On the morning of November 13, 2018, I landed in Luanda to kick-off my consulting project abroad. It was my first time in Africa and in a developing country, and I could not be more excited to know that my impact would have a much broader reach. Although I knew that Angola had progressed immensely in the previous years, it was easy to understand the amount and criticality of work still required to push the country forward.
During the past two years, working with PwC Angola, I had the opportunity to complete several projects across the Banking sector, which stands at the epicenter of any country's development. Mainly, I implemented entire departments in newly founded institutions and raised the level of operations by creating tailored technology solutions, always holding to a major sense of re-educating clients in their ways of working with a key awareness of fairness and respect. It is an incomparable sense of fulfillment to work together with people who truly rely on you every day to improve their methodologies with more suitable, efficient tools, as close as possible to a developed country's concepts, yet adapted to their contexts and reality.
Little did I know that the most powerful, impactful element was not regarding what I have actively driven, but rather the brand-new cultural reality that was brought upon me with lessons that I will take with me for life. From its society, I learned that expressions such as "good morning" or "goodnight" go beyond mere politeness. They are a sign of humbleness and equality. From everyday living, I learned the value of things I used to take for granted, such as water coming out of our taps at home. From my involvement with Atos Angola -an NGO that is building basic and sustainable living conditions in the local community of Camizungo - I learned how education and sustainability can save lives. The moment I first visited them was an absolute turning point on my understanding of the role of sustainability in our world and the profound and unremitting need that society must place as core as of right now.
The founders presented me the workplan in motion and the two milestones that had been recently achieved, a source of clean water and the school, and I immediately became engaged. Besides working on the field and helping on fundraises, we created an interactive "foster parents' program" for the children, defined targeted points of sale for the handmade baskets made by women only with materials available in nature, and arranged farming workshops so they could grow more food from the soil. Recently, we have opened a small medical center that provides first aid services and basic healthcare and medication. We are now focused on the urban planning axis that aims to build houses for each family, using sustainable, ecological resources.
Watching these transformations happen first-hand has transformed me into becoming committed to learning how organizations can help solve core humanitarian and sustainable challenges while educating all generations in doing the same.
All in all, I know that Angola has a long way ahead to reach its potential and that my active part is a small footprint on the sand of time, yet I am eternally grateful to be part of such transformation, building a better present. It has changed the way I see and do my job, the way I act upon my purpose and values, and the way I prioritize sustainable development both personally and professionally. The time I lived in this country and the whole African culture have changed the way I live life itself, and that's a debt greater than it could ever claim.
Find out more about our Alumna: www.linkedin.com/in/anamargaridaveludoneves
I am currently a Senior Consultant at PwC in the Advisory - Consulting unit, in which I have been working since September 2017, following my master's graduation with a double degree in Management from Nova SBE and International Management from the CEMS Global Alliance.Website
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