Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Sharing #volunteer experiences at London Business School #Rwanda #Uganda #Malawi #Entrepreneurs

Claire Jenkins talking about the
500 volunteer challenge for 2014
Thursday 30th January 2014 represented a great day for Grow Movement. We had our first ever volunteer consultant meeting held  at London Business School. Bringing together over 50 consultants, some who had flow in in from Germany, France and Sweden for the event was quite a powerful and thought provoking time for me. As an organisation we are very focused on our 'numbers', ie how many clients we work with and how many jobs we create. Spending time listening to volunteers talk about their experience I realise how very easy it is to forget what volunteering does for a person when you focus so much on your results in your operational countries. Being a serial volunteer myself (everything from dressing up as a gorilla for, to climbing Everest Base Camp for Crus Bereavement Care), I wonder why I had managed to forget this.

Allison Moreton, one of our American volunteers said that working with her retail entrepreneur Naomi in Malawi gave her the final push and confidence to go out and set up her own company.  Sean Clancy, a consultant working in Uganda even said that he believes that he learnt more form his client George, than the other way round. The energy levels, pride and positivity in the room was immense.

I felt very proud realising that not only do we assist in empowering our entrepreneurs but also in creating a valuable volunteering experience for people around the world. Volunteering isn't just a one way direction; that as well as lifting our clients were are also lifting and inspiring our volunteers.

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