“I am very much looking forward to this project. Especially that we are enabling children to have a better standard of hygiene,“ said Marlene Reschenhofer, a metal and electrical engineering apprentice from Pottenbrunn, a few weeks before her departure. Shortly after returning, she looks back: “For me it was overwhelming to see how warmly the children welcomed us. It's mainly because of them that I'm proud that we managed to implement everything on time.“
For more than 1,000 children
Twelve apprentices from Pfullendorf (DE), Pottenbrunn (AT), Lichtenstein (DE) and Rapperswil-Jona (CH) took the 2022 social project to an outlying district of Istanbul. For a fortnight, they renovated a total of eight sanitary facilities in a primary school for over 1,000 children. Their task was to install all installations behind the wall for 24 WCs and washbasins each.
“I am particularly pleased with the choice of the object because it is located in one of the poorest districts of Istanbul,“ says Stefanie Steiner, vocational trainer in Rapperswil-Jona. Together with Remo Zwick from Geberit International Sales AG, she supervised the apprentices on site. Some of them were on a construction site for the first time - a real challenge. Added to this was the language barrier. No one in the team spoke Turkish and the Turkish primary school students did not know any English.
Despite their lack of language skills, the Geberit apprentices and the Turkish children got along, Stefanie Steiner recounts with a smile. “They communicated very well with hands and feet.“ They attended English, sports and art classes together. “I find this intercultural experience particularly valuable,“ continues Stefanie Steiner.
For the benefit of others
Every year since 2008, Geberit apprentices have been given the opportunity to demonstrate their team spirit, their willingness to learn and the skills they have acquired in a project for the benefit of social institutions in poorer countries. Geberit provides the material and the apprentices install it under technical supervision.
Mediamatics apprentice Chantal Stadler recorded the 2022 social project in a short film.