Becoming a Planète Enfants & Développement volunteer means contributing your skills while gaining new knowledge.
This month, Najette, a Human Resources volunteer, talks about what she was able to give and receive during her 6-month experience with the association.
Can you introduce yourself?
I'm Najette, a Planète Enfants & Développement volunteer since February. I worked for 17 years in the petroleum engineering sector for a major French group, benefiting from international mobility. My career path took me to South Korea for 4 years. An opportunity to perfect my languages and discover a new culture! When I returned to France in 2016, I started thinking about moving into a new business sector. And it was only recently that I decided to take a break from my professional career. A great opportunity for me to offer my skills in the service of great causes (in addition to sport, which takes up a large part of my life). I needed more human contact.
What did you do for the NGO?
I joined Planète Enfants & Développement on a cross-functional Human Resources assignment. I began by working on the safety guide for Burkina Faso, which gave me the opportunity to discover the difficult situation in the country and the importance of reinforcing the safety of our teams and beneficiaries. I then turned my attention to a more general subject, the NGO's Human Resources policy. I learned a lot about the way things work, which is very different from that of the big groups I've worked for.
Why did you choose Planète Enfants & Développement?
I'd never been involved in the voluntary sector before, and yet it's something I've always been drawn to. Planète Enfants & Développement brought together all the values that inspired me to take the plunge. I needed to get involved in a cause I cared about - education! During my mission, I was able to discover that the association's activities are much broader, extending from the creation of crèches to vocational training for vulnerable women. These are areas of development to which I didn't think I had much to contribute, but in the end, even in my position, I felt I was making a contribution. That's another reason why I chose Planète Enfants & Développement, for its proximity to the field.
At the end of this experience, I feel I've learned a lot more than I gave as a volunteer. On both a human and professional level.
What did you learn from this mission?
At the end of this experience, I feel I've learned a lot more than I gave as a volunteer. Both on a human and professional level. I discovered a new way of working, specific to the size of the structure, but also jobs I didn't know. The NGO status leaves the way open for more creativity and inventiveness. For example, before this experience, I'd learned that NGOs don't necessarily depend on a collective agreement, which can be disruptive, but also allows you to discover a different management style. Their survival also depends on various sources of funding, so there's a real chemistry between all the teams when it comes to fund-raising. But where I've learned the most is on a human level, with people who are really committed and above all willing to listen. I quickly felt part of the team, even though I was only there for a short time.
Would you like to encourage new volunteers to join Planète Enfants & Développement?
There's only one thing I'd say: come and give your time to Planète Enfants & Développement. Every skill has its place. I enjoyed juggling different projects and, above all, being able to manage my own time. I had goals, but the time to achieve them and the flexibility to choose when to implement them. Today, I've grown from it, and even if I'm still wondering about my professional future, the human side will be part of my search criteria from now on. I've realized that in a good atmosphere, you can tackle any subject with peace of mind. You may have a certain image of NGOs when you first arrive, but once you've set foot in them, you realize that there are highly competent people who simply want to put their knowledge to good use.
If you would like to become a Planète Enfants & Développement volunteer, please send us an application. an unsolicited proposal detailing your skills in : email@example.com