For more than 10 years, we’ve been running an annual children’s drawing competition. It’s a fun and engaging way to highlight important safety and environmental messages, helping create safer workplaces and communities across six continents.
We are creating a culture that promotes safety at work and in our communities. But it’s not easy to reach a team of 36,000 in 70 terminals, who speak many different languages – particularly when most staff do not require regular access to company intranet or email systems.
In 2004, we launched a drawing competition for children of our employees to promote key safety and environmental messages. Our rationale was that children influence their parents’ behaviour. There’s a colouring category for 3-6 year-olds and a drawing contest for those aged 7-16, with the winning entries reproduced as wall calendars that are prominently displayed in all our terminals.
We also offer an award for the terminal that organises the best event to promote the competition, which was won last year by Caucedo in the Dominican Republic.
Around 60 children spent a whole day at the terminal, seeing their parents in action, experiencing port operations first-hand and taking part in activities – as well as gaining inspiration for their art. The children also added their handprints to a mural that’s now displayed in the terminal – a visual reminder to parents to return home to their families safe and sound.
The drawing competition has become an annual fixture, attracting 1,683 entries in 2014. It has provided an effective way of involving port communities in improving safety and the environment.
Because the wall calendar is so visual, it’s been successful in crossing language barriers globally. And while the competition used to be judged by our senior management team, now people vote on Facebook, so more people than ever are getting involved – in 2014 the competition attracted over 73,000 views on Facebook. In 2016 the Facebook page has over 21,000 likes and we are expecting this figure to keep on growing.
The Caucedo event was a particular success, inspiring around 40 entries – twice as many as usual. There were even two job applications from children keen to follow in their parents’ footsteps!