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I have always been impressed by people who get involved in humanitarian aid work

My name is Sandrine Wesquy, I’m 43 years old, I’m divorced and I have one child. I joined the BNP Paribas Group in June 2005 within the Luxembourg subsidiary Cortal Consors.

I have been working at BGL BNP Paribas since 2010. Working within a Group of this size has given me experience of a number of business areas. Throughout my career, I have worked in financial investment advice and permanent control. In 2015, I joined the bank’s Compliance department and was initially responsible for training and communication. It will soon be two years since I took over responsibility for analysing suspicious behaviour in the context of the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

“Hope is an opportunity to do your bit, however small"

In 2005, I missed out on an opportunity to take part in a humanitarian mission in Mali, and I have promised myself ever since that I will put the skills I have to good use.

When one of my friends, a colleague, spoke to me about the BNP Paribas in Luxembourg employee association “Hope, Give Me One Euro, Get a Smile”, I jumped at the chance to join them and offer my services.

Hope is a collaborative project initiated by and for Group employees in Luxembourg who care about humanitarian causes.

Hope is an opportunity to do your bit, however small. Hope is everyone feeling personally invested in the common good. Hope is a philosophy. It is a way of offering those in need a second chance and the dream of a better life.

There are three ways in which BNP Paribas staff members can contribute towards humanitarian projects. Firstly, they can suggest any humanitarian projects to which they feel drawn. They can also choose to donate EUR 1/month and, because we can effect change when we work together, decide which projects we fund by answering surveys.

In addition to employees’ regular donations, “Hope, Give Me One Euro, Get a Smile” regularly organises fundraising campaigns.

I have to come up with proposals and, at this rather unusual time, get creative and be determined

To oversee these initiatives, on top of my role on the association’s Board of Directors, I have to organise my schedule at the bank. I have to come up with proposals and, at this rather unusual time, get creative and be determined. I have to make myself available without disrupting the department at the bank and be flexible (managing communication tools, looking for sponsors and organising events).

It’s not always been easy to reconcile the two within the bank. Some managers may think that it’s time lost for the department. There’s no one really in charge of this type of activity in HR, but I can see that the bank is becoming more open and focusing on how employees develop based on their professional responsibilities and values. This allows me to feel calm and supported in the causes that we are backing: respect for humanity, respect for living environments and respect for LIFE.

"Giving us the opportunity to carry out fantastic humanitarian, societal and environmental projects.”

I take a great deal away from the success of our initiatives when we are able to give people joy and happiness.

We recently completed the following projects:

  • Financing of scrubs for the Fondation des Hôpitaux Robert Schuman in Luxembourg during the health crisis;
  • Financing of hearing devices for two children in Rwanda, meaning they could resume their studies;
  • Financing of the creation of a waste recycling centre in Indonesia;
  • Participation in the “Une main Pour un Espoir” operation, collecting 147 gift boxes for centres for children and adults facing hardship in Luxembourg and offering them a glimmer of hope at Christmas;
  • Participation in the 2021 edition of “Relais pour la vie Luxembourg”.

As you can see, this project is US; I am just one part of it. I wouldn’t be able to do anything without the other members of the association’s Board of Directors, the members who analyse the projects to ensure they are viable, compliant and eligible, the association’s active members who are always on hand to help us with our fundraising campaigns, or the donors.

It is in this regard that I would like to thank the bank for renewing its support for the BGL BNP Paribas employee association, and giving us the opportunity to carry out fantastic humanitarian, societal and environmental projects.

I would also like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Chair, Mr Régis Zambelli, and the Board of Directors (Sophie, Nathalie, Annyse, Guillaume, Patrick and David) to congratulate the active members, the donors and project leaders.