“Teacher, Teacher, Teacher…” The kids’ voices still echo in my mind. One month ago, I jumped on the flight to South Africa for the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP).

In Johannesburg Airport, an African lady gave a helping hand when I was totally lost in front of the complicated transfer process. She helped me to pass the migration office through the clerk channel and claim the luggage, then sent me to another terminal for the flight check in to Cape Town. Her warm-heartedness made me feel at home.

During the two weeks in Nomzamo, 10 CIIP members from 9 sites of 6 countries worked as one team and lived as one family. James and Lisa were our artists, they led us in drawing nice pictures on the wall. Kenny, the mechanical expert from manufacturing, led us to hang the book shelf and fix the ceiling in the restroom. Monique and Rebecca were leading the cleaning and cooking like the elder sisters at home. The same goal brought us together to help the children and make a difference.

The kids from the kindergarten might not understand why we were there every day those two weeks, but they could feel our caring and love. On the playground, we sang songs, played games, and passed the ball. They cheered loudly no matter where they saw us go by, “Teacher, Teacher, Teacher!” One boy tried to talk about Chinese Kung Fu and Jackie Chan with me, the famous actor from Hong Kong. Furthermore, their smiles and hurrahs inspired us to great effort every day. On the last day, the teacher was astonished at the renovated kindergarten, clean yard, colorful pictures on the wall, new book shelf and bag hooks in the classroom. We were so excited to make a difference at the school, to help enhance a little part of their world.

I want to thank Jillian, our captain, who had been working hard on the project for half a year– coordinated the daily activities, helped us complete the mission and sent us back home safely. I want to thank the great team who are truly committed to making the impact on the community. I want to thank Celanese from the bottom of my heart for allowing me the privilege of participating in the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) in Cape Town, South Africa.

When we allow ourselves to serve others, it is very rewarding in so many ways.

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of 3 blogs by Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) team members who served for two weeks in Cape Town, South Africa.