Last week, members of the K2 Americas Team visited the São Paulo site where K2, through the K2 Foundation, is building a new school for local favela children.
Established at the beginning of 2023, the K2 Foundation aims to support the local communities within the regions that K2 operates. Its focus is on helping children whose futures are bleak or uncertain.
Often, the support it provides takes the form of education, as this gives children the chance to develop skillsets which can increase the number of opportunities available to them as they grow up.
We are delighted to report that construction of the new school is now well underway: the first floor of the building is almost complete, with preparations being made to start on the second floor, where the school’s classrooms will be located.
Virginia Howard, Client Services Operational Lead, was extremely impressed both by the progress that has been made, and by the size and style of the space that the children will soon be able to call their own. When the new school is complete, it will include the following facilities:
- 4 classrooms, seating a total of 54 students
- 1 dedicated IT room, seating 5 students
- Sleeping facilities for 4 students
- 1 large dining space, seating 48 students
- 2 smaller dining spaces, seating a total of 24 students
- 2 dedicated offices for the staff
- 7 toilets
- 3 showers
- 1 recreation room dedicated to dance and the arts
- 1 safe outside space
- 1 Kitchen
- 1 lift for wheelchair access
Whilst they were in the area, the team also paid a visit to the existing school. They donated groceries, cleaning products, clothes and toys to the children there, and were touched by the happiness that the children expressed on receiving the items. Mirna Cafalchio, Client Services Consultant, describes their happiness as being ‘immeasurable’.
The team purchased the items using the $520 that they raised through a recent fundraising drive. It is drives like this which provide the K2 Foundation with the money that it needs to embark on life-changing projects such as the build of the new São Paulo school.
Whilst many drives are relatively small and localised, others are much more expansive, involving partners and/or multiple K2 regions. For example, K2 UK and service accommodation partner, Situ, recently took part in the Race to the Stones, a 100km ultra marathon through which they raised £11,935 for the Foundation/the school. Another example: in Q4 of this year, 20 K2 employees from across the globe will take part in the company’s main charitable initiative for 2023, an expedition and a volunteering programme in Nepal. Each member of the Nepal team will reach out to their network for sponsorship; as a company, K2 will also ask its partners for sponsorship. All money raised will be channeled through the Foundation and used to support the build of the school.
Both Mirna and Viriginia feel great pride at being involved in the new school project. Mirna states that she is “very proud and happy to have the opportunity to work for a company that really cares, one that is doing its best to change and improve lives”. Virginia continues in the same vein: “I can say that I am SO very proud to be a small part of this effort to make such a great change.” And this change is one that is much needed. As a result of time passing and the school community growing, the existing school building is no longer fit for purpose. It is not large enough to safely accommodate the 150 children who are currently enrolled there. Its roof leaks, its toilets are broken and offer no privacy, and the entire structure is riddled with dangerous electrics. Furthermore, food supplies are limited, the computers have come to the end of their lives and vital security systems are beginning to fail. We are committed to tackling these issues by building a new school, one which we are confident will provide an interactive, tactile and safer educational space for this and future generations of local children.