In their own words, Ford employees explain why volunteerism and giving back is important to them
DEARBORN, Mich. — When it comes to building stronger communities and making people's lives better, there is nothing more valuable than the time and helping hands offered by caring individuals. During September, the Ford Volunteer Corps enlists Ford employees around the world for its signature annual event — Ford Global Caring Month. More than 5,000 Ford volunteers have registered to use their skills, creativity and energy on more than 500 projects in 34 countries. Whether it's addressing food insecurity, sourcing clean water or providing training opportunities that help empower people to reach their full potential, the impact is positive and often immediate. Below are just a few examples of how Ford employees are giving back around the world during Global Caring Month.
Little Engineers Project in Germany
"For me, Little Engineers is the perfect project. It connects the technical part of my job to kids in our region, and allows them exposure to a new way of thinking," says Ford volunteer Rebecca Gotz from Germany. The Little Engineers Project will get a boost from the Women's Engineering Panel, a Ford Resource Group that supports access for kids to STEAM. Ford employees will offer experiments and workshops for kindergarten and primary school groups to study electricity, ask questions and explore the many features of our electric world. "It's a fun opportunity for kindergarten kids to play with bottle cars!" added Gotz.
Toy Build Project in United Arab Emirates
In the United Arab Emirates, Ford volunteers will build toys for Syrian refugee children who are homeless and living in refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan. "In the Middle East, thousands of children are in crisis," said Zeek Ainabe, project coordinator and Ford volunteer. "The handmade toys will be sent to the children to put a smile on their face and not lose hope of a better future. Ford Global Caring Month is a great opportunity for employees to come together and work as a team to serve humanity for its greater good."
Women's Empowerment Project in Brazil
Ford volunteers in Brazil will help raise the quality of life for women who are the victims of domestic abuse. Employees will serve as consultants for women looking to create sustainable and successful business ventures, sharing information about building plans, management, costs, logistics and more. "This is an opportunity for professional and personal growth," said Emanuela Silva, analyst, Human Resources. "I have always been involved with volunteer work, and it is great to work at a company where a life goal of helping others is fulfilled through company initiatives."
Children's Center Build Project in Mexico
In Mexico, 250 Ford volunteers are building a dining room, playground and children's gathering area at Casa Cuna de Irapuato — a home for homeless and abused children. The project will take place over four days and provide the kids with a pleasant, protective environment to restore their physical and emotional well-being, resume their schooling and play with other children. "I love helping people," said Berenice Perez Aguilar, Ford volunteer and communications coach, Ford of Mexico. "For me, it is important that we multiply our efforts and help these children have a better education and quality of life."
Clean Up Project in Laos
In Vientiane, Loas, Ford volunteers will be doing cleanup work for the country's largest Buddhist festival of the year —That Luang Festival. As part of their work, employees also will be providing information on recycling and sustainability. "It's a good time to join the effort of reducing plastic and raising awareness on environmental issues," said Ayaka Nyna VU, marketing & special segment manager, Lao Ford City. "We do believe small actions speak more than words, which is why we are proud to be part of great projects. Giving back to the community is always gratifying."
Teaching Rural Students in China
Ford employees are helping young people dream and see possibilities for their future by teaching rural students through a remote video classroom. Later in the year, the students will visit Shanghai in a trip hosted by Ford. "You will find a sincere relationship when you are in different Global Caring Month activities," said Vivi Zhang, administrative assistant, Ford IT, Shanghai. "It touches your heart deeply, will even change your view of life."
Birthday Party for the Children of Shanghai Healing Home
For more than 3 years, Ford volunteers have been visiting and helping children with disabilities at the Shanghai Healing Home. During Ford Global Caring Month, Ford employees will once again host a birthday party for kids who are unable to go outside because of their physical limitations. "The gifts contributed by so many volunteers and colleagues to do what they can for the charity touched me most," said Alice Ou, IT planning analyst, Shanghai. "No matter what you've done, the love for those children who need caring is priceless."
Sports Program for Refugee Children in Germany
In Germany, Ford volunteers will introduce a sports program for children who are disadvantaged or living in refugee homes. The new program aims to help children make friends and build confidence, and is part of Ford's ongoing support of refugee integration throughout the Cologne area. "We all have a responsibility to support people who are in a very difficult situation, especially poor refugees who are running away from war," said Gert Nettesheim, materials management specialist, Ford IT, Germany. "I think what it would be like if my family were in such a terrible situation and how happy we would be to get support from others."
Construction Project at Care Center in South Africa
Tshepang Care Center in South Africa provides meals, clothing, medical attention, and helps kids with their education. With the help of Ford volunteers, bedrooms in the center will have new ceramic tile installed. This project is part of a lasting commitment by Ford volunteers who have been helping at the center over the past four years. "We are excited to see the transformation of the facility from being a shanty corrugated structure to being a dignified place of safety for more than 200 children who are fed on a daily basis," said Heinrich Samboer, STA site manager, Chassis, Ford of South Africa. "Ford Motor Company plays a key role in developing this impoverished community, building children's self-esteem and confidence and helping them believe there is more to life than the boundaries that they live in."