Alphonse Franco - Volunteering a Fulfilling Experience!

October 21, 2013


For me, it was pretty much by chance that I started volunteering but as chance would have it, I became a volunteer with ADEI. My professional life had led me to work in an Automations Research Laboratory called ENSEIG (INP Grenoble), where I was a CNRS Instrumentations Engineer. Also, I was involved in activities that had to with Industrial Applications. At the same time I also taught in schools and also at IUT GEII.

However, when I retired, Jean-Pierre Acquadro, a colleague and long-time friend of mine, asked me to join their team of volunteers who were working to create a technical school in Tanzania, which was specialized in Computer Engineering, and Networking, Telecommunications and Industrial Automation. I was immediately captivated by the project, which involved the training of young people, who already have secondary education but find it difficult to get technical education due to lack of financial means and lack of quality colleges. The philosophy of the project also followed that teaching in this school would be carried out by local teachers who will be recruited and trained in these disciplines so as to ensure that the project is sustainable.

It occurred to me immediately that my experience could contribute to the success of this project, which will enable young people to have prospects for their future professional careers thereby leading to social and personal development.

Since then all has been going well, of course everything has not been easy, there have been moments of discouragement and as well inspiration. However, I can say that if I have given a little in effort, I have received so much more in return.

Today as I write these lines, the preparation for the fifth graduation ceremony is underway. We already have five graduating classes! And today 27 students will receive their diplomas. In fact, most of them have already found jobs. Oh! You should see the joy and pride on their faces as they put on their graduation gowns.

I tell myself that I have had a fulfilling experience.

Alphonse Franco, ADEI Volunteer