Inspiring Blog

Interview of Jean-Baptiste, project manager Turningpoint

Each year, Turningpoint allows its team-members to recommend non-profits to whom the company will make donations. This year, Turningpoint offered funding to a school in Zambia, based on the proposal of project manager, Jean-Baptiste Rousseau. Jean-Baptiste knew the school project well, having spent 2 years there as a volunteer.

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Interview of Jean-Baptiste, project manager Turningpoint

“Several years ago, after completing my master’s degree in project management, I volunteered at the Chikowa Youth Development Center, a training center located in eastern Zambia. For two years, I was the director and teacher for about a hundred young people, all from very disadvantaged backgrounds. The purpose of the center is to help them obtain technical knowledge giving them an official diploma (equivalent to a CAP or BTS).

Last year, the center wanted to add a cooking class to the curriculum, but unfortunately, they lacked the necessary funds. The donation made by Turningpoint made it possible to finance all the kitchen equipment, work clothes and even part of the building. The first class just started!

I’m really happy to continue to contribute to this initiative from afar with the help of my company. I know that this school changes the lives of so many young people. After obtaining my degree, my dream was to somehow contribute to help neglected populations. I didn’t choose the country or the type of project, I was sent according to my skills to respond to a locally identified need.

The funny anecdote is that in addition to the administration part and managing the teaching team, I was asked to teach both computer and personal development courses, a subject that included… a section on leadership, which is now my core business at Turningpoint! By their example, these young people taught me a lot about resilience and hope. Today, I frequently touch upon these topics in my work at Turningpoint: seeking the best in every person, personal talent development and the attention to each individual. While there is a big gap between helping the most disadvantaged in Zambia and supporting leaders, I believe that deep down that everything is connected. We cannot build a better world without committed and responsible leaders at the head of organizations.

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