Sustainability - November 2014

In good hands

Geberit social projects

Norbert Peuckmann’s calming influence is there for all to see during the annual social projects. Hailing from northern Germany, the Geberit project advisor will also be making sure that the eight Geberit apprentices are given optimal professional and personal support during their time in the northern Indian city of Varanasi.

Once again, Norbert Peuckmann is full of excitement and anticipation. For the fourth time now, he has gathered together a crew of eight apprentices in Rapperswil-Jona (CH). He wants to be well prepared for the 2014 social project in Varanasi (IN): “It’s all about instilling confidence in these young people,” he says. “Confidence in using our products, but also with regard to what awaits us in India.”

Handiwork and social interaction
Norbert Peuckmann visited India once before back in 2010 as an “apprentice” (as he calls it) to Heinz Waldvogel, the first supervisor of social projects. He subsequently headed up the assignments in Serbia (2011) and Romania (2013). “We learned a great deal from these projects,” he explains. “For example, in addition to installing sanitary facilities, interacting with the locals has become a second key aspect of these assignments.”

Vivid memories
Many aspects of the social projects can be planned, such as material deliveries and work schedules – even the cooperation with staff on site is regulated. However, the main element is not something you can plan. Nor is it easy to forget. “The impressions I took home with me from the first Indian project are still with me to this day,” says Peuckmann. “When you see how the people on the construction site toil away with the most basic of tools, you feel the strong urge to improve the situation in some way.”