Capital investment of €88,000
Loan of €357,000
(equivalent in local currency)
since 2013Partner website
Phare Performing Social Enterprise (PPSE) was born in 2012 at the initiative of the Cambodian NGO Phare Ponleu Selpak, which has been working for over 20 years to provide quality instruction and artistic education to children in very precarious situations. Today the NGO educates more than 1,000 children and has more than 300 students in its school of performing arts.
PPSE is a social enterprise that employs young artists from disadvantaged backgrounds. PPSE offers career opportunities in the circus trades and combines the best of Cambodian cultural traditions and contemporary circus. PPSE extends and amplifies the work of the NGO Phare Ponleu Selpak by offering real career prospects to professional artists from the Phare School while providing additional financial resources to the NGO to help it develop its social mission.
“Every day, PPSE’s activities empower independent and skilled artists, and their families, to manage and have control over their own lives. Through its numerous shows, PPSE contributes to the international recognition of the Cambodian performing arts. By helping Phare Ponleu Selpak Association to be viable, more and more Cambodian children and young people from difficult socio-economic backgrounds have access to education and artistic training while we support their families through programs. social assistance. “(Dara HUOT, CEO of PPSE).
[Interview] CA Val de France supports a Solidarity bankers mission in Cambodia
Interview with Laurence Lebrun-Renoult, General Manager, CA Val de France
Launched by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole SA, Banquiers solidaires [Solidarity Bankers] is a skills volunteer programme that offers Group employees technical assistance assignments with organizations supported by the Foundation. In 2019, the Caisse Régionale Val de France supported a Solidarity Banker assignment in Cambodia. Dominique Rombczyk, a risk analyst with the Regional Bank went to Cambodia on a 10-day “financial management” assignment in September for Cirque Phare (PPSE), a social business in which the Foundation is a shareholder.
– What motivated your Bank to take part in the Solidarity Bankers programme?
When one of our employees took the initiative to apply for a Solidarity Banker assignment, our Bank naturally supported his request and granted him a week of skill-based sponsorship. Dominique Rombczyk was thus able to bring his skills to bear in the financial management of the Cirque Phare (PPSE). PPSE is a Cambodian social business which promotes the social integration and empowerment of young people through the arts and culture. It is a source of pride for us, because this approach is fully in line with our guidance and support values.
– What feedback do you get from this experience?
Solidarity Bankers is one of those programmes that make us more sensitive to the social consequences of our banking activities. It is making a difference for a sustainable vision of finance in both theory and practice. The initiative carried out by our employee enabled us to share and disseminate in our Bank the human qualities of openness and commitment which we promote. In addition to communication at Group level, his experience made headlines in internal communications, for instance. Fur us bankers, knowing how to mobilize our skills in the service of others, opening up and adapting to a different context and to different issues are soft skills that must be part and parcel of our line of business.
– What other actions does your Regional Bank take to promote social inclusion?
Social cohesion in regions is a strategic priority for a Regional Bank such as ours. The Crédit Agricole Foundation – Val De France is pursuing initiatives in favour of local or regional associations endeavouring for the inclusion of young people on the one hand and for intergenerational support on the other. We provide skills-based sponsorship for these associations on a voluntary basis, following the same model as the Solidarity Banker assignments. For example, we are launching a youth training project for which all the expertise of our staff is welcome for support assignments: assistance for financial management, leadership, advice, etc. We also work with young people to support isolated, often elderly persons, which fosters the inter-generational dialogue. This effort as a whole is part of a broader approach aimed at promoting the socio-economic autonomy of populations.
Source: Integrated Report 2019, Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation. Dowload it here
Travel diary of a Solidarity Banker in Cambodia
By Dominique Rombczyk, CA Val de France
Launched by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole SA in June 2018, Solidarity Bankers is a skills volunteering programme aimed at all Crédit Agricole group employees for the benefit of microfinance institutions or impact businesses supported by the Foundation. Discover the article written by Dominique Rombczyk, Solidarity banker of CA Val de France, who travelled in 2019 to Cambodia to support Phare Performing Social Enterprise (PPSE), a social enterprise in which the Foundation is a shareholder.
When I discovered the Solidarity Bankers programme, I remember looking for as much information as possible on the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation as well as on Professor Yunus, on inclusive finance, on social entrepreneurship … All well-known notions, shared values but which seemed to be part of another world. The opportunity offered by Crédit Agricole and the Foundation to step into this world was too exciting to be overlooked.
I therefore decided to apply and was selected to carry out the Solidarity Bankers mission with Phare Circus (PPSE), a social enterprise that aims at promoting social inclusion and the empowerment of young Cambodians through art. The objectives of the mission were to identify the roles of the financial and managerial team, to train and propose a training plan on management concepts and financial strategy, and to propose monitoring and financial management tools.
