Donating professional skills to help Peru’s street children
XL Catlin’s Paris office has been working with Ayud’Art since 2007, a nonprofit association which supports CIMA, a center for street children in Lima, Peru. Ayud’Art assists CIMA through fundraising, seeking sponsors, promoting CIMA’s actions to high school students and professional organizations, and facilitating volunteering projects.
Ayud’Art has been a regular Global Day of Giving project, with a focus on leveraging employees’ professional skills to meet Ayud’Art’s needs. Tasks have included preparing marketing materials, improving accounting systems, translating documents, and opening doors to new partnerships.
“The main appeal for Ayud’Art as a Global Day of Giving project is that anyone can bring their own set of skills to the table and have a meaningful impact for the organization and the kids in Peru,” says Project Leader Vincent Gilardi. “By the nature of the tasks, the work is easily done from a laptop and an internet connection – enabling our colleagues who work in the field to participate, as well as those who are unable to leave the office for various reasons.”
Over the years, XL Catlin’s relationship with Ayud’Art has extended outside of the Global Day of Giving. On several occasions, Ayud’Art has been able to sell its handicrafts in the Paris office cafeteria to help fund essential facility repairs at the center in Peru. The Paris team is especially proud of facilitating a partnership with a major business school in France, which will send eight volunteers yearly to Peru, providing invaluable help in bringing the CIMA center up-to-date with fiscal and regulatory requirements.
The Global Day of Giving project has also been beneficial for the colleagues involved: “As a Project Leader, I’ve certainly improved my communication skills, networking with a range of colleagues across the business,” says Vincent. “The Global Day of Giving is also a great team-building tool; it fosters a unique culture giving us the chance to collaborate and meet colleagues – many of whom may not usually work with each other during their day-to-day business activities. It allows us to come together as one company.”