I chose to do a 360-hour curricular internship at Multilem Portugal, so I could finish my degree in the best way possible. Multilem welcomed me with arms wide open, letting me know I could make suggestions or clarify any doubt I could have. While I was getting to know this amazing team, I realised the importance of trusting your colleagues to achieve your best performance.

This is what governs Multilem. Multilem has high standards so everything is made as rigorously as possible, and this also applies to employees. This challenge began when I was sharing the idea brought by Carlos Rosado, the Director of Associação Horizontes, with the designer Kalil Gaby: Social Cause – Solidarity Backpack.

We exchanged words and ideas, and decided to take this challenge farther. Kalil believed my vision and came up with the brilliant idea of reusing Multilem’s material that had already been used in events and stands. And this was how we took our first step: we build a Solidarity Backpack prototype to present to the Administration.

We were given the chance to present our prototype at a meeting with our top management and commercial agents. Kalil and I were both ready to get on with this idea that was approved with the initial goal of sending 500 backpacks to Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde and Mozambique.

SOCIAL CAUSE

“What’s the best way to make these Solidarity Backpacks?”

That was the question that followed us along this project. We were very excited, but I had to come down to earth. I realised that making 500 backpacks between the both of us wasn’t going to be easy. We would need help from the inside. And this help came from our amazing marketing team formed by Joana Castro and Inês Custódio. They liked our idea and set up an audio-visual tutorial that showed how to create a backpack (while Kalil was producing the best hypothesis). It was crucial and essential that every single person who were joining us would understand this production line without any of us having to actually be there. This was the only way of reaching more places and people.

And the help continued. We had to assess what would be the best materials to use according to climate conditions. This was where Luísa Atouguia, our technical director, took action and suggested tarpaulin as the most adequate material, mainly because of its two great features: durability and waterproofness. We had decided on the material, so now we had to check material availability and the amount needed to make the backpacks.

After exchanging many ideas, we realized that we would need more than just tarpaulin. We would need two different types of strap. And that was when L2 and NIFIOS  joined us, and delivered the tarpaulin and straps.

SOCIAL CAUSE

Photos of tarpaulin kept by Multilem and of the help IPAM students gave in tarpaulin cutting

And this was when we got to the third and last help stage. All Multilem employees were interested and came to us sharing their knowledge and experience in their respective areas. They were trying to make this as functional as possible, because these backpacks were going to be used by children.

And all went well. Once we gathered the required conditions to go on with this project, I chose not to forget the deal I had made with Kalil: taking this project the farthest possible. We then decided to raise our goal to 1,000 backpacks. And this was how it happened.

With well-built budgets and all digital support already prepared, our goal was accepted and is almost completed. Our endeavours were shared with IPAM Causa and Associação Horizontes.

SOCIAL CAUSE

Luckily there are companies like Multilem that embrace causes like this and help changing peoples’ lives for the best. It was an honour to work with these people.

If you want to keep up with this project, please confirm that you already follow Multilem on social media or contact me to: vasco.veiga.27@hotmail.com.

You may also be interested in our other article named Solidarity Backpacks – IPAM Causa.