An accountant in the Andes: Accounting for International Development
Earlier this year Carole Stewart CA travelled to Cusco, a beautiful city nestled in the Andes mountain range in south-east Peru, to support the Latin American Foundation for the Future (LAFF).
LAFF supports vulnerable and at risk children and young people and empowers them to build a better future for themselves. It is one of the 500 charity partners of UK-based social enterprise Accounting for International Development (AfID), which arranges overseas assignments for accountants.
In summarising her six-week placement, Carole said: “It's amazing what LAFF does for its beneficiaries and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the team making a huge difference to the lives of these children.
“The children LAFF are supporting are extremely inspiring. I was expecting some wild behaviour as a result of lack of education and support. However, the children were in fact very mature and sweet for their age.
“The boys at the Azul Wasi home would come up and give you a massive hug to greet you and would always have big smiles on their faces when I visited.
“The young mums at the Casa Mantay home, who were as young as 13, were excellent mothers. You would never believe these girls had been horrendously abused.”
As with the majority of AfID’s partners, the need for support from overseas accountants at LAFF stems from a lack of training at local level, mixed with the added complications of reporting to overseas donors.
Carole explained: “Part of my role was to analyse LAFF’s income and costs and prepare a three year operating budget for them. This was preventing them from diversifying their appeals to donors as many were requesting financial data.
"Being able to provide this will help secure more funding in the future, and hopefully secure longer term commitments to funding from donors, ultimately helping LAFF to grow and increase their impact.”
Accounting for International Development was founded by One Young CA 2016 judge Neil Jennings in 2009. It has arranged assignments for over 1000 inspiring accountants, who have provided over 250,000 hours of pro-bono support.
Neil said: “Carole did a terrific job supporting our friends at LAFF, which is testament not only to her aptitude and professional talent but also her commitment and generosity. We’ve been placing volunteers for seven years now, but I still find it incredibly inspiring to see anyone giving up their time and energy to really make a difference where it matters.
“It’s a privilege to be able to see the positive impact young CAs can have on the lives of people across the developing world on a daily basis. A huge thank you and congratulations to Carole, and indeed the other 52 ICAS members who have volunteered through us.”
Find out more about AfID’s work, read first-hand volunteer experiences and take the first small step to arranging your own volunteering experience.
If you know a young CA making a difference like Carole, nominate them for One Young CA 2016.