This week, 64 Reckitt Benckiser employees from 33 different countries are arriving in Brazil for this year’s RB Global Challenge in aid of Save the Children.
31 of them are already well under way with the Community Challenge in Petrolina, north-east Brazil. The team has raised nearly £300,000 for Save the Children over the past nine months.
Some of these funds are being used to renovate and rebuild two creches in the Joao de Deus community of Petrolina. Below two of the Community Challenge volunteers recount their fourth day:
Marie Gion is French but is currently based in Hull, working as an R&D Project Manager in the RB Skincare team.
As everyone else in the group I am really enjoying this experience. I was not sure exactly what will await us when we got here but so far it has exceeded my expectations.
We can really start to see how much difference we will make in those children lives and also in the whole community and we are all looking forward to Saturday when we’ll show the new creches to them.
This morning I helped bringing the sand for the sand pit and the backyard now really looks like a children playground, nothing like what it looked when we started. It was hard work in the heat but completely worth it!
The afternoon I joined in the ‘cleaning team’, all furniture had to be washed before getting back in the rooms. It means fighting against quite a few spiders, but by the end of it the room completely transformed into classrooms, ready for the children. What a great feeling to see!
The front yard also continued its transformation with a team of people actually sieving the ground to remove all stones and glass to make it safe for a children playground.
More and more mural paintings are also being done to help live up the place and make it more appealing for the children.
We again all got back tired and dirty to the hotel…but what a great day we all had!”
Lisa Williams, works in Slough for RB.
“Today was very hot, and most of the day for me was spent sanding/cleaning and painting (a new shade of green) the shutters and bars of the exterior of the creche.
We also met a large number of children from the local community, a number of those pop in and see us each day, but today we were being asked for our autographs and to write a few sentences in English in each of their school books.
We also have a van with large speakers on the roof of the vehicle which drives around the area and has advertisements blaring out, and somehow some of the group members managed to get hold of the microphone and were saying words of encouragement to the team.
A few of the team were painting pretty pictures on the external walls of the crèche itself and there is still more debris to clear up.
I have tried my hand at wall building, (and failed miserably), plastering, painting, sanding, weeding, clearing up the extended play area, and attempted a swing at knocking the wall down, but did not work well at all.
Overall, we are making good progress and all of the hard work, preparation and physical labour is paying off.
I can not wait to see the finished creches on Saturday (and also the other crèche) when we welcome the local community to see the dramatic change, it will be truly amazing.
Our work so far has certainly drummed up a lot of interest from the local people, who are coming to see us each day and growing in number.