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More Henkel Corporate Reporting 2014
Since its launch in 1998, the Make an Impact on Tomorrow (MIT) initiative has supported the volunteer work of Henkel employees and retirees in over 11,500 projects in more than 50 countries around the world. These projects are as diverse as our company itself: From providing bicycle training for schoolchildren in India to helping with reforestation in Mexico, volunteers from Henkel were active in 37 countries in 592 MIT projects in 2014.
At the Special Olympics in Düsseldorf, athletes with intellectual disabilities participated in unusual sports disciplines and classic track and field events.
The Special Olympics in May 2014 were an enormous celebration packed full of sport, fun and awards for the athletes and Henkel helpers in Düsseldorf. Whether it was the mini javelin throw, wheelchair racing or classic track and field disciplines – winning did not depend on how the athletes placed.
The 52 Henkel helpers can also look back on a successful week full of emotion. They helped the athletes and contributed immensely to inclusion in and through sport – in line with the “Together strong” motto – a principle that is of the utmost importance to Henkel.
Nadine Frey, who coordinated the Henkel helper team, explains: “It was beautiful to see how professionally everyone interacted with the athletes and how involved they were in their activities. But what thrilled me most of all was the joy that was obvious among the athletes.”
“I had never had any contact with disabled people before, and I was afraid I would do something inappropriate in the way I acted toward them,” says helper Catalina Dominguez Parra, clearly moved. “In the preparatory seminars offered by Henkel, I learned how best to speak with them. The solidarity among the athletes was simply fascinating. I have learned so much, and I would love to take part again the next time.”
Special Olympics Deutschland is the German organization of the world’s largest sport movement for people with mental and multiple physical disabilities that is officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee. At this year’s national games, more than 4,800 athletes all over Germany gave their best.
At Special Olympics Germany in Düsseldorf in May 2014, 52 Henkel employees supported some of the 4,800 athletes throughout the weeklong event. Here, Henkel employee Kerstin Molinero Alvarez congratulates an athlete after his competition.
Long jumper Britt Haberecht (left) thanks Henkel helper Claudia Drosdek for her active support and her constant encouragement.
These athletes (from left to right) Michael Huber and Bastian Rauhut gave their best in their disciplines. Points and placements weren’t the most important thing in the Special Olympics; just being part of it all was everything.
These athletes (from left to right) Marvin-Maurice Schneider and Denise Lehmann gave their best in their disciplines. Points and placements weren’t the most important thing in the Special Olympics; just being part of it all was everything.
Henkel’s MIT initiative has been supporting a school project in the Namibian village of Nabasib since 2007. Henkel retiree Dr. Fred Schambil remembers the first time he visited the school.
“Even though our visit was unexpected,” Schambil says, “the children in every class greeted us warmly with singing and dancing.” It was then Schambil decided to help the school and its 120 students with the support of the MIT initiative.
MIT funding has been used to provide items such as school books, chairs, benches, teaching materials, a copier and a jungle gym. In 2014, 100 mattresses were provided for the school’s dormitory. Schambil has also organized private donation drives within his circle of friends. He used the donations to install solar panels on the roof of the school and to repair the restrooms. Thirty-five boxes filled with warm blankets were also sent to Namibia.
MIT funding was used to sponsor a group of 32 students from the Nabasib school in 2014 to attend a program at the Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust. The program teaches children the basics of living an environmentally responsible lifestyle.
“When I see how well my children and grandchildren live compared to the children in Namibia, it goes without saying that we should help,” Schambil says. “It is such a pleasure to support this school with the help of MIT.”
Henkel retiree Dr. Fred Schambil, his wife Beate (middle) and teacher Elfriede Plaatjies enjoyed spending time together along with students at the school in Nabasib, Namibia.
A young student makes a unique gesture to show her appreciation for Henkel's support for her school in Nabasib, Namibia.
In the winter at the South Oakland Warming Center in Royal Oak, Michigan, about 100 homeless people receive hot meals, blankets, pillows and clothing. The homeless population is on the rise in Southeast Michigan due to poor economic conditions. MIT has supported the center for several years; for the last three years, the company has also sponsored a Henkel night by providing volunteers and food.
“The guests are so thankful for the basic food and shelter we provide,” says Henkel employee Laura Miehls. She has been volunteering at the center for over 20 years. “I almost feel selfish that I get so much out of volunteering. I am so fortunate that I can give back a bit to those in need.”
Peter is one of over 100 homeless people who benefit from the warming center in Royal Oak each night in the winter. The homeless population is on the rise in Southeast Michigan due to poor economic conditions.
Laura Miehls (middle) enjoys building relationships with the center’s homeless visitors.
At last they have a roof that doesn’t leak when it rains, and insulated walls that protect them from the cold and damp. For Viktoria Rudaru, her four children, and her grandson George, a new life has begun in their village Corlăteşti. Until May 2014, they lived in a decaying hut that offered practically no protection from wind and weather. But then 20 employees from Henkel’s Infrastructure Services in Germany came to Corlăteşti and, along with the family, built a new house in only five days.
“We planned this construction as part of our social project in collaboration with the aid organization Habitat for Humanity, which builds houses in many countries for people who have had to live in degrading and unhealthy dwellings,” reports Christian Wallendschus. He was the coordinator of the social project, the first joint social initiative of all the departments of Infrastructure Services, and provided active support to the team in Romania.
Neither sore muscles nor fatigue were able to weaken the team’s motivation: The group worked hand in hand and so quickly that they were even able to make up for a day they lost because of heavy rain. They met the official handover date on the fifth day.
It was only then that the Rudaru family learned where the money to purchase the construction materials came from. As the social project progressed, numerous departments in Infrastructure Services had repeatedly organized fund-raising activities since the spring of 2013. “Viktoria Rudaru and her children were overwhelmed to hear that so many employees far away in Düsseldorf had gone to so much trouble for them,” says Andreas Metz, a volunteer.
Mark Wittich plastered the wall of the house.
George Rudaru, the youngest member of the family, watched the Henkel helpers on the construction site.
Andreas Metz worked on the façade of the new house.
The house slowly took on shape. Everyone lent a hand when it was time for the framework to be put up.
Some members of the Henkel building team sharing the Rudaru family’s happiness and pride in the new house.
Watch a video about the project (video in German).