Commitment to children
WACKER HELP is a company-internal charity organization sponsored by both WACKER China employees and WACKER China since 2005. Employees there can voluntarily support charitable projects aimed at promoting the education for needy children and to initiate the social commonweal activities in other fields.
WACKER HELP is not just a charity that gets involved in major disasters such as the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan. WACKER HELP also provides assistance on a small scale, helping disadvantaged children and young people in their development by giving them an opportunity for a better future.
WACKER HELP has been working closely with Shanghai Children’s Home since 2017. Cindy Xie, a WACKER China employee, introduces the project to us and describes how a huge amount of personal dedication and enthusiasm underpins her own and her colleagues’ involvement.
“By Being Charitable, We Can Change People, and That Is a Wonderful Thing”
Cindy Xie works in WACKER’s Public Affairs Department and is responsible for contacting government authorities. But she is also one of the seventeen WACKER HELP committee members and is the person to contact when it comes to organizing charity projects.
“Our president, Paul Lindblad, wanted to set up a charitable project in the surrounding areas so that our employees would have an opportunity to make a contribution close to home. So I did some research and a friend told me about the children’s home.”
Children Love Stories
Among the children who live in this home are elementary-school-age children. The home received a large donation of books that had to be registered, sorted and put in the right place. Earlier projects had given WACKER HELP relevant experience in setting up libraries, so it offered the home its support to organize books. Committed company employees quickly volunteered their services, which meant that the project was launched in next to no time.
The WACKER employees initially hadn’t expected the children to show such huge interest in the books. “They were curious and wanted to dive into the stories straightaway,” recalled Cindy Xie. “So we decided to hold a reading session every two months as well.”
The stories told include funny ones, but some also convey knowledge and social skills in an entertaining way. Children are given encouragement by means of therapeutic finger painting. In this way, they learn how to express themselves creatively.
Cindy Xie is visibly moved as she show us the children’s brightly colored and cheerful pictures. Each picture is unique and reflects the fact that the children have different personalities. “We tell them that they should use their imagination while painting in order to express themselves. We don’t expect them to be artists,” she explains.
Children Need Life Knowledge
WACKER employees attach considerable importance to conveying life knowledge and social skills in a practical way. They bring along different kinds of vegetables, fruit and paints for the children – touching is definitely allowed. “They’ve learned about these things, but they don’t know the story behind the food they’ve been shown. We teach them to appreciate the work of other people and not to waste any food.”
“The children spend most of their time in the home. But when they grow up, they will have to go outside, talk to people, live on their own and develop social skills. We want to prepare them for later life.”
- Cindy Xie
Given the conditions permit, Cindy Xie said it will be considered to increase the frequency of visits to the children’s home so that a genuine basis of trust can be established between her team and the children. There are also plans to give the reading and teaching classes more structure.
A Team Dedicated to a Common Cause
The enthusiastic commitment shown by the WACKER team is much appreciated within the company. Seventeen colleagues are now actively involved. They know that their work has the support of management: additional motivation is on hand, as employees who take part in charity activity are given eight hours off a year for their voluntary work.
The project has brought coworkers closer together; there is a greater sense of team spirit and a genuine team has formed. Employees who previously didn’t have any contact with one another have now gotten to know each other much better – friendships have been made.
Offering Help Involves an Entrepreneurial Responsibility
Paul Lindblad, president of WACKER China, feels that this charity work involves entrepreneurial responsibility, too. “It’s one thing to make a cash donation in a bid to help someone, but it’s something else entirely when you donate your time and interact with other people.” This is totally in keeping with WACKER’s corporate principles on improving the quality of life and minimizing poverty.
Cindy Xie likewise considers charitable work to be an enrichment. “Our company is more than just a money-making business, it also helps other people. People here show considerable respect toward one another. Money is important – but other things are important, too. We need this balance between our actual work and such charitable projects. My personal goal is to help disadvantaged children."
“Our goal has to be one of improving ourselves every year and helping more children.”
- Paul Lindblad