Health Hub Helps 800 Youths a Year
Visiting the dentist isn’t a fun experience for many kids, but when the dentist visits them instead, and brings along someone to check their eyesight, cut their hair, play games with them and sing and dance, it becomes a day-long celebration of health and happiness.
That’s the idea behind Health Hub Days, for which Dow partners with key suppliers, customers, social agencies and other groups to visit two schools in Colombia each year. The most recent Health Hub Days brightened the lives of about 800 students in Barranquilla and Cartagena.
“The children are so happy on the day we visit their school. They always look forward to it,” explained Giselle Cervantes, a public affairs and community relations professional for Dow in Barranquilla and an organizer of Health Hub Days. “Not only are there medical services that day, but there is also entertainment. While other children are receiving medical services, some students are at the entertainment stations. We play with them, we have dancing, we have music, they paint.”
Health Hub Days have been a key part of Dow’s community engagement in Colombia for more than 13 years, thanks to employee volunteers as well as the participation of partner organizations. Last year’s events were put on by 200 volunteers, including 80 Dow employees, 30 from American Styrenics, an important Dow partner, another 30 from Dow contractors and suppliers as well as teachers and health services providers.
Dentistry students from area universities also helped out, and leaders from community organizations including the Mamonal Foundation and Actuar provided vital support. More than a one-day partnership, the cross-organizational cooperation extended across several months of planning in preparation for the events.
“Health Hub Days is our greatest service to the community. It is very important for us, because it really helps the children,” Cervantes said. “Many of them don’t have any other way to get medical services.”
That impact is the main driver to participation by so many Dow employees.
“They look forward to it,” Cervantes said. “They want to give their time to people who don’t have the same opportunities they have.”