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Ferry Ride to a Day of Service with Habitat Singapore

United States – October 25, 2017, 09:30 AM

Leaving the glitz of Singapore's skyscrapers, 38 Inforians took the short ferry ride to the nearby island of Batam, Indonesia, for a Habitat build day Sept 15. They were entering a different world.

"One hour after departing Singapore, we arrived to chickens roaming the dirt streets of Kabil village," said Laura Schaulat, senior principal with Infor Value Engineering, who helped coordinate the Infor volunteers.

"Singapore is a first-world country. Indonesia is still developing," Schaulat explained. "So we participated in a build on the Indonesian island of Batam, which you can see from our office."

This Habitat for Humanity build required the volunteers to obtain special visas to travel to and work in a foreign country. A language barrier also was a factor.

"Four local families are now a big step closer to becoming homeowners after our day of shifting bricks, building walls, and forming rebar structures," Schaulat said. "In addition to the pleasure of supporting the local community, our team was exceptionally rewarded with learning teamwork, trust, and success of venturing into the unknown. It was an exceptional day."

The Infor team's work included:

  • Moving bricks from the street to the building site via a human chain
  • Mixing cement for foundation beams
  • Laying brick and building walls
  • Tying rebar to form structures for support beams

Being new to Infor, Kenneth Lai joined the build to get to know his colleagues. "We were motivated to have a target we were all working towards, and being in sales, that's a strong nature that I appreciate."

"My group actually met the target set by the Habitat organizers thanks to great teamwork," Lai said. "We sure surprised the organizers."

Learning how to manually mix sand, cement, and stone to build the foundations appealed to Berlin Koh, Infor support operations manager. "Moving hundreds of concrete blocks from one location to another is hard work, though it looks easy," Koh said.

"It was rewarding to meet the people we were helping, and to see the product of our hard work," said Shamona Sinnathuray, corporate counsel.

During the lunch break, solution consultant Jessie Teng noted, "Seeing everyone so happy and contented with the simple food they have, you realize that happiness can be very simple-and you can see a different character of a person."

Administrative assistant Violet Seetoh was grateful to help make the lives of others better. "It not only opened my eyes, but my heart as well."

View photo album.

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