When Ravi Mohabir’s family migrated to Canada from Guyana in the 1970s, they had little more than $500. Now, Ravi enjoys a satisfying career as one of the youngest partners at Deloitte, the largest professional services firm in the world. An organization that is deeply dedicated to corporate social responsibility, Deloitte offers an International Development Fellowship, which gives employees the opportunity to volunteer their time and expertise with Cuso International.
In 2013, Ravi was inspired to give back to the global community. When he decided to volunteer, Ravi had no idea that he was embarking upon a journey that would see his return to Guyana for the first time since he was just 12 years old.
Ravi was thrilled to be assigned a role as an Information Management Specialist in Guyana. He designed and implemented an information management system for Cuso International’s Caribbean and Latin American offices. The system tracks and manages donations, spending, programs, and the outcomes and impact of investments.
The best part of Ravi’s placement experience? Working with the local staff. “It felt like family,” says Ravi.
Ravi is certain that his connection to Guyana helped him transition smoothly into his role. He is not alone. Volunteers from the diaspora community bring shared heritage, cultural identify and language that facilitate the transfer of knowledge and skills with local people and organizations.
Today, Ravi returns to Guyana regularly to teach business owners about the value and benefits of corporate responsibility. He is seriously considering another volunteer placement.
Like many volunteers in Cuso International’s Diasporas for Development program, Ravi’s passion for giving back to his community extends far beyond the scope of his initial volunteer placement. The experience has also served as a powerful catalyst that has reconnected Ravi with his roots. Recently, Ravi brought his 16-year-old son to Guyana, where they visited the graves of Ravi’s grandparents. “I feel like I’m a bridge between my family in Guyana and Canada,” he says.