Dias con Denise: One Month of Learning

Dr. Denise Delboni, 2019 Global Links Scholar

This blog is written in Portuguese’s, and translated below in English!

Semana 3

Aos poucos vou me ajustando ao horário daqui (3 horas a menos que no Brasil, por conta de horário de verão aí no Brasil e o de inverno por estes lados). Mas o difícil mesmo é me acostumar com o horário de almoço e jantar… alguém consegue jantar às 17:30 hs? Bem, o primeiro passo para me ajustar é tentar dormir mais cedo, o que é estranho: sou notívaga e, quando vejo, já passou da meia noite!

Bem, se o semestre é de mudanças, vamos com tudo!  Há 2 semanas, aderi às aulas de yoga, mas como nada é fácil, terei um duplo desafio: entender as instruções do professor David (ele fala baixinho e em inglês…Oh my!) e conseguir esticar os músculos (totalmente enferrujados)! E continuo firme nas caminhadas, exercitando também os olhos quando volto da faculdade, no final da tarde. Ainda bem que a paisagem é linda porque há muitas outras tentações pelo caminho…que tal pipoca com cobertura de chocolate? E 4 sorveterias em 2 quarteirões?

Compromissos sociais já vão aparecendo com outros professores do campus… oba! Já estava com saudades dos cafezinhos, almoços e jantares no Brasil com meus amigos super queridos!! Particularmente esta semana esteve bem agitada por conta dos eventos, todos ligados à inovação socialHive Think Tank, Ideas for Good, B-Corporations e visita à Lighthouse Central Florida! Isso sem contar as palestras com empreendedores que estiveram a semana toda no campus! Mas a pérola da semana foi um café da manhã nesta quarta-feira: Victory Cup!

Cerca de 500 convidados (empresários, professores, dirigentes de ONGs) foram chamados para a eleição e entrega de prêmios em dinheiro para as três organizações sem fins lucrativos (aqui NPO – Nonprofit Organizations) que mais se destacam na Florida Central por sua atuação. É um Storytelling Show Case: cada representante tem alguns minutos para contar sobre seu trabalho, resultados e beneficiados.  Será que conseguimos levar este evento para o Brasil? Amei!

Na mesma quarta-feira, depois das aulas, estive no Hive Think Tank. A noite era para a discussão sobre as Red Tides (marés vermelhas e seu impacto na morte de peixes e, portanto, em nossa comida…). Minha surpresa foi com as quase 100 pessoas que saíram de sua casa numa noite fria para juntarem-se ao grupo de alunos, professores, cidadãos interessados no tema, com direito a palestras de uma bióloga, uma advogada e um cientista, todos discutindo o tema. Se isso não é engajamento, não sei o que pode ser….

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E o que pensar de uma palestra dentro de uma loja, no centrinho comercial, no final do dia?? Desta vez sobre as B-Corporations.  A razão? Preocupação das empresas não apenas com a comunidade, mas, ainda, com os millenials, jovens nascidos a partir de 1995, que acreditam em sua capacidade de mudar o mundo e que precisam sentir-se atraídos e engajados enquanto empregados.

https://centralfloridaforgood.com/

 

E se a moda pode atrair pessoas interessadas em modelos de negócios voltados para inovações sociais, por que não a gastronomia? Sim! De acordo com Jane Hursh, presidente da Toolboxforlife, se “a comida aproxima as pessoas”, por que não pensar em inclusão social por meio de qualificação, para que pessoas necessitadas possam trabalhar, por exemplo, em cozinhas industriais? No Brasil, a Gastromotiva tem feito um trabalho muito parecido e igualmente importante! E como empresárias estão sempre atrás de novidades, a Jane acabou criando uma empresa lucrativa, mas com pegada social também, a partir de um produto feito justamente para hidratar as mãos de quem se empenha na cozinha: o Jane’s vegan body scrub (muito bom)!

E por falar em inclusão, a semana terminou com a visita à LightHouse Central Florida, uma empresa sem fins lucrativos, que prepara pessoas visualmente debilitadas a se (re)colocarem profissionalmente. Pessoas cegas desde o nascimento ou aquelas que perderam a visão por conta da idade, doença ou acidente são o público desta organização. No dia de nossa visita, estavam montando as caixas da Magic Band, da Disney, para o que, inclusive, concorreram com outras empresas.

A próxima semana será cheia de surpresas! Congresso ASHOKA U, em San Diego, Valentine’s Day e cheia de novidades!

Semana 4

A semana já começa com um clima de romance na cidade, cheia de flores e balões em formato de coração! E, para minha surpresa, todos se cumprimentam com “Happy Valentine’s day”! Aqui, ao contrário no nosso dia 12 de Junho, em que só os casais e namorados se cumprimentam e se presenteiam, o dia 14 de Fevereiro é para celebrar também o amor ao próximo!

A versão mais plausível para a origem da comemoração é a de que um bispo chamado Valentim, no século V, teria sido preso e condenado à morte por desobedecer a ordem de não celebrar casamentos durante as guerras (os solteiros seriam melhores combatentes??). Enquanto aguardava a morte, recebendo flores e bilhetes dos jovens que diziam acreditar no amor, apaixonou-se pela filha de um carcereiro, deixando-lhe um bilhete antes de morrer, assinado “de seu Valentim”….A data de sua morte passou a ser lembrada!