The preparation phase was essential. After initial discussions with the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation team, there was quite a reading of PPSE presentation documents, financial data and general information to better understand the mission. In the weeks prior to the departure, several meetings took place with the Foundation and the enterprise to finalise the planning of the mission. Telephone exchanges allowed me to feel the enthusiastic state of mind of all interested parties.
A fascinating field mission
The departure for the 15-day field mission in Cambodia took place on September 7, 2019 with Hélène Kéraudren-Baubé, Administrative and Financial Director of the Foundation. The Managing Director of PPSE himself came to greet us at the airport, along with his family, creating a very familiar atmosphere that lasted during our whole stay there.
During the first four days of the mission, we had several meetings with the Managing Director and the heads of departments to analyse the functioning and organisation of PPSE in order to reflect together on ways for optimising the structure. The presence of Ms. Keraudren-Baubé during the first days of the mission was a true added value for proposing a relevant strategy planning for PPSE.
We also had the chance to attend the show offered by Phare Circus. A show mixing theatre, folk music and Cambodian stories. The incredible performance of young artists from difficult social and economic backgrounds was one of the highlights of my mission.
The second part of the mission was mainly based on the training of the Financial Unit teams. There were training sessions in the field of accounting, analysis and financial strategy, that helped consolidate, within the PPSE financial team, certain concepts. These trainings also allowed detecting training needs and thus helping to develop a training plan that the institution will be able to implement later.
Back in France
After the return from the mission, many projects were under way. The training plan, the strategic planning project, the drafting of a support for financial communication with the PPSE Board of Directors, the implementation of a financial monitoring tool … Several weeks after the return, I sent my final report to PPSE. Interactions in the meantime have been positive, and elements established during the mission are already being used and implemented.
I am back in France with the joy of having been able to share the daily life of so many passionate, enthusiastic and brilliant people within the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and PPSE. This mission allowed me to experience from the inside the functioning of a social enterprise and the beautiful dynamic that animates these structures. The idea of living this daily is extremely tempting.
A sense of pride also exists: that of being part of a Group that acts concretely, on the ground, with commitment, to promote social values.
Incidentally, but it is worth mentioning, the visit of the Angkor Wat temple, an emblematic place of Cambodia (which appears on its flag), can only leave an indelible mark on all visitors who go there.
I wish to thank the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation team for their support throughout the mission: Carolina Herrera, Céline Hyon-Naudin, Cécile Pochet, and in particular Hélène Keraudren-Baubé that I would recommend for any mission!; Dara Huot and the PPSE team for their warm welcoming; Laurence Renoult, Tony Robert, Corinne Aubert, Annelise Lequeux, Sylvie Met-Poilong and Anne-Cecile Inglebert from CA Val de France for their support and Aurélie Cacciotti from Crédit Agricole SA for contractual and logistical aspects, as well as all those who are not mentioned!
During the first quarter, the Foundation makes three new investments in Asia
During the first half of 2019, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation made three new investments in Asia, including a guarantee in India in partnership with CA-CIB India.
In Cambodia, Phare Performing Social Enterprise (PPSE) was granted a loan equivalent to € 332,000. This partner, of which the Foundation holds 15.5% of equity since 2013, is a social company that creates, produces and organises performing arts shows and that hires young artists from underprivileged backgrounds.
In Myanmar, the Foundation also granted a new loan equivalent to € 1.8 million to Vision Fund Myanmar, a microfinance institution that lends small sums of money to people who do not have a measurable credit history, assets to secure the loans, or access to mainstream financial providers. To date, the institution has 183,000 active borrowers of whom over 85% are women and nearly 52% live in rural areas.
Finally, in India, the Foundation, in partnership with CA-CIB India, has established a loan guarantee scheme for a total amount in local currency equivalent to € 5.5 million on behalf of Fusion Microfinance Private Ltd, a microfinance institution founded in northern India in 1994. Fusion pays particular attention to issues of over-indebtedness and irresponsible lending, training its branch managers and relationship officers on the risks of multiple lending, so that its staff can be certain that prospective borrowers are aware of the risks and responsibilities that borrowing entails.
Solidarity bankers missions to be filled in Kenya and Cambodia
Two Solidarity Bankers missions are to be filled in Kenya and Cambodia: a Management Control mission to support Musoni, a microfinance institution based in Kenya and a financial management mission to support Phare Circus (PPSE), a Cambodian social enterprise.
Solidarity Bankers is a skills-based volunteering scheme launched in 2018 by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole SA, set up for the employees of the Crédit Agricole Group on behalf of microfinance institutions or social impact companies, partners of the Foundation.
