For three days in Mayenne, 29 Veolia employees discovered a sector that might seem far removed from their profession: humanitarian aid. Registered as Veoliaforce volunteers, they came to give concrete expression to their desire to take part in emergency or development missions. How did they do it? By learning how to deploy Aquaforces, the mobile water purification units designed by the Veolia Foundation for humanitarian emergencies, by practising water chemistry and by building latrines.
Among the Foundation's partners in the field, Médecins Sans Frontières and the French Red Cross were present to talk about the missions they have carried out together and to share best practice. Experienced volunteers who have already been on a mission also spoke about their experiences.
With backgrounds in water, sanitation and waste management, the 29 newly-trained employees work in innovation, infrastructure management and digital technology. They are network agents, laboratory technicians, sales representatives, recycling experts and project managers, among others. They can now be deployed on humanitarian emergencies or development projects as and when required.
What is Veoliaforce skills sponsorship?
A Veolia employee spends his or her working hours on a mission for the Veolia Foundation. Previously trained in humanitarian emergencies and the use of intervention equipment designed by the Foundation, he or she can be in the field for several weeks or provide his or her expertise remotely.
The Foundation coordinates and pays for logistics and travel expenses; the volunteer continues to be paid as if he or she were working in his or her usual job.
The Veolia Foundation, a player in training in the humanitarian sector
The expertise of the Foundation's engineers and Veoliaforce volunteers already trained is regularly called upon by players in the sector. Last May, the Foundation was present alongside teams from the Bioforce training institute in Senegal to take part in the "Water Hygiene and Sanitation Project Manager" training course. The Foundation also worked with Médecins Sans Frontières to provide training in the deployment of Aquaforces 2000. And one of the Veoliaforce volunteers, who is also a member of the French Red Cross's Humanitarian Emergency Response Units (ERU), trained ERU on access to water in the spring.