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Reflections on a Solid EVP

For my very first EVP trip, my family and I had to opportunity to shadow the day-to-day operations of Solidarity Brasil and ABBA. These organizations share many of the same core values as Liferay to care for children in their city, São Paulo, Brazil. What I did varied from manual labor for a house that will be used as an aftercare center for underage girls victimized by sex-trafficking, to building trust and relationships with street children, to volunteering at a school in a favela, to helping kids with their English at a group home for abused children. Throughout the week, I was able to see how our core values could translate into something very different than open source software - helping children and families.

 

Produce Excellence - “We give our best efforts to get excellent results that stand in the market. But the process is also important: we won't betray our values just to get the job done.”

ABBA and Solid Brasil takes a holistic approach on tackling the needs of children in their city by addressing multiple areas that put kids in danger. They aren’t just reacting to problems they see; they’re strategically addressing the issues before and after they happen by preventing, intervening, educating, and restoring lives. They work to prevent issues by educating families and children in poor, underserved communities. They have shelters, group homes, foster care, counselors and social workers to help families and children when issues do occur. For children in need, they work with them to help them have safe and healthy lives. They reach out to children who live on the streets and children who have been trafficked to try to provide safe environments for them.

Lead by Serving - “Leadership is a calling to serve others and stay humble. Our people lead by example, regardless of position or title.”

They truly lead by serving. From the director to the maintenance man, it is clear that everyone has a real relationship with the kids that they work with. What I saw looked more like a big extended family with many parent-figures modeling a healthy life and caring for the kids rather than an organization appeasing their stakeholders.

Value People - “People are inherently valuable. Therefore, we respect people, invest in relationships, and celebrate one another.”

I don’t know who wrote that one ^ but ditto. The poor, orphaned, neglected, and slaves - these are titles given to... people. If I’m to be honest with myself, I often forget that all people are inherently valuable so it was an amazingly refreshing experience to be able to witness and take part with others whose purpose is to value people (especially those people forgotten by the society at large).

Grow and Get Better - “It's not about being better than someone else, but being better than you were yesterday. We seek to learn and grow from every single experience.”

Some of the staff grew up in very similar situations as the kids they serve and some of the staff grew up in entirely different countries. They might not be the ideal candidates for the job but they are people with heart. And, much like Liferay tries to do, I saw them intentionally invest in the individual to help them grow and get better.

Stay Nerdy - “We enjoy the unique personalities that we have at Liferay. We encourage our people to share their interests, have fun, and be comfortable being themselves.”

From what I saw, the people in the organization had the mobility to serve in areas that interest them. One Canadian expat spearheaded a foster care system in the city of São Paulo. A mom from a favela became a house mother for abused kids. A German-Iranian with broken Portuguese opened up a school and afterschool program. And a family is leading a pilot program to have the first aftercare home for underaged girls in their state. People are given the freedom and support to explore their desires and pursue them.

 

At Liferay, I think it’s worthwhile for all of us to take a look at these core values and think about how we might implement them in our own jobs. How can I produce excellence? How can I lead by serving? How can I value people? How can I grow and get better. And as a junior content strategist, I would like to think about ways I can stay nerdy so I can implement Liferay’s core values.

 

p.s. - To be completely honest, the Employee Volunteer Program was the main benefit that drew me to apply for a job here. I’m so thankful for EVP and I encourage you, all of my colleagues, to take advantage of this awesome opportunity we have. Even if you don’t want to use EVP each year, we still can request a grant to donate to an organization of our liking. (It took me just 2 mins to fill out and I had the check in my hand the next day!)

p.s.s. - Here are some pics for your viewing pleasure:

 

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Building a wall at Casa Liberdade (aftercare home for sex trafficking victims).

Casa Elohim, group home for minors affected by neglect or abuse.

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Playing games with children on the streets.

“Sai curioso!” -  Playing card games during recess at Boas Novas, a school in a favela.

View looking over São Paulo.

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Tchau. Até mais, Brasil!

 
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Hey Patrick, thanks for posting about your time in Brazil. I really appreciated how you saw your work down there as an overflow of "valuing people". You bring that same mentality to work in Support, and we all benefit as a result. Thanks brother, keep it up.
Awesome post, thanks for sharing!
Thanks for reading it! emoticon
Hi Patrick,
Thanks for sharing about your trip and giving us a glimpse into the work you and your family did in Brazil.
Hey, Patrick. Thank you for sharing your story for EVP. This story inspires me so much to go beyond and see how it all connects to our Core Values. I'm happy as well because it happened in my home country. emoticon
De nada, @Cleydyr! I'm glad you enjoyed the story emoticon In my opinion our Core Values are pretty universal and this EVP trip challenged me to see how I can live out the Core Values in my daily life - both in and out of work.
And I was so happy to be in Brazil! My family and I felt very much at home there. I hope to go back soon. Maybe Recife next time??