What is your role or relation with regards to CESO?
How long have you been working or volunteering at CESO?
René: I joined CESO in 2004 as a volunteer advisor, and since then I have had the opportunity to complete around 15 assignments in Africa, Haiti and also within Canada. I eventually had the pleasure of joining the recruitment team when I became a recruitment coordinator a few years ago, a position I still hold and love very much. I also support management in relation to various special projects.
Jules: 23 years – since 1994
What motivates you to work or volunteer at CESO?
René: Cooperative work is very important to me. In addition to allowing us to contribute to causes that are close to our hearts, this allows us have extraordinary life experiences. I consider it a privilege to have grown up in an industrialized country and to have had the chance at a stable professional career. I would like to share my knowledge with people who will truly benefit from it. I am driven by the feeling of achieving something and making it happen, and these are things that CESO’s missions offer us. Additionally, they encourage us to stay up-to-date about our expertise, always integrating new technologies.
Jules: My involvement with CESO has allowed me to remain active, to work in my field of expertise and to retain my knowledge. I feel useful. It also provides me with something to focus on and enjoy. I find that the experience is very enriching, and that it gives me great satisfaction. I also enjoy belonging to a team. I am also encouraged by the positive atmosphere and openness of the office. I am part of a group that is motivated, efficient and very open.
What is your most memorable experience or memory of CESO?
René: My most memorable experience is the warm welcome I received when I first visited Haiti. The entire staff greeted me as a hero with a round of applause. In addition, I will never forget the gratitude that people expressed upon my departure.
Jules: My best assignments have been those where I succeeded in making an impact, and where my participation contributed to improving things in a significant way. Most of the assignments I’ve worked on have brought me great satisfaction. The one that afforded me the best experience was with the Entrepreneurs CADECAB at Douala, Cameroon. I provided a two month training course to 15 young entrepreneurs, to give them all the necessary skills they needed in order to launch themselves into the business world. After the training, most were successful in starting their own businesses. For me, the intervention therefore made a major impact.
Economic development is important because…
Jules: I consider mutual aid and the capacity to share to be fundamental values. In helping others, we help ourselves. Those who develop become business partners, contributing to growth on a global scale. Our involvement allows for economic development and the creation of jobs.
What advice would you give to other volunteer advisors?
René: The best advice I can give others is to prepare the mandates well, but also to know how to adjust to circumstances. Most of all, always keep smiling without paying too much attention to the problems that may occur when we are traveling in socio-cultural environments that are different than ours.
Jules: It is important to get involved in many projects. Take advantage of this excellent opportunity CESO offers to make yourself useful.
Would you like to add anything else?
René: I strongly encourage all those who can to go through experiences such as these which are so unique and enriching for our own personal development.
Jules: I have enjoyed my involvement with CESO. CESO is an excellent organization.