Renault combats hunger in the world
The training programme for World Food Programme (WFP) mechanics, carried out by Renault Trucks, has just been completed in Goma (Democratic Republic of Congo). Over a period of five months, nine Renault Trucks volunteers have worked to train 40 mechanics in five East-African countries.
To help the World Food Programme (WFP), the largest humanitarian aid agency working to combat hunger in the world, successfully carry out its assignments, Renault Trucks recently deployed a mobile training unit which travelled through five African countries. This enabled the manufacturer to fulfil a commitment to train 40 WFP mechanics in the techniques needed to maintain the vehicles that allow the organisation to carry supplies day after day, under often extreme conditions, and deliver them as close as possible to those in urgent need of assistance.
For this purpose, Renault Trucks placed a Kerax 6×6 vehicle, well-known for its ruggedness and mobility, at the WFP’s disposal. This vehicle was configured as a mobile training unit and was accompanied by a team of technicians. Their assignment was to pass on their knowledge and skills of maintaining and repairing heavy goods vehicles to the WFP mechanics in Africa. Over a period of five months, this mobile unit travelled to Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, covering a total of more than 5,000 km.
Nine Renault Trucks staff members, with different professional backgrounds, travelled to Africa to provide the training.
“The participants were highly motivated and their good level of technical knowledge allowed us to provide some very advanced courses. In Uganda, we were able to put theory into practice by working on the training vehicle, to show them what we had just been explaining, so they could see how it all works,” explains Paul Caley, one of the volunteers who was on two of the training sessions, in Uganda and South Sudan.
“I really had the feeling I’d done a useful job, the mechanics were attentive and interested and asked lots of questions!” adds Jean-Jacques Lebois, the technical Inspector who rounded up the project by leading a one-week training programme for 17 mechanics in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Being involved in a humanitarian project was a first for these volunteers.
“The experience was both stimulating and intimidating. I’ve never done that in my whole life,” admits Paul Caley. The feedback from the WFP teams in the field was very positive: “The mechanics were really delighted to be able to follow this kind of training, ask questions about problems they’d come up against in their day-to-day work and which they often have to face on their own, because they occur in remote places,” sums up Jean-François Milhaud, the WFP truck fleet manager. The WFP must reach the most needy, wherever they are, and no matter how difficult it may be to get to them.
For this purpose, 5,000 trucks are being operated every day, providing essential links to save lives. By bringing this technical knowledge to Africa, Renault Trucks makes local mechanics more independent and thereby contributes to ensuring that food supply operations can be carried out more smoothly. This is why Anne Kohli, in charge of partnerships for the WFP, talks about a “socially responsible partnership” when describing the project. This training mission for World Food Programme mechanics is a good example of Renault Trucks’ commitment to operations that closely associate trucks with meeting human needs. This first experience will certainly not be the last.
Watch the training programme for World Food Programme (WFP) mechanics on Youtube
The World Food Programme (WFP):
The WFP is a United Nations agency whose main mission is to combat hunger in the world and provide access to food in the most underprivileged areas.
90 million people supplied with foodstuffs
Active in 74 countries
A workforce of 11,000 worldwide