By Lisa Philpott
When Susie Andrew and I stood on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro – just a few short weeks after Chris Powell placed a Commvault flag at the South Pole – we felt incredibly proud, lucky (and extremely tired) as we were able to unfurl another Commvault banner. This time it was at the top of the world, on the tallest freestanding mountain and the highest peak in Africa.
Whilst this was an incredible feeling of personal achievement, what impacted me just as much was the opportunity to deliver essential equipment (from laptops, footballs and Commvault rucksacks to reading books and pencil cases) to the children of Ikirwa School in Tanzania. The contributions from both Commvault and many, many individuals within the business will deliver a real and genuinely life-changing benefit to hundreds of children.
Currently there are around 120 students at the school, but there are great plans to expand further by building more classrooms and even an accommodation block to allow children from other surrounding villages the opportunity to attend. The school was overwhelmed with the generosity of Commvault and its employees, particularly the donation of 10 laptops. Those will more than double the number of computers available at the school to teach the children much-needed IT skills to equip them for the workplace of the future, as well as provide them with skills to support their families and the traditions of their proud, vibrant region long into the future.
Spending time with Gasper Mbise, one of the founders of the school, and learning more about the school ethos (and associated challenges) from the students was truly humbling. Seeing Gasper getting visibly emotional whilst explaining how many ways the students and school would benefit from our contributions was deeply moving. Seeing the faces of amazement (with no warning of the new facilities in the stuidents’ classroom) will stay with me forever.
The generosity of our employees and Commvault as an organisation has enabled a generation (and hopefully many more to come) to develop critical skills. It will help them achieve remarkable things in the future. For me, it is the embodiment of what our values should really mean. Having said that, there is always more that can and should be done. Our contributions have made a huge difference, but you can learn more about the progress, goals and more information on the aims of Gasper and his team at www.ikirwaschool.org. There is much more that can always be done and contributions of any kind will make a massive difference.