Missions to be filled
A “Control Management” mission is planned for the third quarter of 2019 to support Musoni in Kenya. Musoni is a microfinance institution that provides financial services through mobile payments to people excluded from the mainstream banking system. To strengthen performance management, Musoni wishes to implement a balanced scorecard methodology. The Solidarity Banker will be responsible for structuring a balanced scorecard with key performance indicators and making recommendations on its implementation.
A “Financial management” mission will be held in September 2019 to support the Cirque Phare (PPSE) in Cambodia. The Cirque Phare (PPSE) provides employment opportunities for Cambodian artists and sustains the arts sector in the country. PPSE has now entered a growth phase and requires strengthening certain aspects of its management, including strategic, financial and human resources management. The Solidarity Banker will be responsible for proposing monitoring tools and making recommendations on the organisational structure.
How to apply?
Several missions are to be published on CA Solidaires. To discover them:
1. Go to the CA Solidaires website “Find a project”
2. Enter “Grameen” in the search bar. All the Solidarity Leave offers will appear!
3. Click on the offer of your choice, you will find all the information you need to apply.
To find out more about the missions to be filled, click here.
[INTERVIEW] "Life must go on, we should not lose hope"
Interview with Dara Huot, CEO, Phare Performing Social Enterprise
The CambodgeMag interviewed Dara Huot, Managing Director of Phare “Performing Social Enterprise”, partner of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation. He expressed his concerns and hopes regarding the Phare Circus social enterprise.
Since March 17, performances of the Phare circus, one of the main attractions in Siem Reap, but also in Battambang, have been suspended …
Indeed, we had to apply a government decision taken against performance halls. Before that, we had implemented all the necessary measures to disinfect the premises between each performance and respect the distances between the spectators. The temperature was controlled for each person entering the tent, and distributors of alcoholic solution were located everywhere. However, the number of spectators was gradually decreasing. The government decree only precipitated a closure that would have been inevitable.
How did staff react to this closure?
Phare is a very large social enterprise, split between Siem Reap and Battambang. Here we have 40 artists and 70 employees. The Battambang school, which provides circus training, but also graphic animation, dance, painting and theater training, has 110 teachers for 1,200 students. When the closure was decided, we took the opportunity to resume our list of “things to do”, you know, all those little things that accumulate over time and that we generally reserve for the off-peak season.
We cleaned everything, redid the paintings, carried out all the maintenance work… And then, when we finished all this, everyone went home. The vast majority of the staff are from Battambang, so many have joined their families there. All the artists continue to train hard, for the resumption of the shows, but also for the next tours. Some have been canceled, but we hope to be able to carry out the one planned in France for this winter.
Are wages still being paid?
The full wages were paid throughout the month of March. As for April, the wages have been reduced by 50%, and this will be the case for the following months. It is unthinkable to leave our employees without any income, and we do not hesitate to draw on our cash for this. But how much longer can we continue like this? After 3 or 4 months, there won’t be enough money … Especially since we have to keep paying the rents.
Do your employees receive support from institutions?
No, it’s not like in France, where compensation is granted to people who find themselves unemployed. Nothing is planned for them here, and the situation is made worse by the fact that many employees have contracted debts with banks and microfinance organisations. The interest they have to pay back every month is very high, and I don’t see how they will manage. The only hope would be for more flexibility from these organisations in terms of reimbursement. Maybe cutting interest rates, spreading out the due dates or, why not, hanging them off until things get back to normal. A moratorium on rents could also allow many Cambodians to see the crisis pass. As it stands, paying off a loan, paying rent and supporting your family when you have a low salary or, worse, when you are unemployed will be a big problem for a whole part of the population.
How will this crisis change Siem Reap?
Since the city opened to mass tourism, that is to say twenty years ago, the number of visitors has only grown exponentially. The infrastructure did not necessarily follow. The environment has suffered a lot from the increase in traffic, waste is not always well managed, access to water and its quality are still problematic in certain districts. Electricity needs have increased, but there are still many cuts. Why not take advantage of this involuntary “break” to renew yourself, to question yourself and, thus, to embellish the city? We have to stay positive, try to see what we can get out of this ordeal. Life must go on, you must not lose hope, and continue to be positive despite the circumstances. More than ever, we must take care of ourselves and our loved ones, and stay strong. This is important for you, but also for those around you. Everyone hopes that this pandemic will last as short a time as possible. 2019 will have been a difficult year, and 2020 will be much worse. But we will get out of it, and come back, I hope, hardened by this ordeal. Although it will, of course, be very difficult to go up the hill.
A first successful year for the Solidarity bankers programme
By Carolina Herrera, Fondation Grameen Crédit Agricole
At the initiative of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole S.A., Solidarity bankers missions are offered to Crédit Agricole Group employees on behalf of microfinance institutions or companies with a social impact supported by the Foundation.
