March 24, 2014

Employees Rebuild Tables for Bogota School Children in South America

Members of Ingersoll Rand’s Emerging Leader Development Program spent part of their mid-program meeting sprucing up tables at a children’s orphanage in Colombia – delighting the kids and boosting the company’s external Progressive, Diverse and Inclusive efforts.

The large tables at the Fundación Niños de los Andes, an orphanage in Bogota, Colombia, are a place where the children gather for meals and do their homework. Lately they had been showing the wear and tear of all that activity; but, now they are rebuilt thanks to a group of Ingersoll Rand employees.

About 31 people, most of whom were from Ingersoll Rand’s ELDP (Emerging Leader Development Program), spent a day in late February rebuilding about 10 tables. Some of the children, who range in age from 13 to 18, helped, too. “The tables were in really bad shape,” said James Robertson, talent and organization assessment specialist, who helped organize the event.   

The effort  was part of a mid-program meeting for the EDLP, a one-year program that helps the company groom future leaders in the Latin America region. The experience was a highlight of the time the team spent together during the week and the children were ecstatic to spend the day with so many people from around the region. Jiame Jaramilo, known as the “father” of the Colombian street children, joined the team and shared his inspiring story of service over the past 40 years.

Progressive, Diverse and Inclusive Efforts are Both Internal and External 
Sprucing up a school is just one example of Ingersoll Rand’s external Progressive, Diverse and Inclusive (PDI) efforts in South America, said Gustavo Valbuena Torres, Colombia and Central America human resources manager, who is based in Bogota, where the company has a sales office. “The PDI focus on education is for both internal and external,” said Troy Hayes, director, talent and leadership development. “It is internal in that we learn and educate ourselves more about what it means to engage people who are diverse; and it is external in that we support communities that seek to improve education.”

But for the children of Fundación Niños de los Andes, the important thing is a clean sturdy table; and, thanks to the generosity of some Ingersoll Rand employees, they now have that.

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