other side of the world whose lives are now a little better because of you."
And Thank You to the community who took us in and showed us such hospitality and appreciation, you really opened our eyes and taught us what true happiness is, because that is something that takes more than sweat, bricks and mortar.
All smiles despite the rain and humidity
Our altruism commitment for the year ahead is focused on local environmental causes, join us tomorrow for our final #RBWeek blog and learn more about our #100hour pledge.
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