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International development

Des retraités mettent leur expertise au service des partenaires de DID

April 14, 2020

Did you know? DID is calling on recently retired Desjardins Group employees as part of its mission to support projects under development. In collaboration with Desjardins Group, DID’s Partner Assistance Program (PAP) makes it possible for these volunteers to leverage the expertise they acquired during their career.

In 2019, these volunteers dedicated the equivalent of 164 days of work to support DID partners. They shared their expertise in such areas as credit management, governance, manager training and internal control.

Three of our volunteers agreed to share their impressions of these outstanding experiences.

For Marcel Marcoux, who accomplished his 6th DID mission in the fall of 2019, the PAP is highly rewarding. "For me, this 6th mission in Benin was an opportunity for sharing and growth. I had the pleasure of seeing the managers and colleagues I had met during previous missions. We became friends, and speaking with or seeing each other again was an opportunity for mutual recognition. I was humbled by and took great satisfaction in being able to help others during this mission, but it was also a way for me to show recognition to my former employer, Desjardins Group, which helped me advance my career."

What stood out for André Bernier, who participated in his 6th support mission in Bohicon, Benin, were the discoveries he made and the human side of these missions. "This mandate enabled me to get to know and interact with exceptional local collaborators. I felt it was of primary importance to stimulate cooperation and support local members and clients, and I was able to count on the leaders and stakeholders on site, who were genuinely collaborative and extremely open. Travelling extensively across the territory with local resources was an incredible opportunity for me to learn more about the culture, geography, food and people of Benin."

Johanne Gilbert, who is at her 15th PAP mission, emphasizes how these experiences take her out of her comfort zone. "These mandates often force us to give up the comforts we are accustomed to, such as hot water, electricity, air conditioning, food choices, road conditions, and Internet. These situations make us realize how people actually live in the country we work in, which helps us understand the challenges they face on a daily basis."