E quem aproveitou foi cada aluno da Rollins College, na hora do almoço, num dia para lá de lindo, no meio do inverno!

Resolvi entrar no charmoso Hotel Alfond Inn para um café e eis que me deparo com uma frase que abriria as portas para o Congresso Ashoka U, onde entendi como o possível é enorme mesmo!!!!

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Mais do que medo, senti desespero! E explico: vi tantas possibilidades, tanta informação, tantas ações simples para problemas enormes, que me senti pequena demais! Tem muita coisa para ser feita por trás de um nome bonito (inovação social)… muitas possibilidades!

Centenas de pessoas reuniram-se em San Diego, representando escolas, associações, institutos, empresas, num congresso denominado Ashoka (“sem tristeza”, em hindi). Fundada por um americano, em 1980, a organização atua em 90 países e objetiva a resolução de problemas críticos no mundo, sobretudo por meio de apoio e incentivo a empreendedores sociais.

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Fiquei surpresa com a desenvoltura de ideias e realizações justamente do grupo da América latina! Participantes do México, Colombia, Peru e até 4 brasileiras estavam neste evento. Troca de informações sobre projetos riquíssimos como incubadoras para negócios sociais em Bogotá, centro de estudos de bem-estar em Monterrey, formação de estudantes mentores para empreendedores e cursos de curta-duração para identificação e solução criativa para problemas sociais no Chile, dentre tantos outros!

Ao longo do Congresso, apresentações dos professores da Rollins College/Crummer e exposição sobre o livro organizado pela dra. Mary Conway Dato-on (que comando o programa Global Links por aqui), contando sobre casos de empreendedorismo social no México. Ideia que pode ser reproduzida até virar um conjunto de casos internacionais! Uma experiência e tanto, hein?!

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E pensa numa turma animada! Jantar oferecido pela Rollins numa noite e, na outra, comida mexicana no centro velho de San Diego!…..Gianna, sentimos sua falta!

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Semana que vem tem mais! Novos eventos e uma visita mais detalhada ao campus da faculdade!


English

Week 3

Gradually I have adjusted to the schedule here (3 hours less than Brazil, because of summertime there in Brazil and winter in Orlando). But the hard part is getting used to the lunch and dinner hours … can anyone eat dinner at 5:30 pm? Well, the first step to adjusting is to try to sleep early, which is strange: I’m a night owl and, when I look, it’s past midnight!
Well, if the semester is about changes, let’s go with it! Two weeks ago, I joined a yoga class, but nothing is easy, and it’s twice as challenging: first, to understand Professor David’s instructions (he speaks softly and in English … oh my!) And second, he can stretch his muscles (while I am totally rusty)! I’m still taking my walks, and also exercising my eyesight when I come back from the college in the late afternoon. Thankfully the scenery is beautiful because otherwise, I would give in to the many other temptations along the way … like chocolate covered popcorn? And there are 4 ice cream shops within 2 blocks!

Social commitments are already appearing with other campus teachers! I was starting to miss the coffee, lunch, and dinner in Brazil with my dear friends!! Particularly this week was very packed with events, all linked to social innovation: Hive Think Tank, Ideas for Good, B-Corporations and a visit to Lighthouse Central Florida! Not to mention the lectures with entrepreneurs who have been on campus all week! But the pearl of the week was breakfast this Wednesday with Victory Cup!

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About 500 guests (entrepreneurs, teachers, NGO leaders) were called in to select and award cash prizes to the three nonprofit organizations (here NPO – Nonprofit Organizations) that stand out most in Central Florida for their performance. It’s a Storytelling Show Case: each rep has a few minutes to tell you about their work, results, and benefits. Could we take this event to Brazil? Loved it!

On the same Wednesday, after school, I was at the Hive Think Tank. The night was for discussion on the Red Tides (red tides and their impact on the death of fish and therefore on our food)… My surprise was with the almost 100 people who left their homes on a cold night to join the group of students, teachers, and citizens interested in the subject, with the right to lectures by a biologist, a lawyer and a scientist, all discussing the theme. If this is not engagement, I don’t know what is….

And what about a lecture inside a store, in the commercial center, at the end of the day?? This time on B-Corporations. The reason? Businesses are now concerned not only within the community but also with millennials, young people born after 1995, who believe in their ability to change the world and who need to feel attracted and engaged as employees.

And if fashion can attract people interested in business models aimed at social innovations, why not gastronomy? Yes! According to Jane Hursh, president of Toolboxforlife, if “food brings people together, why not think about social inclusion through qualification, so that people in need can work, for example, in industrial kitchens? In Brazil, Gastromotiva has done a very similar and equally important work! And as businesswomen are always behind the news, Jane ended up creating a lucrative company, but with a social footprint as well, from a product made just to moisturize the hands of those who work in the kitchens: Jane’s vegan body scrub (very good)!

