“Be innovative, committed and collaborative to help make the world a better place.” This is one of the missions of Celanese, a global technology and specialty materials company.This mission is driving the formation of the Celanese International Impact Program, an employee volunteer program of the Celanese Foundation that will help organizations and people around the world address economic, social and environmental challenges. The first projects for the program are in Uberlândia, Brazil, where Celanese employees will assist three organizations that provide social services to their local communities.
The program has recently sent 10 Celanese employee volunteers to work side-by-side with individuals and non-government organizations (NGOs) to help them achieve their missions. Celanese employees share their business and professional insight along with tools to enable these beneficiaries to strengthen their strategies and infrastructures so they can thrive over the long term.
“The company is proud of our employees who are giving their time and talent to support these deserving organizations in Uberlândia,” said Gretchen Rosswurm, vice president, corporate communications and corporate social responsibility, Celanese. “They come from China, Singapore, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States. They are chemists, accountants, managers, engineers and more. Each is a talented, committed community volunteer and Celanese employee. While in Brazil, these 10 employees will work in sub-teams to deliver specific needs for each NGO. This includes creating a sustainable marketing model for a community garden; enhancing volunteer retention for an organization that supports domestic violence victims; and offering management tools for a home that provides free housing for females undergoing medical treatment.”
In this first phase, 10 Celanese volunteers are spending four weeks in Uberlândia, Brazil, working with three NGOs to address local economic and environmental challenges as follows:
- SOS Ação Mulher e Familia de Uberlândia (SOS Women and Family of Uberlândia), a nonprofit organization that provides psychological, social and legal assistance for victims of domestic and family violence. The Celanese team will help the various organizations involved in the process improve their communications and increase volunteer retention so the organization can more effectively help victims.
- Projeto Estação Vida (Project Life Station), a nonprofit organization that provides after-school care, education and counseling for children and teenagers from low-income families so their parents can work. During the half-day care, the organization provides activities such as tutoring, music, dance and computer classes. The children and teens also help care for a garden where they grow produce for the organization’s own consumption. Celanese volunteers will help develop a strategy to increase the garden’s output and sell the surplus to local businesses and reinvest the extra income into Estação Vida’s programs and activities.
- Casa de Hospedagem Betesda (House of Mercy), a nonprofit organization that houses low-income female patients undergoing medical treatment. The Celanese volunteers will improve file management processes as guests check in and out each day as well as streamline the process for purchasing and receiving in-kind donations of the products it uses in daily operations so the organization will be more efficient and can focus more on its beneficiaries.
“The key to the program’s success is connections – the 10 employees connecting with each other, the rest of Celanese and the communities where they serve,” Rosswurm added. “Based on initial results, Celanese is definitely making a difference, and our employees are having a great time in the process.”