A journey through the senses
Our employees give back to communities in many ways. In South Africa in 2019, they participated in workshops for blind and partially sighted students.
The passengers hear the aircraft engines roar as they take off on their journey through the senses of their vast continent, Africa. Their flight plan takes them to countries where they will experience the flavours and fragrances of Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Ivory Coast.
There are some essential differences about this journey, however. The 16 passengers are students who are blind or partially sighted and their flight, ‘A journey through the senses of Africa’, is imaginary. Yet for these young people the simulated journey is very real and, thanks to employees of our company in South Africa, the students from the Sibonile School for the Blind were able to engage their senses in more ways than one.
After ‘landing’, they tasted local iconic food, drinks and snacks, smelled local raw materials and Givaudan-fragranced products, and felt the clothing worn by the traditional people of each country. With help from our Givaudan team, they created their own fragranced body lotions and flavoured drinks, and each session of the workshop started with students presenting some facts about the country concerned.
Ofentse Tsipa and Kgomotso Dhlangamandhla were instrumental in bringing this workshop to life for Sibonile students in Johannesburg in partnership with the NGO Blind SA. The workshop, and another held earlier in the year, was organised as part of a wider programme, in collaboration with Blind SA and with support from the Givaudan Foundation, for five more similar workshops and refurbishments to three schools for the blind.
The workshops aim to inspire and excite students and expose them to our industry by showing them another side of life: ‘to see things they wouldn’t have had a chance to see’. They also aim to empower students with skills to those whose passion and talent stand out. “Thank you very much for teaching us about perfumes. We will also go on to teach our friends what we have learnt today,” said Teboho, a student from the Sibonile school.
“We believe it is crucial that we get out of our day-to-day routine and give a bit of ourselves to our community, especially those in need. There is so much to do to help with empowering the blind community locally and we are aiming to build a long-term partnership with Blind SA and the network of schools for the blind within South Africa.”