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And speaking of inclusion, the week ended with a visit to Light House Central Florida, a non-profit organization that prepares visually impaired people to (re)place professionally. People blind from birth or those who lost sight because of age, illness or accident are the target of this organization. On the day of our visit, they were setting up the boxes of Disney’s Magic Band, for which they competed against other companies. Next week will be full of surprises! ASHOKA U Congress in San Diego, Valentine’s Day and full of news!

Week 4

The week already begins with a mood of romance in the city, full of flowers and heart-shaped balloons! To my surprise, everyone greets each other with “Happy Valentine’s Day”! Here, unlike on our June 12th, when only couples and boyfriends greet each other and give themselves away, February 14th is also to celebrate the love of others!

The most plausible version for the origin of the commemoration is that a bishop named Valentine in the fifth century was arrested and sentenced to death for disobeying the order not to marry during wars (singles would be better fighters?). While awaiting death, receiving flowers and letters from young people who claimed to believe in love, he fell in love with the daughter of a jailer, leaving him a note before his death, signed “his Valentine”… The date of his death came to be remembered! And so it was for every student at Rollins College, at lunchtime, on a beautiful day in the middle of winter!

I decided to enter the charming Alfond Inn Hotel for a coffee and came across a phrase that would open the doors to the Ashoka U Conference, “be afraid of the enormity of the possible”!

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More than fear, I felt despair! And I’ll explain why: I saw so many possibilities, so much information, so many simple actions to solve huge problems, that I felt too small! There is a lot to be done behind a beautiful name (social innovation) … many possibilities! Hundreds of people gathered in San Diego, representing schools, associations, institutes, companies, at a conference called Ashoka (“without sadness” in Hindi). Founded by an American in 1980, the organization operates in 90 countries and aims to solve critical problems worldwide, especially through support and encouragement of social entrepreneurs.

I was surprised by the resourcefulness and ideas of the group from Latin America! Participants from Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and up to 4 Brazilians were at this event. Exchange of information on highly successful projects such as incubators for social business in Bogotá, a center for wellness studies in Monterrey, training of mentor students for entrepreneurs and short courses for identification and creative solutions to social problems in Chile, among many others!

Throughout the conference, presentations by Rollins College / Crummer professors and an exhibition on the book organized by Dr. Mary Conway Dato-on (who directs the Global Links program here), tells about cases of social entrepreneurship in Mexico. An idea that can be reproduced until it becomes a set of international cases! Quite an experience, huh?! And think of a lively crowd! Dinner offered by Rollins on one night and on the other, Mexican food in the old center of San Diego! … Gianna, we missed you!

Next week there will be more! New events and a more detailed visit to the college campus!

Top 5 Lessons from Working with a Social Enterprise

Gianna Hernandez, Global Links Graduate Assistant

After working for a year with the Global Links team at Crummer, I bid my goodbye, and look forward to my oncoming graduation. As I finish up, I wanted to take a second to reflect and pass on my biggest lessons for future graduate assistants and those moving towards or considering the social entrepreneurship and nonprofit sectors:

 

The Devils in the Details.

I learned this lesson the hard way, through repeated and consistent mistakes. Spelling, design errors, you name it – I made each mistake at least three times over in the span of the year, and I’m sure I’ll make a handful again. I didn’t realize these mistakes (as small as they were) could rock our organizations and my works credibility. After being called out multiple times, I started to take extra precautions, to mitigate mistakes that stemmed from bad habits. I had colleagues reread my work, I downloaded apps to examine my writing, and I gave myself more time to review my work. Build out ways to mitigate mistakes and manage your weaknesses. Details build the product, and they build the brands reputation. I had to learn to not underestimate them.

Embrace the Hats

Many nonprofit and social enterprises operate with either small budgets, small staff, or both, and often function similar to a startup organization. That means opportunities for innovation, reinvention, and working outside of one’s comfort zones are frequent. Embrace the jobs that aren’t in your strengths, take on the challenges that you don’t know how to solve, because in the process you have the opportunity to grow. You might wear many hats, but through them all, you might discover that you are capable of more than you expect, or you might humble yourself enough to realize you need help and can learn from another. The moment you become upset or frustrated by the many tasks you do, you have lost sight of the mission and lost sight of your purpose. Remember the big picture, remember the people who you’re trying to lift up, and drawback to the reason why you wanted the job in the first place.

Take the wisdom of others

I had the chance to work with some amazing and visionary women. They have pushed me to think big, and have given me great constructive criticism along the way. The millennial generation tends to view all criticism as negative, and often becomes immediately defensive when confronted with feedback. We need to learn humility because if we listen to that criticism clearly, we grow, our skills develop, and our relationships strengthen. Listen to others; if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re either wrong or in the wrong room.

Invest in people

Social Enterprises and nonprofits operate due to relationships. Funding, as well as operational success, are intensely based on the connection and investment with others. Investing in others means showing up, valuing their time and emotions, and offering support or assistance, even if it’s beyond your scope. It’s a consideration and kindness that pays back tenfold and upholds the values and mission of an organization – it builds the culture of going above and beyond. People that feel supported trust you and trust the organization, and they are more willing to take a risk and continue to pass on the culture to others outside the organization.  

