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One volunteer: Peter Agneborn, Global Business Unit Director, HVAC & Commercial, Xylem

“We give our customers the opportunity to make a difference.”

“We did not understand at first what Waterdrop was really about,” Peter reflected. “None of these persons could understand how rewarding it would be building water towers in an area with no streets, in an unknown country. There was nothing there! Seeing so many children in need that didn’t have enough food and water, and helping them… I can assure you that everybody had eyes wet with tears.” Peter expressed his pride for Xylem. “We are making a profit, but we can still help people in need.”

In your own words, describe the Waterdrop pilot trip experience.

As for me and like everybody else, we did not understand clearly what Waterdrop was really about. We read many things, but nobody of these persons understood how rewarding was building water towers in an area with no streets, in an unknown country. See so many children in need, didn’t have enough food and water, helping them… I can assure you that everybody had eyes wet with tears. There was nothing there. There was smiling all over, laughing all over. Never ever had such an experience in my whole life. We had people on the tour that didn’t speak the same language. Despite communication issues, we all felt like a big family.

What were the major challenges you encountered and overcame during the trip? (i.e., heat, sanitary conditions, tiredness, etc.)

It’s been a very long trip to get there.

What’s your single most valuable moment or experience from the trip?

First school: 200 children singing to us: welcome! They were clean, happy, living a nice life, they were welcoming us like fantastic people coming to help them. I will never, ever forget their smiles!

Now that some time has passed since your Waterdrop volunteer trip, has anything changed in your life? What is your favourite memory?

I am happier and more willing to give when there is a charity event. It is new for me to be in a company that gives so much, never happened before. Now finally I can understand what we can do to change people’s life. I thought I knew, but now I saw that. These children had just one toilet, and they were not allowed to use it while we were there. The whole city was there to give us so much, before we gave them anything. I understood that also little amounts can make the difference.

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