South Africa – A Country Filled with Life, Love and Beauty
I would like to thank Celanese for selecting me to participate in the 2017 Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) in South Africa! I appreciated being a part of this group and am grateful for each moment I experienced. I am sure that I made an impact in that community; and the people there have impacted me forever.
CIIP Team Brings Company Values to Life in Real Time
In September I had an opportunity to participate in a networking event with the Budapest Shared Services Center (BSSC) in Hungary. This was not a traditional “job fair” event, but instead a relaxed, after-hours event where we invited people to come in and learn more about the BSSC, its people and culture. Instead of a booth and a line, we mixed with potential candidates and were able to have individual or small group conversations.
As a talent acquisition professional, listening to people is the most important thing I do. So, when I meet with potential candidates, my role isn’t to just start talking about all of the great reasons to work for Celanese; it’s to listen to what is important to them and then help guide them to the connection with Celanese.
During the course of my conversations, it became clear that several of the prospects were keenly interested in working for companies that were involved in the community and the world.
Why Serving Others Is The Greatest Reward
“Teacher, Teacher, Teacher….” The kids’ voices still echo in my mind. One month ago, I jumped on the flight to South Africa for the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP).
In Johannesburg Airport, an African lady gave a helping hand when I was totally lost in front of the complicated transfer process. She helped me to pass the migration office through the clerk channel and claim the luggage, then sent me to another terminal for the flight check in to Cape Town. Her warm-heartedness made me feel at home.
A Brief History of Our PartiCIIPiants
South America, Europe, Asia – and this year, Africa. Now that the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) has achieved a global reach, let’s celebrate what we’ve accomplished through this program.
I remember back in 2013, when CIIP was launched. The whole company was incredibly excited about the opportunity. One month in such an exotic country as Brazil – you could really make an impact! The application process took several weeks and included writing essays, personal interviews – and even creating your own project video in the final round!
Helping Our Human Beings
When we allow ourselves to serve others, it is very rewarding in so many ways. I have been employed by Celanese for 37 years,a company that encourages its employees to give back to its surrounding communities both near and far. Last year I had the privilege of joining other Celanese colleagues from other U.S. sites, Germany, Sweden, Mexico, and China in New Delhi, India, in an effort to reach out and serve the community.
Friendships to Last a Lifetime
Thank you for the opportunity to volunteer with the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP). I was not really sure what to expect, but as we gathered at our home base, I realized that these 10 people from across the company are members of my Celanese family. We all share common goals, values, struggles and culture. I believe we all made lasting friendships during our time together.
Inspired to Keep Giving Back
I want to thank Celanese from the bottom of my heart for allowing me the privilege of participating in the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) in New Delhi, India. Celanese sent a great team of people who are truly committed to making an impact on the lives of those less fortunate.
Conditions in India are much different than what we are used to here in the United States, and yet we all adapted readily and easily knowing we were there to be of service. We dove into the culture and experienced the good and the bad. We were able to tour and see many amazing sights, but we also worked hard to make sure we could fulfill our obligation at our assignments.
Enhancing A Little Part of This World
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the 2016 Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP). It was a rewarding and humbling experience. My time in India allowed me to learn about another culture while giving some of my education and experience to help enhance a little part of their world. I was partnered with Susan Day and we were tasked with not only teaching conversational English to a group of women in a sewing class, but to also elevate their self-esteem and confidence.
The Best English Lesson
Really, I am allowed to go to India? India. I hear and read a lot about it, so you think you know what to expect. But, you have no idea.
My questions: What is expected of me? How are the Celanese workmates? How does the food taste? What is our lodging like?
First meeting: From five different countries, one after another, my workmates arrived in India. All we knew was we’d be in a foreign country, all with the same mission. Two days later we felt like we’ve known them for years.
Life is Better When You Dance
I want to say thank you for the amazing opportunity I had to participate in the 2016 Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) trip to New Delhi, India. I’m so proud to work for a company that is really engaged with the community and has good values.
During my two weeks in New Delhi I had the opportunity to bond with eleven exceptional fellow Celanese employees from around the world and learn about their experiences, culture and beliefs. The Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS) staff’s hospitality made New Delhi feel like home. Each day we learned together about the Indian culture, religion and education.
Where Are You From?
In September, eleven Celanese employees departed for New Delhi to participate in the second of two Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) service events in 2016. The second group served for two weeks teaching children, young me and women a variety of school and life skills, from English and Math to sewing and karate. Hear from our CIIP participants as they reflect on their volunteer service.
Where are you from? This is the most frequently asked question of me. So, I also wanted to know how my 8-year-old son would answer this same question given that he has been exposed to many countries in his young life. His parents were born and raised in different countries. He has lived in four different countries. His dad has worked in nearly a dozen countries. He was born in Texas. So, I asked him point blank: “Luke, where are you from?” He, without hesitation, said: “Dad, I am from planet earth.”