You need heart

You cannot join a social enterprise, or a nonprofit, without heart- a passion – for the work and overall mission that is being done. If you don’t feel a sense of righteous anger or passionate discontent when you think about the root problem that’s being addressed (poverty, women’s rights, human trafficking, lack of education, pollution, etc) you might want to reconsider joining the team. The work is hard, the industry is messy, and the career is often considered thankless, but if you have a passion for the work, a passion for the people whose lives are being impacted by the work, it’s entirely worth every second. It makes every day meaningful, and every task worthwhile.

 

Global Links Phase III – Beginning of a New Journey

Sanchari Chatterjee, Global Links Changemaker 2017

Global Links had started off as an opportunity but soon it became a family, giving me memories of a lifetime and a new meaning to my life. I was very fortunate to be selected for the Immersion program to explore more on social Entrepreneurship at Rollins College, Florida and learn about a different culture.

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We were given a grand welcome by the Tupperware and Rollins team which gave us immense energy after the long flight from India to US. This was my first time outside India and I was mesmerized by the greens and blues of the State. The temperature was somewhat similar to Kolkata but with low humidity. The low rise houses and building gave away.

I was staying with Giselda and Moby (her rescue dog) and they made me feel very comfortable and at home.

One of my most favorite parts of Global Links Phase 3 was the different community partners we got to work with Rebuild Globally, Second Harvest and Literacy League. At Rebuild Globally we helped them organize the shoe boxes and wrote handwritten personal notes for each of the shoppers. We sorted 9200 pounds of potatoes with other volunteers at Second Harvest and we helped in making lovely children learning materials. The hard work and dedication these organizations put into is highly motivating and impactful. I have been very fortunate to have contributed a little to these Life- changing organizations.

Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida has a beautiful campus with a group of extremely motivating and knowledgeable faculty. We attended various classes from leadership sessions to Career development session. We learned new techniques to attract customers in a business through personally connecting with the target customers and how other variables and units support each other to succeed. I also got an opportunity to attend negotiation classes and Global Entrepreneurship classes which are not provided by my University.

I was a part of a panel discussion with Maggie Doyne, who is truly an icon for girls all around the world and it was such an honor for me to be sharing space with her and her warm and humble behavior made everyone feel comfortable.

With all the classes and sessions we were attending, Rollins made sure we have fun and for that nothing could have been better than Universal Studios, Orlando. We spent a whole day in the park trying out all crazy to fun rides and Gianna, Global Links GA was our ideal guide.

Since we were at Florida our homestays made sure we visited the beach and on a Sunday we made it to Cocoa beach, had some great food and some shopping as well.

Everyone was carrying few Entrepreneur’s products for an exhibition arranged by Rollins and the display as a great success by our joint efforts. We were highly encouraged as everyone praised the products of our entrepreneurs and were eager to know more about their products and businesses.

We all had heard and seen Tupperware products at our home and stores but when we made our visit to the Tupperware head office I was thrilled to see the variety of products and the beautiful office with innovation at its every step. We received a lovely welcome and a tour of the whole office along with a fulfilling lunch, sharing our stories with the Tupperware team. We were honored with certificates from Tupperware and goodies.

A pot luck dinner was arranged which was a new experience for us. Everyone got a dish from home and we all got time to bond with each other over good food. We were all in our traditional attire, sari. Products of our entrepreneurs were also displayed for all. We sang a famous Bengali song “Ami chini go chini tomare” for all the attendees It was a wonderful evening!

For our last night we were invited to a dinner at the15th President of Rollins College, President Cornell’s house known as the Baker house. At the dinner we performed a cultural program for the Tupperware team, Rollins team and Mr. & Mrs. Cornell. Through our program, we focus on Women being a creator, protector and destroyer of Life on the basis of different circumstances and paid a tribute to our mentors who are considered as gurus in India. The closing ceremony was an emotional event for all of us, having tears of joy in our eyes and a big box of memories in our hearts.

At the closing dinner I was announced to be selected for the “Global Leadership Forum 2018” held at the University of Virginia. It was a moment of sheer honor and happiness for me.

Life is so unpredictable. Before associating with Global Links I never knew that it could be such an integral part of my life. I would create a family and memories for life. Global Links was one of the experiences I would always be thankful to myself and my family to make it happen.

I developed to be a better version of myself with a motivation to do more for my community and alliances which would support me all along. Every time I look back to my journey it makes me emotional. It makes me realize how opportunities, when utilized, can bring out the best in one’s life, it makes me realize how a team supports and builds each other such as Tupperware Brands Corporation and Rollins College. It restores my faith in an organization when I see companies like Tupperware working hard to help women across the Globe and it leaves a big smile on my face thinking of all the connections I have made through Global Links.

May the ripple effect always keep spreading and men support women and help them grow to form a perfect partnership as Global Links is!

Dias with Dr. Delboni: Arriving in Winter Park, FL

Dr. Denise Delboni, 2019 Global Links Scholar

This blog is written in Portugueses, and translated below in English!

Semana 1

Que a motivação percebida em minha chegada seja uma constante ao longo deste primeiro semestre de 2019! A recepção no aeroporto não poderia ser mais calorosa! Brands estavam super bem representados pela turma querida que movimenta o programa Global Links por aqui. Estavam bem no espirito brasileiro: fazendo festa no aeroporto, com direito a balões, cartaz e flores!

