On International Volunteer Day, our guest blogger Karolina Dlugosz – our Head of Communications and CR&S Lead in Poland – describes a volunteering success that brings benefits to the children of Poland, to Capgemini’s people and to the company.
Picture this: a busy office, suited people behind desks working diligently, creatively, constructively, tapping relentlessly on their keyboards.
Picture this: a busy theatre, costumed people facing into the auditorium, living the parts of dwarves, princesses, wolves, ghosts, working diligently, creatively, constructively, tapping relentlessly on the floor boards.
At Capgemini Poland, it’s the same people in both scenarios.
The Birth of Project Theater
One cold, wintry, Krakow day in 2008, a group of Capgemini people – looking for a worthy volunteering opportunity for Christmas – decided to do something creative, bold and daring. They wanted to do something different, something that no-one would expect from a global corporation – and so it was that Project Theater was born.
Since then, Project Theater has taken on a near legendary status within our Polish business. Many of our people are now involved on an annual basis. About thirty competent outsourcing specialists metamorphose into equally competent actors, producers, set designers and stage-hands – entirely focused on producing a high quality stage show.
And behind each production lies four months of blood, sweat and tears. A professional theater director is enlisted to guide the thirty enthusiastic amateurs through scripts, songs, sets and stage-craft. Each of the participating volunteers invests hundreds of hours of their time, energy and emotion. During the rehearsals, limbs, voices and tempers are pushed to their limits, frustrations are aired, tears are shed … and laughs – so many laughs – are enjoyed.
So why do we do it?
Well, there are two answers: Firstly, Project Theater is about raising money for our charity partners, Stowarzyszenie SIEMACHA (The SIEMACHA Association). This is a Krakow-based, non-profit charity that helps more than 2000 children and young people in education, therapy and physical development. The charity’s objectives are perfectly aligned to Capgemini’s community focus on education and inclusion.
The second reason is, some might say, a little more selfish. We love it. Despite all the frustrations, all the tears, all the surrendered time and energy, Project Theater is a fantastic, rewarding, bonding, experience that allows our people to shine. Within minutes of walking off stage at the end of a performance, talk has already turned excitedly to next year’s production.
To anyone thinking about volunteering, anyone of our wonderful, inspirational members of Project Theater would say, “do it!”
Today, Capgemini’s Project Theater actors will open Volunteering as a way to Responsible Leadership, a national volunteering conference in Warsaw.
Watch Project Theater on YouTube, rehearsing for a recent production, Little Red Riding Cap.
Karolina Dlugosz is our Head of Communications and Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability in Poland. A graduate of the Jagiellonian University and Collegium Civitas, Karolina has previously worked for non-governmental organisations and Danone, where she cofounded the company’s Social Responsibility Report. Since joining Capgemini, Karolina has successfully implemented our volunteering programme and plays a key role in the development of our global Community Engagement strategy.
Karolina is a keen cyclist – which perhaps explains the Cyclist Friendly certificates awarded to our Krakow and Katowice offices.