A Crash Course in Humility
I was ready for adventure when I joined Celanese, but I had no idea that shortly after joining my career would jump start with a trip to the other side of the world. It was the opportunity of a lifetime to be the project manager for the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) leading 2 volunteer teams to India in 2017.
No Act of Kindness, No Matter how Small, is ever Wasted
When I first found out I was selected for the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) 2016 project to Dharamshala, India, I was very delighted and filled with so much excitement. I knew right then how lucky I was to be able to travel to this beautiful country that is so diverse, filled with lots of great culture, religion, food and people. Adding to this, I was very happy that I had gotten a great opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life and be able to give back. Making a difference, regardless if it was big or small, was my goal. To top it all, I was going to volunteer with a group of our very own like-minded Celanese representatives from all around the globe. Alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much, and I was looking forward to the trip with great anticipation.
Upon reaching India I was greeted by our friendly Celanese CIIP team. In no time we were all warmed-up to one another and looking forward to our volunteering assignments with Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS.) The CCS staff was welcoming and catered to our needs with great hospitality. I got the chance to meet and mingle with other volunteers collaborating with CCS too. I remember how all of us understood the definite purpose for being there and the commitment we had.
Proud to Serve Our Global Community
I want to thank you for the wonderful opportunity I had to participate in the Celanese International Impact Program trip to Dharamsala, India in June. I’m grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime experience in which I participated.
From the moment I met my nine teammates in India, I knew that the experience would be life changing. Although we were 10 people with vastly different skills and talents, it was amazing how we bonded immediately and had just what was needed in our daily work assignments – working with young children in five different Anganwadi’s (early childhood education centers.)
That I May Serve
Namaste mera naam Cole hai, “Hello my name is Cole” in Hindi. In June Celanese completed its Celanese International Impact (CIIP) trip to Dharamsala, India. This was my first time traveling to India, as most of our team, and I knew it was going to be a unique experience. Our time was powerful, eye-opening and rewarding. I never imagined it would have impacted me the way it did.
It was 106 degrees Fahrenheit the day I landed in New Delhi before making the connection to Dharamsala. This was a completely new kind of heat, not what I am used to in southwest Virginia. After my arrival I went to a hotel and met with the only Celanese person I knew, Kathy Borhauer from Bishop, Texas. We only had conversations over the phone but never got the chance to meet in person. At the hotel, I quickly learned hospitality and friendliness were key elements of Indian culture, not just from the staff but from most Indian people we encountered. This comfort was welcomed in what was soon to be a trip filled with several discomforts.
During one of our later lectures, we would hear about how being on time is culturally not a high priority; the needs of family and friends come first, and that sometimes means being a little late. Taking the advice from the hotel, we left for the airport and quickly learned about timeliness. With five minutes before they were scheduled to close, I arrived at the gate. Here I met my family away from home: Kathy, Laura, Geoff, Sara, Jillian, Christy, Silke, Orsi, and Sugam.
Developing Dharma in Dharamsala
As part of Celanese’s International Impact Program (CIIP), I traveled in June with nine other individuals from Celanese to Dharamsala, India, a small city nestled in the mountains in the northeast section of India close to the border of Pakistan. Dharamsala is derived in part from the word “Dharma,” which has a number of different meanings including good works and other activities which are considered beneficial for society. Thus, it was a fitting location for volunteering.
Dear Celanese: A Reminder of What Really Matters in Life
Dharamsala is a small town in India at the foot of the Himalaya mountains. Luckily I was picked together with nine other Celanese colleagues from all around the world to volunteer in a CSR project with kids between the age of one and five.
Emotional was this journey to a country and culture that is so different to my own life in Europe. The kids made me laugh and cry. The feelings that I had each day are very difficult to describe.
Adventurous were our taxi rides.
Rose and thorns were our daily evening rituals in which we described our daily highs and lows and learned so much more about each other, about our feelings, emotions and personalities.
The Universal Language of Smiles
Thank you so much for the privilege of going to India for the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) in June. The things I got to see and experience have left me a different person.
I had never been to India before, and I found the country to be everything I had imagined and more. The sights and sounds and smells (both good and bad) were overwhelming at first. During the course of the two weeks there we learned not to be frustrated because the hot water wasn’t working, among other cultural differences.
While in India I found the people to be warm and friendly and loving. The children that we worked with in the early childhood education center were precious, and while the language barrier was difficult, we found other ways to communicate the necessities. It turns out that smiles are a universal language! By the time we left, it was so neat to hear them counting in English while playing hopscotch, reciting the ABCs and singing the songs that we taught them. I think I’ve sung “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” enough to last me a lifetime! They even taught us a little Hindi, even if it might have had a little bit of my southern accent!
Stepping Outside of Myself and Spending Time Serving
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the 2016 Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) trip to Dharamsala, India. During our orientation with Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS) when we arrived, the country coordinator told us that India was a land of contradictions. One of the fun things we did as a Celanese team at the end of every day was get together and discuss our highs and lows. I want to tell you a little more about some of the highs and lows to give you a sense of my experience in India and to help you see the contradictions we came across.