E ainda fui presenteada com uma coleção de produtos da Tupperware Brands, com direito a panelas e outros acessórios que não existem no Brasil! Amei! Mas preciso melhorar os dotes culinários…

Minha primeira atividade aqui na Rollins College teve início no dia de Martin Luther King (22 de Fevereiro) e vejo que foi uma feliz coincidência! Assim como ele, que, como ativista político, lutou por igualdade de direitos de todos, notei que a faculdade empenha-se em estimular o trabalho voluntário. E, assim, tem como foco a conscientização dos alunos sobre injustiça social: agora, no século XXI, “We all have this dream”! E foi assim meu primeiro dia, juntei-me ao grupo que promovia o Martin Luther King’s day of service, para a organização e limpeza de uma escola primária na periferia.

Que um dia as crianças para as quais trabalhamos naquela manhã tenham acesso a uma vaga neste campus maravilhoso da Rollins College! o tour pelo campus, já dei umas voltinhas e estou maravilhada!

No primeiro final de semana, fui conhecer o Winter Park Farmer’s Market, charmosa feirinha de rua, onde os vendedores trazem produtos frescos (frutas, flores, suco, mel etc) e que movimenta turistas e locais.

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Semana 2

Professores e profissionais trocam informações, outros convidados dão suporte às empresas incubadas. O que me chamou a atenção foi o fato de que todos os negócios que me foram apresentados no dia da visita não eram aplicativos para celular ou algo de muita tecnologia! Negócios como aulas de yoga para adolescentes e mulheres em fase de transição na carreira, transporte para idosos e técnicas de reforço escolar para melhora do aprendizado infantil eram alguns deles. Mas o que realmente me deixou curiosa foi uma empresa chamada CREDO: uma cafeteria onde o cliente decide o preço para o café que tomará. O idealizador do projeto, Ben Hoyer, conta como teve a ideia de criar um lugar em que diferentes pessoas pudessem se encontrar para conversas e troca de ideias sobre a comunidade. Sugiro uma visita rápida ao site que conta sobre este negócio.

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Além de lindo o trabalho lá desenvolvido, o caminho para chegar nos arredores é demais de lindo! E algumas fotos postadas em outras mídia fizeram o maior sucesso! (e olha que eu sou sedentária em São Paulo)! Acho que até amo aquela poluicao de Sampa… Afinal de contas, é o lugar onde vivo, minha amada cidade! Mas estes jardins bordados, nesta “cidade-boutique”, são inacreditáveis! E onde quer que a gente entre, em pequenas ruas, pode ter a certeza de que terá um lago no fim! Cada dia de caminhada equivale a uma caminhada num parque!

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Até o cemitério é lindo! Os que lá descansam têm a sombra das enormes Oak Trees (carvalhos)!

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Claro que a campus da Rollins College não poderia ser diferente! Para fazer jus à beleza de Winter Park, uma única foto é capaz de traduzir sua imponência:

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E, ao lado, a pós-graduação da Rollins College, chamada Crummer Graduate School of Business.

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A programação nesta semana incluía a palestra de George McGraw, fundador da Fiquei impressionada com o fato de que alguém consegue levar água potável e encanada para populações pobres na fronteira do México, apenas com doações! Fico pensando no Brasil; n aquela obra da transposição do São Francisco para levar água para o sertão, iniciada em 2007! Quem sabe esta é uma possibilidade diferente, sem passar o dinheiro pelos cofres públicos, para alcançar os quase 31 milhões de brasileiros sem água encanada! (IBGE, 2017). No site abaixo, veja em 2 minutos, como a água potável chegou aos americanos na fronteira do México.

E a surpresa continuou com o trabalho voluntário deste sábado. Numa manhã gelada (menos de 7 graus), aos poucos foram chegando os alunos, voluntários do time de inclusão da escola. Desta vez, o trabalho foi num centro que distribui café da manhã e jantar para os muitos homeless de Orlando. Sim, o número de moradores de rua parece ser grande aqui também! Organizamos a cozinha do local, guardando o material recebido como doação e limpando prateleiras e bancadas. Fiquei impressionada de ver ex-alunos juntarem-se ao nosso grupo, levando os filhos, inclusive: solidariedade começa assim!

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Meu grupo ficou com as prateleiras de temperos: nesta foto já quase arrumadas!

A emoção de ouvir as estórias dos moradores de rua que por ali passam (quaisquer que sejam as razões: desemprego, drogas, problemas mentais etc) só foi superada pela festa de semana: fui apresentada para os executivos da Tupperware Brands e para o Presidente da Rollins  College e sua esposa, num jantar de boas-vindas!

E o domingo terminou com mais uma visita a uma feira local; desta vez, na cidade vizinha (Maitland).

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Na próxima semana, teremos mais notícias e aventuras com o Programa Global Links aqui na Florida!


