Volunteering Your Professional Experience
CESO (Canadian Executive Service Organization) is one of Canada’s leading volunteer-based development organizations. For more than 45 years, CESO has offered Canadians a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. Our elite roster of volunteers (or Volunteer Advisors) work with a diverse range of partners around the world to improve the economic health of businesses and communities, and consequently, the lives of individuals.
CESO’s greatest asset is our volunteers, who have more than 10 years’ experience in their respective professions. Through sharing their wealth of knowledge and skill, CESO has been able to complete more than 46,000 assignments across Canada and in more than 120 countries.
In Burkina Faso, we work in partnership with MUFEDE (Mutualité Femmes et Développement du Burkina), an organization that offers men and women a variety of services including credit and savings, training in credit management, literacy courses, and income-generation strategies.
CESO Volunteer Advisors have worked with MUFEDE since 2006, focusing on credit management policies, human resource management, financial product development and website development. The support CESO provides enables MUFEDE’s management to build the capacity of their staff to ensure the institution is viable and has a strong reputation in the communities.
One of MUFEDE’s clients, Georgette Minoungou, began as a street vendor in Ouagadougou selling fruit from her a basket perched on her head to passersby. With the credit and training available through MUFEDE she has now expanded her business to several locations, with several women employed selling fresh fruit and vegetables, and a stable business as a supplier. She has built houses for herself and her family in the village, and has been able to pay the school fees for her three children who will follow her example.
Our work in Canada, meanwhile, is primarily focused in the areas of economic development, governance and health management with First Nations and Inuit communities. Through our long-term partnership with the Government of Nunavut, we provide Volunteer Advisors for on-site and off-site individual and team mentoring, peer support and coaching, workshops and other training and development initiatives. Since 2001, more than 150 short-term and multi-year assignments have been completed in Nunavut.
One of our clients of this program, Christine Bens, started at the Government of Nunavut as an intern and worked her way up to Director of Corporate Services. Throughout this time, various CESO Volunteer Advisors have mentored her in her roles and prepared her for positions in management.
“My CESO mentors have made a huge impact in my life. They took their own time to teach me, and they’ve been so supportive. From them, I’ve learned to mentor my own team [of staff]. They are the biggest reason I am where I am today.” says Christine.
Do you have professional skills that could make a difference to others? CESO is currently recruiting individuals with significant professional experience to join our roster. We are looking for people who have experience mentoring, training or facilitating workshops and who have skills in the following areas: business and strategic planning, financial management, microfinance, hospitality and tourism management, IT and social media expertise and agribusiness.