March 12 2012

"I’m proud of me thanks to them"

How Deutsche Post DHL delivers self-esteem

12/03/2012 – In preparing young people for employment in the fast moving world that revolves around efficiency and customer care, SOS Children’s Villages recognised that conventional training programmes required something more. Needed was something that resonates with the current requirements of employers and something that unleashes the hidden talent in every young mind. Now, a package, like no other, has just arrived.

“Dealing with the unexpected and working in an international environment” is something that “helps bring people out of their shell” according to Kim who grew up in an SOS family in Vietnam. “People should not feel pity for us; we do not want this to happen” the  twenty-two year-old stresses, as she shares her infectious enthusiasm for life. “I feel I am luckier and happier than most, however, when one person feels happy, it is not enough. It is important to sympathise and share with those less fortunate.”

Photo: DHL
With confidence comes employability. Youth from Dalat ,Vietnam, with her mentor Ms Phung - Photo: SOS Archives

A timely delivery

Kim’s outlook on life stems from a combination of her own positive personality, the nurturing she received from her SOS family and a timely initiative delivered by Deutsche Post DHL.

As she embarks on a career in her native, Ho Chi Minh, the company renowned for its global logistics network has delivered Kim – and her SOS Children’s Villages contemporaries in Madagascar, South Africa and Brazil – something not found text books. It is not mail, dispatched by courier, air freight or supply chain services; it is time – time spent with DPDHL employees.

Breaking the link between social background and educational achievement

DPDHL’s provision of career guidance, mentoring and internships coupled with financial support for SOS Youth and Education Programmes provides the confidence, knowledge and life skills that are important everywhere, but vital in poorer countries and communities where employment and empowerment is most challenging. 

Photo: DHL
High expectations made possible for youths from Ennerdale, South Africa - Photo: DHL South Africa

By providing generations of disadvantaged people across the globe with access to family strengthening, scholarship and vocational training programmes, SOS Children’s Villages has provided the basis for thousands to maximise their employment potential. It has always been agreed that a constant increase in education standards is a must, as globalisation brings universal expectations in terms of quality, modern technical competence, fast service and attention to customer care.  

While meeting these demands, Ralf Dürrwang, Vice-President of GoTeach at DPDHL believes there is a social imperative: “Being among the top ten employers in the world with a high demand for qualified people, we cannot afford to ignore today's educational challenges and leave the responsibility to others. We value this educational partnership with SOS Children's Villages as it enables our people to support youth through skills and knowledge, thus contributing positively to society." This is what DPDHL refers to as their "Living Responsibility"  toward society, the environment and their employees.

The skills required to retain good business relationships

As a result of the encouragement she received from her mentor – Mbolatiana at DHL Ivandry - Stephanie (19) is now taking informed choices as she feels “more responsible, sociable and confident” to pursue her dream of becoming one of Madagascar’s few “telecommunications engineers in the next two years. I am proud of me thanks to them”.

Meanwhile, in Sao Paulo, Miguel (16) gained exposure to a real working environment, he is not giving up on his dreams on the advice of his mentor, Bruna Goncalves at DHL Express Brazil. She taught him the importance of team work and the skills required to retain good business relationships. “Before, I was shy, DHL gave me more confidence to speak in public, to express opinions and not to be afraid to ask,” said the invigorated teenager.


DHL Sales manager stimulating young minds in Madagascar - Photo: SOS Archives

Miguel, Stephanie and Kim*, may live worlds apart, but, they have much in common. A challenging family and social environment led each of them to seek the support of SOS Children’s Villages. They come from communities where a good education is an unaffordable luxury, where the cycle of intergenerational poverty can only be broken by quality employment. By partnering with SOS Children’s Villages for another three years, DPDHL will continue to stimulate much needed confidence and will significantly increase the employability of hundreds of young people such as Kim, who speaks from experience when she says “everyone has his fate, but it does not decide his future”.

*Names have been changed to protect their identity.