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Bangkok surprise: enthusiastic employees jumpstart Project SEED launch in Thailand

With Project SEED kick-offs already completed in Colombia, Brazil, India, and Uruguay, some of the regular guests arriving in Bangkok for the Thailand launch thought they knew what to expect.

What they didn’t know was that local thyssenkrupp Elevator employees were so excited by the prospect of assisting and mentoring young people from SOS Children’s Villages that they had enthusiastically organized a large party for the children in care at a nearby SOS facility.

You can catch a glimpse of life for children at an SOS Children’s Village in Thailand in this short video. At the center is a 23-year-veteran SOS mother. She’s helped raise a lot of kids, with a lot of hard work and a lot of love.

The main event: Project SEED kicks-off in Thailand

The unexpected employee initiative was a stroke of genius, and the perfect complement to the exciting main events of the official Project SEED launch. There, guests reported feeling an immediate connection with one another. Lots of flowers and an exchange of gifts helped, and so did all the smiles.

Inaugural speeches from Petra Horn, from the Executive Board of SOS Children’s Villages, and Dr. Detlef Hunsdiek, thyssenkrupp Elevator’s Chief Human Resources Officer, added a pleasant air of gravity. This helped make a smooth transition from celebration to the work of planning the next steps.

“As a big corporation, we are an important part of every society in which we work. We provide jobs, pay taxes and support the local economy. But we also go beyond that. We help young people there to develop their skills for the future. Our participation in the local community is a holistic one.”

Dr. Detlef Hunsdiek
Chief Human Resources Officer, thyssenkrupp Elevator

The importance of fun in creating a team

The work stretched over the rest of that day and the next. Group work centered on defining the training needs of young people in Thailand and the SOS youth representatives offered great insight. thyssenkrupp Elevator employee volunteers offered feedback, resulting in a lively give-and-take between those who have the skills and those who need them.

But fun continued to be a common theme throughout the kick-off. Strategically scheduled games and events provided everyone with the chance to get to know one another better and created a greater sense of participation. A large shared dinner for everyone at the end of the first day provided a superb connection between the two days and helped cement the sense of working as a team.

Lifting spirits at the Fun Park

A pleasant surprise awaited guests on the second day of the official kick-off. Local thyssenkrupp Elevator employees had independently organized an unofficial event: a “Fun Park” for the children living at the SOS Children’s Village in Bangpoo.

Official guests were spontaneously invited to join the unexpected festivities, together with the SOS Children and local thyssenkrupp Elevator employees and their families. Together, they shared games, good food, smiles, and fun. In organizing the “Fun Park,” the employees and their families were demonstrating and living the very same spirit of caring behind Project SEED.

Thailand is the fifth country in which we have launched our YouthCan! initiative together with thyssenkrupp Elevator – this launch was one of the best. The people from thyssenkrupp Elevator showed such motivation and support for our SOS people.

Petra Horn
Member of the Executive Board – SOS Children’s Villages worldwide 

The excitement continues…

In every one of the countries in which it is at work, Project SEED offers both direct mentoring and job training to disadvantaged young people, and a new model for encouraging volunteer employee involvement in corporate partnerships with charities and NGOs.

How exactly will that develop in Thailand? Will the project adopt the once-a-week, half-year model pioneered in Brazil and also used in Colombia? Or will it adopt the one-week intensive training model pioneered in India? It’s too early to say – Thailand may even develop its own unique model. In any event, Project SEED in Thailand will surely be a lot of fun!

Kindness is contagious

Both Project SEED and the Fun Park illustrate a central human truth: Kindness is contagious.

At the official kick-off, this was demonstrated in many ways, including a series of warm-hearted ice-breaking activities. Most of the 25 young people from SOS facilities around the country came to the kick-off from out of town. Naturally, no one there knew everyone there. The kick-off activities – like the Fun Park – created a special feeling among participants, reinforcing old friendships and transforming strangers into instant friends.

We were so happy to have this company as our partner. Our young people feel accepted and appreciated by the employee volunteers, and that’s a priceless gift! I am really looking forward to a long relationship with thyssenkrupp Elevator.

Petra Horn
Member of the Executive Board – SOS Children’s Villages worldwide 

Compassion in action

The Fun Park initiative vividly encapsulates the core idea of Project SEED. That is, building relationships is good for everyone. Sharing, which is the basis of all relationships, is not only caring – it’s fun too!

In Thailand, thyssenkrupp Elevator employees are showing an advanced knowledge that “together” is the only way in which we as humans can elevate ourselves to being the best that we can be. With employee volunteers like these, Project SEED in Thailand is in very good hands.

“Project SEED and the YouthCan! initiative are good for everyone. A great charity receives needed support and disadvantaged young people receive a future of possibility. That gives us and our employees a very nice feeling. It may eventually give us some new employees as well. They’ll be local people who we already know well.”

Dr. Detlef Hunsdiek
Chief Human Resources Officer, thyssenkrupp Elevator

More about Thailand

Via a variety of projects to enhance professional and entrepreneurial skills for young people, our social work in Thailand tackles youth unemployment head on.

To the project

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