TAJO visit at our site in Erembodegem

On Saturday 25 March, we had the enriching experience of hosting 18 TAJO young people at our site in Erembodegem, Belgium. The young people worked on the theme of 'Safety' during the month of March. They concluded this topic with a visit to our factory, where they learned about production safety at VPK through an interactive tour.

Rondleiding fabriek TAJO is a non-profit organisation that introduces young people between the ages of 10 and 14 to a variety of professions and the skills and talents that go with them. The organisation offers young people perspectives, links competences with talents and encourages a positive self-image. TAJO is there for all young people but with priority for those who find themselves in socially vulnerable contexts. Because 'only those who are given opportunities can seize them'. 

That is why they organise interactive workshops given by volunteer professionals. In this way, they give young people a broader perspective on what 'later' has in store for them and encourage them to make conscious and motivated choices about their education and profession and to take a well-prepared step into society.
VPK has been supporting TAJO for several years and it is already the 2nd year in a row that we open our doors to these young people. Three workshops were organised. During the first workshop, the guest lecturers elaborated on personal protective equipment, to keep yourself safe and why it is so important before entering the factory. Once equipped, we followed the 'safe' path to the ink kitchen. On the way, the youngsters were shown some safety men in corrugated cardboard, each highlighting a specific safety aspect in the factory. Once in the ink kitchen, the youngsters were asked to look for some pictograms in the room and tell what they thought they meant (e.g. hazardous substances).
Stapel dozen In the second workshop, they were given more info on the production process itself, each time linked to how production safety is applied there. Afterwards, the youngsters were asked to place the production process of corrugated cardboard in chronological order via a series of photos.

During the final workshop, the youngsters were able to get creative with corrugated cardboard. We introduced them to the strength of cardboard by having them sit on a stool made of corrugated cardboard. They tinkered around and assembled a number of animals made out of corrugated cardboard. Finally, their spatial awareness and imagination were put to the test by folding and stacking corrugated cardboard boxes into a cupboard.

After the event, we looked back together on an instructive and successful day. Not only for the young people, but also for the guest lecturers.

© Pictures by Ilke Goddemaer voor TAJO vzw