English

Week 1

May the motivation perceived upon my arrival be a constant throughout this first semester of 2019! The reception at the airport could not be any warmer! Rollins College, Crummer business school and Tupperware Brands were super well represented by the beloved group that runs the Global Links program here. They were well in the Brazilian spirit: partying at the airport, with balloons, a poster and flowers! And I also gifted a collection of Tupperware Brands products, with pans and other accessories that do not exist in Brazil! Loved it! But I need to improve the culinary skills…

My first activity here at Rollins started on Martin Luther King day (February 22nd) and I see it was a happy coincidence: just as he, who, as a political activist, fought for equal rights for all, I noticed that college strives to keep the flame of volunteer work alive and students’ awareness of social injustice: now in the 21st century, “We all have this dream”! And so, it was my first day and I joined the group that promoted Martin Luther King’s day of service. For the day of service, we cleaned a primary school nearby.

I hope that one day the children we work for that morning have access to a place on this wonderful Rollins College campus! Next week I did a campus tour, and even as I’ve been walking around, I’m in awe!

On my first weekend, I went to see the Farmer’s Market, a charming street fair, where vendors bring fresh produce (fruits, flowers, juice, honey, etc.) that attracts tourists and locals.

Week 2

The week begins by revealing some entrepreneurs working in conjunction with the Rollins College Incubator for Social Business, called Rally. Teachers and professionals exchange information, other guests support the incubated companies. What caught my attention was the fact that all the deals that were presented were not mobile apps or something of a lot of technology! Business such as yoga classes for teenagers and women in the transition phase, transportation for the elderly, and school reinforcement techniques for improving children’s learning, were a few examples. What really made me curious was a company called CREDO: a cafeteria where the customer decides the price for the coffee they will buy. The founder of the project, Ben Hoyer, tells how he came up with the idea of ​​creating a place where different people could meet to talk and exchange ideas about the community. I recommend this video to learn more.

Besides the beautiful work developed there, the way to get to the surroundings is so beautiful! And some photos posted on other media are the biggest success! I am so thankful for doing these morning walks (as far as I’m sedentary in São Paulo)… I think maybe I even love that pollution in São Paulo ….. After all, it is the place where I live, my beloved city! But these embroidered gardens, in this “boutique city,” are unbelievable! Wherever you go in these small streets, you can be sure that there will be a lake at the end. Each day of walking is equivalent to a walk in a park!

Even the graveyard is beautiful! Those who rest there have the shadow of huge oak trees!

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Of course, the Rollins College campus could not be any different to the city! To live up to the beauty of Winter Park, a single photo is capable of translating its grandeur:

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And, next to it, is the graduate of Rollins College, called Crummer Graduate School of Business. The programming this week included a talk by George McGraw, founder of DigDeep (digdeep.org)…I was struck by the fact that someone can bring clean drinking water to the poor people on the border of Mexico, only with donations! I am thinking of Brazil; The government is trying to transport water from the São Francisco river to the very dry areas since 2007! Who knows, maybe this is a different funding possibility to support approximate the 31 million Brazilians without running water (IBGE, 2017), without spending even more from the public coffers! On the site, see in 2 minutes, how drinking water came to Americans on the Mexican border.

And the surprise continued with Saturday’s volunteer work. On a chilly morning (less than 7 degrees celcius), little by little the students, volunteers from the school’s inclusion team, arrived. This time, the work was at a center that distributes breakfast and dinner to the many homeless of Orlando. Yes, the number of homeless people seems to be great here too! We organize the kitchen of the place, storing the material received as a donation and cleaning shelves and benches. I was impressed to see alumni joining our group, taking their children: solidarity starts like this! My group got the seasoning shelves: in this photo already almost tidy!

The excitement of listening to the stories of the homeless people (whatever the reasons: unemployment, drugs, mental problems etc) was only surpassed by the week party: I was introduced to Tupperware Brands executives and to the President of Rollins College and his wife for a welcome dinner!

And Sunday ended with another visit to a local fair; this time in the nearby town (Maitland).

Next week, we’ll have more news and adventures with the Global Links Program here in Florida!

Metanoia – The Journey of Changing Self

Ritika Das, Global Links Changemaker 2017

It was the 15th of September when I boarded the flight for Orlando, Florida. At last, after a lot of hustling and working hard, it was time to live my dream of being one of the five lucky Changemakers of Global Links Phase III (2017-18). Living my dream for 15 days was a life changing experience for me which I will cherish for the rest of my life.

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Beginning from day one, where we were introduced to our host families, till the last day bidding them goodbye was a completely different and exciting journey for me. I learned a lot of things while attending graduate and under- graduate classes, visiting nonprofit organizations like Rebuild Globally, Adult Literacy League, Second Harvest, and visiting Tupperware Brands Inc. I really feel lucky that I had a chance to interact with so many people and learn many different things from them. I was living my dream to the fullest! I gained knowledge from the sessions that we had with many different speakers. My homestay family never let me feel away from home. The moments that I spent with them were unforgettable. I was able to share an evening drive to Daytona beach, go shopping with them, experienced new foods in restaurants, and tasted Italian ice with ice-cream- all of it was great fun.

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The whole Global Links Phase III immersion program was a life changing experience for me. It has groomed me and helped me to become a better version of myself. I have learned to deliver speeches and presentations, learned to be more punctual and professional in my work, and many more things.

We started with the 550 students in this journey and ended up with 5 Global Links Changemakers who all brought change to their entrepreneurs and helped society. Now with the trainings and sessions that we received each and every day, we are able to help work towards a better society for the future.

