Volunteer Goes Above and Beyond in Tunisia

18-Dec-2013 Categories: Our Impact Tunisia Volunteer Stories

For almost 50 years, IESC has set the global standard for identifying and deploying volunteer experts for technical and managerial assistance projects overseas. IESC volunteer experts bring years of professional experience to help businesses and organizations in emerging market economies improve their operations and compete more effectively.

However, for many people, volunteering is a two-way street. IESC volunteer experts often say they receive nearly as much as they give, in terms of experience and life satisfaction. “It is always rewarding when you bring your experience to other people and see it make a difference,” noted Robert Alexandriysky, a volunteer expert who helped Tunisia’s textiles and garment industry adapt to changes in Europe’s evolving market.

IESC recruited Mr. Alexandriysky in 2012. At that time, the Tunisian industry faced many challenges – the competition from abroad, the economic downturn and the loss of nearly 100,000 jobs within 3-5 years. The first component of his assignment was to perform a market study of the European and Tunisian textiles and garment industries. Then he traveled to Tunisia to advise and provide training to 20 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), local consultants and government officials. When his mission was over, Mr. Alexandriysky continued giving professional advice to the Tunisian firms remotely.

Since Mr. Alexandriysky accomplished great results during his first trip, IESC asked him to attend the TexMed Trade Show in Tunis, Tunisia. He recruited fashion expert Margitta Wasmann to advise SMEs on the German clothing and textile industry, and two of them planned a trade mission to Germany for the Tunisian SMEs. The mission proved so promising that CEPEX - export promotion authority in Tunisia - contributed its own funding and staff to this cause.

Mr. Alexandriysky is one of over 11,000 IESC volunteer experts with specialized knowledge in areas ranging from agribusiness to infrastructure financing. When asked if he would volunteer again, he said, “Certainly, I will. People like sharing stories, and there is nothing better than sharing a good volunteer story.”