In December 2010 Ernst & Young Italy decided to create a unique opportunity to celebrate the Christmas holidays together in a socially responsible way. The idea was not simply to give a donation but develop an entire project that was consistent with the EY business and CR strategy that, in a nutshell, is focused around three pillars: Education, Entrepreneurship and Environment. Ernst & Young Italy chose to collaborate with the Fondazione Francesca Rava - N.P.H. Italia Onlus because of the excellent work it was carrying out (and still is!) in Haiti. Fondazione Francesca Rava - N.P.H. Italia Onlus was also eager to develop a programme with Ernst & Young, consistent with Ernst & Young’s values. Currently (autumn 2012), Ernst & Young is preparing the third edition of the project
• Develop a project. Main challenges are: that allows Ernst & Young to take advantage of the wide range of competences within the organization to help those talented people, who are already working in Haiti with Father Rick Frechette and Fondazione Francesca Rava - N.P.H. Italia Onlus, to better express their talents in Haiti, and to help them help themselves
• Develop a project that involves as many professionals as possible from within the organization.
• Make Ernst & Young people (3000 in Italy) aware of the good results achieved in Haiti thanks to Ernst & Young’s involvement
• Help young professionals living Haiti’s difficult reality to help them help themselves through education - Training: from June 13 to July 7 2011 seven professionals very close to Father Rick Frechette, priest and doctor director of N.P.H in Haiti, attended a one-month Management and Accounting training course held by Ernst & Young professionals in the Milan offices. Due to the positive outcome of 2011 experience, a new vocational training (one month) was organized in Italy in July 2012 for young professionals working with Father Frechette.
• Support Haiti also through tangible actions and results - building and setting-up of Administrative Offices: in 2011 we contributed to the building and setting-up the Administration offices in Francisville (project conceived by the Fondazione Francesca Rava - N.P.H. Italia Onlus aimed at creating self sustainability) to empower human resources and provide jobs and training opportunities. In Francisville at the moment a pasta factory, a bakery, a brick factory, a tailors’ shop and a restaurant are already in place. Setting up of new administrative offices in the new commercial area in Tabarre.
• Involve the Ernst & Young population - Visit to Haiti: The first year of collaboration was undertaken by a delegation of 6 Ernst & Young professionals who stayed in Haiti from November 15-20, 2011 and had the chance to visit the infrastructures built by the Fondazione, put up the inauguration plaque on the Administration Office and meet again the Haitians that came to Milan during the summer. The 2012 Ernst & Young delegation is preparing the travel to Haiti in November 2012. In both editions we received nearly 90 applications from Ernst & Young professionals who volunteered to be part of our delegations.
During the whole project the Management and Ernst & Young partnership were regularly informed; the Country Managing Partner and People Leader met the professionals from Haiti and joined the final training celebration. Marketing and the People director were also involved.
• CR projects are extremely relevant and powerful to engage the internal audience when they are serious, concrete and credible
• Projects must be communicated in an extremely transparent way
• The projects are more efficient if communicated through people histories. The meetings between people from Haiti and people from Italy were extremely powerful
• The biggest challenge is to communicate internally the meaning of projects like this, many people are enthusiastic but many are also skeptical and need to be involved
The strongest impact can be read through the worlds of Father Richard and one of his guys:
According to Father Richard Frechette, the Ernst & Young training program is a sort of ‘University of life’ for his people since it is an opportunity for them to open up their minds and live a well-rounded experience in a reality that is extremely different from their day-to-day lives.’
Holson Theodore is one of the students who came to Milan in June 2012 and is Assistant Manager at Francisville, a production and training center based in Port au Prince and managed by Fondazione Francesca Rava - N.P.H. Italia Onlus As Francisville’s Assistant Manager, Holson is in charge of the overall supervision of the project and has accounting and reporting responsibilities as well. He works with the Director of Francisville to develop new commercial partnerships. ‘The Ernst & Young training will make my job more efficient and this will also benefit the colleagues I work with. I will be able to prepare the business plan for the development of new productive units like, for instance, the new resort and commercial area. Due to my background as a trainer, I will also be able to share the knowledge I picked up in Milan and I will be able to develop new and more important relations with institutional targets’.