With its tagline of “Exchanging smartphones for shovels”, TalentDays 2016, is back for the third time. With the initiative Evonik shows that the company is not only keen on being in the lead when it comes to business but that it also takes its role as a responsible member of society very seriously.
Exchanging smartphones for shovels: The team on site in Vietnam.
As part of Evonik’s talent development plan, TalentDays 2016 brought Evonik Industries’ Corporate Executive talents from around the globe back to Vietnam to build safe and functional shelters for local families. The proven collaboration between the International aid organization – Habitat for Humanity, Evonik and local families took place in the Hoa Binh region.
The initiative is part of Evonik’s broader approach to act as a responsible member of society and to also inculcate this attitude in the mindsets of its Corporate Executive talents. “As a globally active company which emphasizes creativity as a corporate core value, we strongly believe that looking at a challenge from different perspectives helps to handle it,” says Peter Meinshausen, Regional President of Evonik South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand (SEAANZ). “That’s the reason why our talent development plan combines the internal benefit for our talents with giving back to society. To me these are two sides of the very same coin.”
In the past two weeks, over 20 upcoming executives including Aneta Tatarynowicz, Head of Financial Reporting SEAANZ, traveled to Hoa Binh mountain province, a remote region of Vietnam where over 100 families are in poor living conditions, and rolled up their sleeves to shovel and piece each brick by hand for the foundation, walls as well as roof of the houses in the hot and humid condition. “It is a unique and positive experience for me to help build houses from scratch just so that the less fortunate can live comfortably and most importantly, safely,” said Aneta Tatarynowicz. “While the task is physically demanding, my tiredness wears away when I see the new owners of the house content with what we have built.”
Evonik and Habitat for Humanity have signed a mid-term cooperation agreement for the project. It ensures that every corporate talent will have the opportunity to make a local contribution and gain hands-on experience of development in the region until 2018. “Without the support of Evonik and Habitat for Humanity, we never know when we can build a home,” said Mr. Bui Van Tinh, one of the beneficiaries. “A new home gives us a feeling of security, and now all our efforts could go for our children’s education. I wish they will have better jobs, not to do seasonal labor work like us.”
Credits to Evonik Regional Communication.