Acquiring the first experience in a professional environment is essential for young graduates. It is with this in mind that I was selected in ACED’s Young Professionals Program at the end of my professional master’s degree in agronomy. I spent 12 months in the program from May 2019 to May 2020. During my stay at ACED, I had the opportunity to learn about the stages of production of water hyacinth-based compost and the process of agricultural advisory, monitoring and evaluation of market garden production, specifically, that made with natural fertilizer (water hyacinth compost). On the other hand, this experience allowed me to discover another craft that is basketry, with items such as tables, bags, hats made from dried water hyacinth. I also acquired some notions of accounting thanks to this opportunity that ACED gives to young professionals by involving them in every detail in the activities carried out within the organization.
In addition to these acquired skills, my time at ACED allowed me to participate in the data collection on urban agriculture carried out in three municipalities (Porto-Novo, So-Ava and Abomey-Calavi) and to improve my writing skills through the drafting of mission reports, terms of reference, ex-ante project evaluation, policy notes and other technical documents. In addition to these different tasks, I also participated in the preparation of workshops and meetings organised by ACED. I was also involved in the implementation and monitoring of ACED’s initiative on women’s and men’s economic empowerment and citizen participation in local governance in the municipality of So-ava funded by the European Union.I also acquired some notions of accounting thanks to this opportunity that ACED gives to young professionals by involving them in every detail in the activities carried out within the organization Click To Tweet
The last 12 months at ACED have been very instructive. The human relationship between the different employees, regardless of their function, taught me about professional behaviour in the workplace. The flow of information and sharing of responsibilities are the strong points that have caught my attention in this organization, both in terms of collaborative work and the involvement of everyone in the functioning and running of activities. Through this conviviality, I was able to understand that the activities of an organization are more efficient in a warm and benevolent atmosphere. In terms of suggestions, I would propose that ACED consider a better involvement of future participants in project writing and fundraising activities.