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Grohe Pays It Forward

At Don Bosco Tondo, a CSR initiative of Grohe Philippines has far-reaching implications for the ones who ‘graduate’ from the special program

Most everyone knows the adage about giving a man a fish and helping him for a day, while teaching him to fish is helping him for a lifetime. But the truth is, in the world of CSR programs, it’s far easier to feed him the ‘fish.' Teaching the man to fish doesn’t just take a gesture, it’s a commitment that involves effort and time. And that’s why I was struck by the CSR program that Grohe/LIXIL had embarked on here in the Philippines.

At the Don Bosco Youth Center Tondo, for the past two years, Grohe has spearheaded a course on plumbing as part of the Practical Skills Programs offered by the Center. It’s TESDA-approved and those who ‘graduate’ from the course were awarded Certificates that came in handy when applying for jobs. That in itself is already a worthy endeavor for Grohe, as they designed the course, and had one of their Global Product Managers conducting the lessons.

But seeking to make more of an impression and create more advanced Transfer of Technology, Grohe upped the ante, and designed a Grohe International Certificate course on Plumbing, one that would equip the awardees of the Certificate even more advanced knowledge and skills, furthering the credentials which they could present when seeking employment. Hopefully, it would also mean entry at a higher pay scale.

Manfred Kuehn, the Grohe Global Product Manager assigned to Manila to supervise this endeavor was beaming with pride as he described the qualifications of the young boys who passed the course. Ranging in age from 17 to 25, these young men now had superior skills that could be applied to all sort of plumbing and bathroom issues. Manfred joked about how they were now water and sh_t specialists; but levity aside, relayed how some of the established expert plumbers who visited, were taken aback by the rigorousness of the test questions, and the kind of knowledge one had to possess, to get through the examination.

As Manfred talked about this during the International Certificate Awarding ceremonies held at the Tondo Youth Center, you could literally feel the pride emanating from the parents & relatives of the boys. And Manfred did make mention of the fact that the course is definitely not gender-exclusive, but no girls had applied for the course.

Michael Mager, a Grohe Management Board Member flew in to Manila for the occasion; as did Alpha Ang, the LIXIL Philippines General Manager - Grohe is now a fully owned subsidiary of LIXIL. Welcomed to Don Bosco Tondo by Fr. Rector Carandang, there was so much goodwill that morning, you could practically feel it in the air.

Going back to the adage, one could say that Grohe has not just taught these boys to ‘fish,' but they’ve also equipped them with a very special fishing rod. The pride and gratitude etched on the faces of the boys and their parents was palpable; and kudos to Grohe for going the extra mile on this CSR initiative.