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May 13, 2024
Action for sustainability:

Rein's Social Fellowship: Driving sustainable development in Latin America

Hello everyone, my name is Rein and I work as a Consultant at Roland Berger's Dubai office. I joined the firm three years ago as an intern while completing my Master's in Financial Economics. Since then, I have primarily focused on our Sustainability and ECM (Energy, Chemicals, and Metals) practices, helping clients across the Middle East.

I have always been eager to use my skills not only to deliver value to our clients but also to assist NGOs with meaningful missions. This led me to Roland Berger's social fellowship program, which presented a fantastic twelve-week opportunity to support an NGO in the field of sustainability. During this program, I decided to support Eco House Global (EHG) , a leading sustainability non-profit organization in Latin America.

EHG champions sustainable development through education, policy advocacy, awareness campaigns, consultancy, and ecological restoration. Acknowledged as a youth leader by the United Nations, EHG operates multiple offices across Latin America, with its headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The organization is currently undertaking over 40 initiatives.

Among these, the RestaurAcción project has reforested over 50 hectares and is expanding its nursery capabilities to support 25,000 trees annually. Another notable effort, the REDES initiative, has introduced environmental education programs to over 100,000 students in Argentina, fostering a new generation of environmentally conscious citizens.

EHG's dynamic team and resilient spirit in the face of Argentina's economic challenges were truly inspiring. I was eager to learn from their tenacity and contribute my consulting expertise to their projects.

During my fellowship, I assisted the team in developing fundraising strategies and participated directly in on-the-ground activities such as working at the micro-nursery and organizing volunteer recruitment events. Our strategic efforts helped secure additional funding for both the RestaurAcción and REDES initiatives from various corporate donors. At the micro-nursery, I gained insights into the critical success factors for horticulture.

The three-month period at EHG flew by faster than I expected, largely because each week brought a new series of events beyond our work on fundraising strategy development. Some weeks, we held corporate fundraising events in Puerto Madero, the financial district of Buenos Aires; other times, we organized volunteer recruitment activities at the EHG office or spent afternoons working in the micro-nursery. However, one ritual remained constant every single day: drinking mate with my coworkers. This traditional South American caffeine-rich herbal tea quickly became a favorite of mine, thanks to my Argentinian coworkers who introduced me to this unique cultural drink!

This fellowship has been a valuable experience for me, not just professionally but also personally. The resilience and optimism of the EHG team, despite economic turbulence, taught me to view each day as a new opportunity. This mindset, coupled with a relentless drive to effect environmental change, has inspired me. I hope to bring some of these learnings back to Roland Berger and also to inspire others.

Lastly, I am extremely grateful for having been given this opportunity!

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