Climbing Kilimanjaro would be fun. It is even more fun when you can do it with your colleagues and doing it for a good cause! Let me introduce to you to Accenture’s corporate citizenship policies and to VSO, the charity that I support by completing this challenge.
Skills to Succeed is Accenture’s global corporate citizenship initiative, which focuses on advancing employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in both mature and emerging markets. By 2015, the company is committed to equipping 500,000 people around the world with the skills to get a job or build a business. “Skills are a key driver of economic empowerment, leading to greater innovation, increased competiveness and rising standards of living in both mature and emerging markets,” said Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman & CEO. “Through Skills to Succeed, our people are inspired to put their skills and interests to work creating sustained impact in communities around the world. This continued dedication will help us achieve our increased goal of equipping half a million people with skills by 2015.” Skills to Succeed draws on one of Accenture’s core competencies – training talent – to help address the need for skills that open doors to employment. The initiative harnesses the powerful combination of financial support and the pro bono contributions of time and Accenture employee skills.
VSO is a leading international development charity with a unique approach. They don’t send short-term aid such as money or food; they send people the most valuable resource of all – people! Every day, around 1,500 highly skilled VSO volunteers from around the world work side by side with poor people in developing countries to help them build a better future for themselves. VSO believes that it is only by empowering the people affected by poverty with the skills and opportunities to tackle their own problems that change can be genuine and lasting.
Working in over 37 of the world’s poorest countries, VSO volunteers work in six specific areas: HIV and AIDS, Disability, Participation and Governance, Secure Livelihoods, Education and Health. Volunteers come from a range of backgrounds, countries and ages. The funds raised for the Kilimanjaro Challenge really will help make a difference in the fight against poverty. 100% of the profits will be invested directly into VSO’s Secure Livelihoods work which aims to strengthen the ability of disadvantaged women, men and young people to make a living. All of these projects are closely aligned to Accenture’s Skills to Succeed objectives and with each trek it is aimed to reach over 5,000 of the world’s most disadvantaged people.
A secure livelihood is dependent on a number of factors including personal skills and expertise, physical assets and functioning institutions, policies and laws. VSO works with agencies, institutions and networks that support local communities, including Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries, regulatory bodies, training institutions, umbrella organisations and local non-governmental organisations that represent and advocate on behalf of small-scale producers. Volunteers working in the area of secure livelihoods come from a wide range of technical and professional backgrounds and can offer support in a number of areas, including enterprise and small business development, marketing, advocacy and lobbying, and financial planning, and in technical skills such as coastal resource management, horticulture and agriculture.
To conclude, I think that next to volunteering for VSO abroad, climbing Kilimanjaro is a very special and playful way of contributing to this great organization and to contribute to Accenture Skills to Succeed goals.
sources: Accenture & VSO websites
Some nice videos
Accenture Skill to Succeed
Accenture & VSO Partnership
Accenture & VSO Kilimanjaro Trek Videos