On October 22nd, Colruyt Group put young people to charitable work for the 10th year in a row. 165 students skipped a day of school and took action for the campaign 'Work for Change' by non-profit organisation Zuiddag. They went to work in our shops, distribution centres, and our central services. All of the wages they earn are going to a cocoa project in Nicaragua.
Non-profit organisation Zuiddag chose to dedicate the 'Work for Change' campaign in 2015 to a Vredeseilanden project: la Campesina, a cocoa business in Matiguàs, Nicaragua. The 375 employees at this cooperative have better and more sustainable opportunities thanks to the cultivation of cocoa.
At Colruyt Group, the 'Work for Change' participants got to familiarise themselves with the different professions within our organisation.
In our distribution centre Dassenveld, we find Tamara. She will be working in the cafeteria. 'I think it's very important to do charity work. We are so very fortunate here, so I don't mind donating my wages to help others grow.” Her temporary colleague Bryan agrees: “I normally hate cleaning, but I'm prepared to do it. I would only spend my money on useless things otherwise,” he jokes.
In the warehouse, Eline is busy with quality control. “It's really quite different from being at school. But that's what makes it so much fun: I don't have to go to school and I'm supporting a great project.”
The Colruyt store in Halle is buzzing with activity as well. We find Maïté, who is busy stocking the shelves. “It's certainly a great learning experience,” she says. “It's interesting to see how everything works around here, and it's given me experience in applying for a job.”
The young people did indeed have to apply for a job through non-profit organisation Zuiddag's job bank. This included Louka. He sent in his CV and cover letter for a very special assignment. In the morning, he shadowed Jef Colruyt and in the afternoon he was taught all about business by Guido Sorret, the regional sales director.
“I looked at a lot of different jobs in the job bank, but this one was the most interesting by far. I'm taking economics at school and so I was very curious to see what it really takes to manage a company like this.” Louka got to join Jef during his meetings. “I thought I would find it very confusing, but it's really all quite simple. Decisions are made quickly, and the atmosphere is very informal. This is a great opportunity for me, and it's even for charity.”
You can find more information about the collaboration with non-profit organisation Zuiddag at collibrifoundation.org.