Why We Should All Have a Sense of Responsibility Toward the Community
In the last three years, Celanese has established corporate social responsibility goals to make a difference in the community. This year has been unique and more important with the 100K volunteer hour challenge setting a clear objective and direction. The selection of Global Citizen Network (GCN) members and the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) were both part of this challenge. It was huge for me to be selected for both. I would be able to understand a different region and contribute to a community I didn’t know much about.
The Best Lesson Ever
For weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out how to express my feelings about the two weeks I spent in Dharamsala, India as part of the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP). It was so impressive that it’s hard for me to describe. It was already amazing to get the email that I was selected and I was excited by the thought of volunteering. Knowing that I would have the opportunity to try to make a difference in India seemed so unbelievable…
Reflections from Dharamsala – Celanese Employees Improving the World
In June, ten Celanese employees departed for Dharamsala, India to participate in the first of two Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) service events in 2016. The first group’s assignment is to serve for two weeks at an Anganwadi – a daycare setting. A few of our employees reflected on their experience shortly after arriving in India to start their assignments.
CIIP: Improving the World Through Collaboration
In October, I had the pleasure to participate in a unique event – a great demonstration to see how we give back to our communities. During the closing meeting of the CIIP (Celanese International Impact Program) in Łódz, Poland the three Celanese teams shared their results with representatives of the organizations we supported during this program. In the CIIP, 10 Celanese employees from across the globe spent a month with 3 different non profit groups, working on…
CIIP Going Local
As a member of the Celanese Foundation Dallas Site Committee (DSC), I have been involved in numerous discussions regarding how we can embrace, grow and fulfill our core value of “Improving the World.” These discussions have taken place in DSC meetings, over lunch with colleagues and in the hallways of LCB and DBS.
One of the exciting ideas to come out of these discussions involves taking “Local” the concept of the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) where we would take the knowledge and skills that we have as Celanese professionals and apply those to local NGOs for their benefit. Of course, we always have to have an acronym for something here at Celanese, so how about this: CLIP or Celanese Local Impact Program.
I am proud to say that we are already seeing this “CLIP” concept in action. During the week beginning September 29, a team of…
The Celanese Foundation: Where We Have Been and Where We Will Go
I can’t believe it’s already been over three years since we launched our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, Celanese Connects. I believe it has truly changed the culture and attitude here at Celanese. It’s amazing what we can accomplish by coming together as one to make our communities a little better each day through programs like Global Impact Week, Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) and our many volunteer efforts around the globe.
This is great, but how can we make an even bigger difference? Seems like a difficult question considering the amount of time and effort we have put into our local communities over the past three years with over 25,000 volunteer hours contributed. The answer?…
Watch the Celanese International Impact Program Video!
Over the past month, the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) team has shared their stories of their experiences in Uberlândia, Brazil working with local NGO’s to make an impact on the community. Now you can see for yourself the amazing results of their four weeks through this video and hear from the wonderful people working to support these non-profit organizations. Enjoy!
Working Together To Make Lasting Change in Brazil
As I reflect back on the past month of my life while in Uberlandia, Brazil, I think to myself how lucky I am to have been chosen to be a part of something as special as the CIIP Team in Brazil. I never knew that being in a country where I do not know the language could be so challenging, fun and interesting. I tried to imagine what I would be doing before I came to Brazil, and man was I surprised at the events that happened. I never knew my life would be changed forever, and it’s a good feeling!
What do you do when you come together with individuals that you have never been around? You work for the same company, but yet you are strangers…
Making An Impact and Memories in Brazil
Brazil, Uberlandia is a place full of nice and friendly people whom I met in October. The wonderful memories will always be in my heart for many years. The experiences I’ve gained during this trip not only gave me insight into the physical aspect of voluntary work, such as helping people and an organization, but also the emotional aspect of it as well through interactions with the people we served.
The non-governmental organization (NGO) that I worked for is SOS Mulher Família Uberlândia. This organization provides psychological, social and legal assistance to people involved in family violence. I was greatly impressed by how these unsung heroes and heroines assisted these…
SOS Women and Family of Uberlândia: From Caterpillar to Butterfly
Sebastiana, 75 years ‘young’, is the housekeeper at #SOS Women and Family of #Uberlândia. Even at this age, she is hard-working and displays remarkable strength and resilience in exercising physical activities. Lamenting the weight of the years, she posed a simple, but profound question:
“Do women in the countries we come from work at her age?”
“Women never stop working.” I replied, considerately.
SOS Women and Family provides social, psychological and legal assistance to people who experience domestic violence, mostly low-income women living on the outskirts of town. In the words of a Chinese proverb: “Women hold up #half the sky.” Yet this is typically an aspiration as women are