Leave for Change in Cambodia: Crédit Agricole S.A enriches the Solidaires programme

Last August, a first Leave for Change pilot was carried out on behalf of PPSE, a Social Business company, partner of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation

This first mission, conducted within the framework of the scheme implemented by Crédit Agricole S.A., allows an employee to leave on his vacation in order to carry out a Leave for Change mission organised and supervised by Planète Urgence and financed by Crédit Agricole S.A.

It is within this framework that Jaana EP, an employee of CACIB, travelled for two weeks to Cambodia to conduct a mission of provision of expertise in the form of an audit of cash flow procedures. At the end of the mission, the conclusions of the audit were presented to the Managing Director and to the Head of the Finance Department.

For Dara Huot, Managing Director of PPSE, the mission of Jaana EP was a success. It has "produced tangible and concrete results that are relevant and useful to the management of the company to help improving its work, cash management and efficiency of financial flows. [...] Experienced professionals such as Mrs EP can really bring expertise and values to young companies such as PPSE, and to young entrepreneurs. [...] After this first successful experience, PPSE management team continues to seek this type of exchange in the many areas in which the company feels there is a need: full internal audit, human resources, policies audit or even verification of safety procedures".

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Three questions to Jaana ...

What motivated you to conduct a Leave for Change mission?

When I saw that the mission was taking place in Cambodia, I was immediately interested. I was born and raised in Cambodia, to a Cambodian father, and this mission offered me the opportunity to fulfil an old wish: to contribute, to a certain extent, in the development of my country, also putting my Franco-Cambodian culture to use, which in this particular situation has been a great asset.

What did you learn from this experience?

I learned a great deal form this experience, from both a personal and a professional point of view. From a personal point of view, I am delighted, in a way, to have had the opportunity to put my skills at the service of an action that contributes to the development of my country. From a professional point of view, using my skills as part of a voluntary action has had an extremely rewarding effect because I felt useful. I also met great people, committed, responsible, dynamic, inspiring, who bring hope. And above all, I am pleased to see that the Group I work for funds such actions. When I came back, I talked about my experience to my colleagues and all of them were very positive and enthusiastic.

What would you say to those who would like to undertake this type of experience?

I would advise them to prepare themselves very well beforehand by exchanging with the institution that will welcome them in order to clarify the objectives and to ensure that they are able to fulfil the mission because the host organisation is the most likely to explain exactly what they expect from the volunteer. For the mission to be beneficial to both parties, it is important to prepare it well beforehand, because it is a real support mission, with objectives to be achieved and results to be explained. A preliminary preparation will save time once there and allow making meaningful use of the two weeks of the mission. It is about being operational as soon as possible.