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As Nelson Mandela said, “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” With this final thought, I would like to end here by saying that bringing change to the society through students like us ‘The Changemakers’ is creating a ripple effect. We will continue to bring change with the help of the learning and experiences we received from the whole Global Links program. Thank you for letting us be a part of Global Links and helping to train us for the future.

Phase III Experience

Nadeem Akhtar, Global Links Changemaker 2017

Since my selection to become a Global Links Changemaker, I was really excited about visiting Florida for the immersion program. My Phase III journey was enriching and full of learning. I explored so many new avenues in this journey. I attended many classes taught by different professors, participated in social services and interacted with people of different cultures. My key takeaways during this journey come from the interactions I had with the people I met. I have learned how story telling is an important tool to build a connection with others. I saw how NGO’s are helping society. I have learned the concept of paying-forward and how through small efforts we can make an impact.

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My time with my home-stay family was the part I cherished the most. My home-stay father taught me many new games and sports. Each evening we would explore a new thing. I played tennis, golf, board games and poker with him. For me the bond with him was the most valuable part of my journey. The way he welcomed me with open arms made me comfortable in a different county. The journey also helped in my personal and professional development. It helped improve my communication skills and to work as a team. The reflection sessions that we had improved our way of looking at things, and pushed us to ask more questions so that we could learn more.

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We attended speaker sessions of people who shared with us their success stories and the struggles they went through in their lives. It really inspired me, and the spirit of never giving up has motivated me to overcome any challenge in life. Interacting with people of different cultures and sharing ideas helped us develop feasible solutions to many problems that we face in our society. I will try to implement the new things I learned in the U.S. and continue to help my entrepreneur. Overall it was a wonderful journey. I am really glad and thankful that I got this opportunity and am looking forward to making use of the experience by contributing something to my community.

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Global Links Phase III Journey

Arundipta Roy, Global Links Changemaker 2017

Have you ever had a life changing moment that tipped your life upside down in one second? An experience that helped you emerge as a completely new version of yourself? Well being selected for Phase III of the Global Links program was like that for me!! During Phase III of this journey, the exposure we had to the US culture helped us learn a lot. We attended various classes at the Crummer Graduate School of Business, went to local stores, visited the local community centers and also had a wonderful tour of the Tupperware Brands headquarters. The whole experience was a major learning curve for all of us, but if I had to choose one experience, I would say the time we spent in the community services was a major take-away. It helped me grasp a true picture of the community outside of an academic shelter. It brought to light areas of struggle, areas where change is needed, and it also showed me how goodwill, a little effort and a whole lot of well-wishes can improve the lives of others and bring a smile to their faces. It again showed me that helping somebody does not require a grand gesture, it’s just the simple act of reaching out. Helping some adults learn to read, sorting potatoes into bags, helping women in distressed communities make a livelihood, or simply donating a little of your time- that can create a beautiful change in itself. This experience also helped break the stereotypical idea of wealth and wellbeing that is associated with America. I came to know that US is just like any other country, facing its own demons and fighting hard to curb them, just like everyone else.

Global Links has pushed me beyond my limits over and over again, and helped me grow so much as a person; for that I am grateful. Also, I should definitely mention that accommodating us in home-stays was truly a wonderful idea as we now have two families to boast. I did not know it was possible to feel attached to people you just met, and feel like you have known them forever. I would like to thank Global Links, as I was able to meet a family and make it my own, meet new people and leave as friends, meet teachers who believed in me and receive so much love from everyone.

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When you start a new endeavor, there is only so much you can theorize and take into account while planning. It is not until you actually execute the work and start doing it, that you realize the full potential of your ideas. The founders of Global Links at Tupperware and Rollins wanted to Empower Women through education and entrepreneurship, but the concept of Global Links has evolved far beyond that. It presents the opportunity to develop and empower oneself and others around, to not only the Entrepreneurs, but to every single person involved in this wonderful initiative. The positive impact and the ripple effect are ever growing and it brings me great pleasure to be one of those small changes that can bring a smile to someone else’s face. I hope to implement all that I have learned so far and help develop my own community, in the process empowering myself and the people around me. That would truly be the best ending for this wonderful real life fairytale!

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Global Leadership Forum 2018

Sanchari Chatterjee, Global Links Changemaker 2017

The Global Leadership Forum is a platform that brings together people from multiple countries and communities. It is a cross cultural exchange forum which helps individuals to observe different perspective of a single challenge present in our society. I was fortunate enough to be a part of this life changing journey and talk about my community.

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The Global Leadership Forum was hosted in the beautiful city of Charlottesville, Virginia. All the emerging young leaders received a golden carpet welcome from mother nature. Presidential Precinct gave us a warm welcome as well. The most exciting part for me was to have a roommate from another country.

All the participants were given the opportunity to visit Eagle Hill Farm on our very first day for a Leadership and Personality Development workshop by Mr. Rick Goings, executive chairman of Tupperware Brands Corporation.

The Presidential Precinct theme for the conference was The Power of Partnerships for Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment. I was very excited to be a part of the panel discussion during the morning session with my mentor. It was a highly intellectual session with the scope of immense learning.

