20 May 2021

What Proforest means to me

What Proforest means to me

As part of Learning Week, we invited Andry Rakotovololona Senior Project Manager & Training Manager, to share her personal insight about her role and what it is like being part of the Proforest Team.

I left Madagascar in August 2001 with my husband and son due to political instability affecting my husband's professional life. Our family had to leave urgently by any means. Madagascar was in the hands of a dictator and his goal was to eliminate the people who were disrupting his business. We received a statement from the government that prohibited us from leaving the country so we secretly left on a private plane to the northwest coast where we took a boat to the island of Mayotte (Indian Ocean), flew to Paris before movng to Oxford.

Why Proforest?

I had been a consultant for the WWF-World Bank Alliance in Madagascar, where I developed a creative working experience organising stakeholder decision-making processes, demonstrating ability to assert initiative and leadership through the facilitation of national forest standards-setting process and national working groups as part of the “Forest Stewardship National Interpretation-Madagascar”. During those special moments, I advised the government and met international experts such as M. Pierre Hauselman, M. Parfait Mimbimi Essono (FSC Cameroon), Rainforest Alliance, FSC International staff, who provided me with valuable support in the process. 

Given the complexity of the work, I felt that I needed to improve my skills in the area of certification and these experts recommended that I contact Dr Ruth Nussbaum (Oxford). It was this that led me to land in Oxford. My family and I didn't know anything about the area, but fate and faith led me to meet Proforest and Ruth in November 2001. My heart just felt an instant attachment to this new home and life - as one of the first employees of the company. 

 Proforest is for me a family, home, source of peace that drives my passion in my job.

I have seen and experienced so much with Proforest in 20 years (2001-present). I am still growing up with Proforest, witnessing a continuous process of innovation and collaboration globally.

My fondest memory is the development of the Proforest Annual Training Programme in Oxford that lasted for 12 years from 2002. It was hugely successful, and I enjoyed it with passion, dedication and alongside the Proforest international team.

Training is an integral part of our work, a key tool of our strategy for delivering commitments and increasing positive impacts. It is great to be part of a team that shares its knowledge through a wide range of training activities with professionals from government, private sectors and civil society - providing the skills people need.

There is so much that I have learnt and continue to learn and it is still a pleasure working with the spirit, the leadership, the professionalism, and the open-mindedness of Proforest.

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