When we first committed to our 7 Continents in 7 Years pledge, I knew we were beginning something special. I knew we would be impacting many lives. I knew we were taking a critical step toward demonstrating our belief in global citizenship. I knew we would work hard to find the right project, the right partner and the right fit for each journey.
What I didn’t know is how much this pledge would affect us personally. What I didn’t expect was the impact of seeing these humble people living without electricity and the joy of knowing we could bring light to their village. What I didn’t expect is the feeling of gratitude I would have for the people we had come to help.
One of my most memorable moments was our final day in Ghana, after we had completed our projects. The local people, in conjunction with our dedicated partner World Joy, put together a dedication ceremony to thank our group for our efforts. I remember sitting on the steps of the health clinic we had just worked on, surrounded by the Ghanaian children as dancers showcased their culture and their passion while the local elders and leaders observed proudly. I clearly remember thinking this was the definition of a community and being very grateful to their community for allowing us to share a few days with them.
With an estimated 1 in every 5 people living without access to reliable electricity across the globe, this journey was, for me, the perfect match for our mission. I truly believe that companies like ours have an enormous responsibility to show others what it means to be global citizens and to demonstrate what people with passion can accomplish.
I am grateful to each of the Associates who joined us on this journey. I am grateful to our partners who made the projects a reality and continue to ensure they are maintained. I am grateful to the Ghanaians for accepting our effort to make a small change for the better in their lives. Mostly, I am grateful to each and every one of our associates and customers who every day make simple choices that allow us to embark on impactful journeys like this one.
My name is Michael Fallquist, and I am Generation V.