That night we went to a concert of Vusi Mahlasela, a renowned singer from Africa and all of the participants and presidential precinct crew danced and sang their hearts out, and while returning from the concert we were already making plans for a trip to Africa together. It soon became one of the most memorable evenings of my life.

On our final day, we visited yet another beautiful farm, Morven Farm. We worked with different mentors on various issues in groups amongst nature and learned to create sustainable solutions for our communities.

In a matter of 5 days I made a bunch of new friends, expanded my knowledge, made my roommate from Namibia dance to Bollywood songs, went to an Indian restaurant downtown to try Biryani, enjoyed Halloween, gave interviews, interacted with some of the most renowned and knowledgeable personnel in their fields, met inspirational mentors and the amazing teams of Presidential Precinct, Tupperware Brands Corporations, Rollins College and University of Virginia.

I would like to sincerely thank Tupperware Brands Corporation, Rollins College, Presidential Precinct, She Lab and University of Virginia for taking me through this life changing and self-development journey which I will forever look back upon and reflect on whenever I am confronted with a challenge.

I take back with me the warmth of my fellow participants, the knowledge of all the mentors and a stronger will to create a sustainable change in my society.

I will leave you readers with a thought to reflect on:

Change happens when you decide to take the first step. As said by the first woman sales executive of Tupperware Brands Corporation, Brownie Wise, “No matter who you are, you alone can give something that no one can get from another source”. Do not wait for something revolutionary to come along, but be it yourself. Take a small step towards the betterment of someone’s life. One step towards educating a girl is a step towards educating the society.

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Intentional Communication

Gianna Hernandez, Global Links Graduate Assistant

The internal workings of an international non-for-profit are complex and constantly changing. I’ve been blown away by the forms of communication and information exchange alone. To communicate with our volunteers and mentors in India, we use Outlook, Google Docs, Skype, and Whatsapp. To communicate with our domestic partners, we switch over to Dropbox, Outlook, conference calls, and when possible – face to face meetings. To work within Rollins, we meet face to face, text, or any of the above platforms already mentioned.

It’s daunting.

There are a few steps that must be followed while sifting through these various platforms of communication, in order to ensure constancy and achieving organizational goals. I’ve listed them out briefly here, in hopes that this will support others future success, while supporting my own reflection, after a month of working with Global Links.

Step one: ask the right questions. Never allow the fear of seeming clueless keep you from truly remaining clueless. If specific requirements weren’t given for the task, ask. If dates for deliverables were not set, ask. If you don’t know who the team is talk about for project collaboration, ask.

Step two: tailor to your audience. In the same way you wouldn’t speak to your boss the way you speak to your best friend, you must be mindful not only of your tone but of your vocabulary when communicating with your many partners. When communicating to India, be aware that your vocabulary is different. A task is not “hard,” it’s “difficult”. A rock is hard.

Step three: revise your work. With all the responsibilities and moving parts that make up an organization, you might feel too busy to take an extra few minutes to reexamine your communication. Magnify the consequences of that rash decision, and realize that your work, and your organizations credibility lessens with minimal and seemingly carless mistakes. Take an extra five minutes, step away, and come back considering the details of your product.

The purpose of communicating is to create understanding and action; these components are at the heart of any organization. Be intentional when communicating- “Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care, for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.” (Buddha)

A Little Progress Each Day Adds Up to Big Results

Priya Khandelwal, Global Links Volunteer 2017

Currently, I am pursuing my undergraduate degree from Shri Shikshayatan College. Dr. Rumpa Chakraborty, my professor of Shri Shikshayatan College, informed us about the Global Links Programme . The very first thought I had was, I can gain more experience and share knowledge I have with others. Vimala Devi, my entrepreneur from ISW (N.G.O), has a grocery shop of her own and works with her husband. My first visit with her on the 28th of August made it very clear that this journey would be the toughest! Reason being: she didn’t turn up and made an excuse by sending her daughter. I and my mentors didn’t lose hope. Instead, we went to her shop and finally met. That very first day, I received one more shock. She has no savings for the future!

After gathering a bit of information about her family, I returned home. Here came one more problem- she had no personal phone. Her family had just one phone that remains with her husband, who is the most dominant factor influencing her behaviour. After two weeks, I finally got her on the phone. I immediately planned our next visit, but this too was turning out to be a failure with the same excuse! So, in order to make it a success, I decided to meet her at her shop. I travelled two hours with just one hope- that she would be present there.

On this second visit, I tried my best to inform her about my reason for being there. With the end of this visit, I came to know about one more problem she had been facing: she does not have an identity card i.e. an Aadhar card. Every citizen of India should have this card by now. My main goal is Women Empowerment. From what I could observe, her full attention was focused towards earning money and spending it. She had no thought about saving some of the money, not just for herself, but for the future of her family. Therefore, on my third visit, in order to motivate her to save money, I gave her a small piggy bank. A small gesture from one person can bring great results.
I would like to end by saying that before this experience, everything seemed a bit easy. But it didn’t turn out like that at all. Previously, I used to be a person who easily looses her temper, but now I am learning to control my temper, and obviously always staying positive! Thus, it is not just she who will definitely gain something, but it’s me too, who will acquire this experience for the rest of my life.

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