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Global Impact Week Fellows: Reflections on Our Service Part 1

16 May, 2016

It’s really feels difficult to convey in a blog how much we accomplished during our Global Impact Week (GIW) Fellowship at Los Martincitos in Villa El Salvador, Lima, Peru.  You’ve had the opportunity to learn about some of our activities from our blog posts.  Things like helping to prepare and serve more than 500 meals; carrying tens of pounds of food from the local markets; repeatedly scraping and sanding paint and repainting areas to enhance the physical environment; digging a composting hole to improve sustainability; watching in amazement as our colleague Anuj led a seniors’ yoga class; accompanying staff on home visits.  But the impact of the week, on Los Martincitos as well as on us truly is greater than the sum of these parts.

We wanted to take this last opportunity to provide some additional, personal reflections from some of the GIW Fellows:

 

Steven Altschul (Chicago)

The five days at Los Martincitos was one of the most humbling experiences of my life.  The intensity of the poverty that we witnessed and the will of those who exist and even thrive in this environment (beneficiaries and staff) is truly a testament to the human spirit.  The impact that a simple hug or a smile has, and the dignity it conveys to the recipient, should never be overrated.

Sharing the experience with nine other CEB GIW fellows from around the globe was a potent reminder about why CEB is such a special company.  Everyone flexed from gentle kindness to muscle fatiguing work across the week, with smiles, laughter and humor. It was truly the Spirit of Generosity exemplified.

 

Edgar Zapata (Minneapolis)

What an amazing experience at Los Martincitos for CEB Global Impact Week! I met some of the most loving seniors who taught me to give more “abrazos y besos” (hugs and kisses). I heard so many wonderful human stories of gratitude despite limited opportunities. I am truly touched by my experience in Peru working alongside with CEB colleagues and I look forward to bringing that community service spirit back to Minneapolis!

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Julia Valentine (London)

In the last week, I gained a new perspective on poverty, old age, and CEB! Seeing the people we were supporting in their own homes was vital to understand the reasons behind the existence of Los Martincintos. For some, it gave the beneficiaries something to do and some much needed company. For others it was literally a lifeline.

We do not see poverty on the same scale in the UK. However, the trip made me consider the fact that just because you have a house with a floor (as opposed to dirt floor), you might still be alone or freezing cold. Older people in poverty in every country deserve to be looked after.

In respect to CEB, I learned that the reason I love the Holborn office is valid across all our offices: my fellow volunteers from DC, Chicago, Minneapolis, Chennai, Mumbai, and Thames Ditton all embody CEB’s value of Spirit of Generosity in every way. Not only were they all super eager volunteers, they were generous with their emotions at Los Martincintos, and with their warmth with one another. All of us were from different backgrounds, and we enjoyed our time together and learned as much about each other’s’ cultures as we did about Peruvian culture. We couldn’t have hoped for a more successful week.

 

Colleen Shaffer (Washington DC)

I had an amazing time getting to know colleagues from other CEB offices around the globe. Now I really understand what a global community CEB is. Not to mention the truly improvessive generosity, good humor, and thoughtfulness displayed. This crew engaged with Los Martincitos beneficiaries with so much energy and mindfulness. It’s a great reminder of what we can all do in and outside of work to fully engage with each other and support our communities.

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