Senegal, Morocco, Haiti… : a great success for the first year
Less than a year after its launch in 2018, the success of the program confirms the commitment and willingness of employees to support projects with a social impact. This is the first time that a partnership of this type has been launched by Crédit Agricole and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation. The objective is twofold: on the one hand, to enhance the skills of Crédit Agricole Group employees and, on the other hand, to provide additional support to the Foundation’s microfinance institutions and partner companies with one- to two-week missions in the field.
In 2018, six missions were launched, three of which were carried out in 2018 and three planned for 2019. For example, a mission took place in Cambodia with the support of Crédit Agricole’s International Retail Banking (BPI) to support the human resources management of Chamroeun, a partner microfinance institution serving more than 27,500 clients. Another mission was carried out in Senegal, in partnership with Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté, in favour of Laiterie du Berger, a social enterprise in which the Foundation is a shareholder. In addition, with the support of the Regional Bank, the Solidarity Banker who carried out the mission left for 2 years to support Kossam, the Dairy’s project to structure the dairy sector in Senegal.
A mission launched in 2018 will be carried out in July 2019 in cooperation with Crédit du Maroc and Crédit Agricole SA to improve the Al Karama Foundation’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing systems (AML-FT). The institution currently supports more than 26,200 clients in Morocco. Another mission launched in 2018 will be carried out in Haiti to support Palmis Enèji, a social enterprise that offers clean and accessible cooking and lighting solutions to Haitian households. Crédit Agricole Corporate Investment Bank supports the Solidarity Banker, who will carry out the entire mission in terms of skills sponsorship.
Cambodia, Kenya, Tajikistan… in 2019 the programme scales up
To date, six missions have been launched in 2019. A mission in favour of Kossam, the Laiterie du Berger project, which aims to develop a sustainable dairy sector in Senegal. The Solidarity Banker will be responsible for supporting Kossam in the deployment of a digital “commcare collection” application. Another mission is planned to support the financial management and organizational structure of Cirque Phare (PPSE) in Cambodia. PPSE aims to promote the social inclusion and empowerment of young people through Cambodian culture and arts. A mission will take place in favour of ACRE Africa, which provides crop insurance services to smallholders. The Solidarity Banker will be responsible for analysing the organisation’s new business strategy.
For these first missions launched in 2019, the selection process for Solidarity Bankers has been finalised. To date, three new missions are to be filled: a mission to support the “business model” of Humo, a microfinance institution in Tajikistan; a “management control” mission to support Musoni, a microfinance institution in Kenya; and a “digital” mission to support SFA, a social enterprise in Senegal.
Other missions are currently being planned with the support of the Crédit Agricole Group’s entities and Regional Banks. With this scheme, the Group reaffirms its commitment to support employees’ solidarity initiatives and work alongside the Foundation to promote more inclusive and sustainable finance.
Solidarity Bankers missions in Senegal Cambodia and Kenya
Solidarity Bankers is a new type of overseas volunteering mission offered to the Group’s employees on behalf of microfinance institutions or social impact companies, partners of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation. Three missions are to be filled: a “digital” mission in Senegal, a “human ressources / management” mission in Cambodia and a “strategy” mission in Kenya.
Missions to be filled
A “digital” mission for Kossam in Senegal is planned for June-July 2019. Kossam is a social enterprise, whose mission is to develop and anchor an inclusive and sustainable dairy sector around Richard Toll in northern Senegal. To do so, ossam collects milk from 450 local breeders, provides them with market services as well as advice and training. The Solidarity Banker will be responsible for supporting Kossam in the deployment of a “commcare collection” digital application.
A “Human ressources / management” mission is planned for the second quarter of 2019 to support the Phare Circus (PPSE) in Cambodia. PPSE provides employment opportunities for Cambodian artists and sustains the arts sector in the country. PPSE has now entered a growth phase and requires strengthening some aspects of its management, including strategic, financial and human resources management. The Solidarity Banker will be responsible for proposing monitoring tools and making recommendations on the organisational structure.
A “strategy” mission for ACRE Africa in Kenya will take place during the second / third quarter of 2019. Based in Kenya but also present in Tanzania and Rwanda, ACRE Africa provides crop insurance services to smallholders farmers. ACRE decided in 2018 to diversify its activities to offer consulting services and to change its business model from a B-to-C to a B-to-B model. The Solidarity Banker will be responsible for analysing the organisation’s new strategy and evaluating its business model.
How to apply?
Go to the CA Solidaires website “Find a project”
Type in the keyword serach : “Fondation Grameen”. All the missions available will be displayed !
Click on the offer you are interested in to have all the information in order to apply.
For additional information: firstname.lastname@example.org
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