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Social Sabbatical – Argentina (Buenos Aires) 2 April to 30 April .. Part 1

When i told my friends i’m going to Argentina for one month of Social Sabbatical and it’s a voluntary program to assit the community, the first thing that came to their mindsis if i am help to dig a well, build a wall or provide tuition to the kids there.

Social Sabbatical is a voluntary short term assignment for SAP’s key talents to work mainly in the emerging markets to resolve business challenges for the NGO group in the education and social entrepreneurship sector. The assignment is meant to strengthen our leadership skills, build networks, work out of our comfort zone and think out of the box.

I was invited by the Social Sabbatical team in May 2015 to apply for this program.  The key requirements is that we need to have extraordinary performance ratings or under the talent program.  I sent in my applicaiton form and was interviewed by the project team. In July,  was informed that i’m assigned to Argentina in April 2016. (9 months later!). 12 candidates are assigned to the Argentina team.

Preworks- 6 weeks before the trip in April 2016

Booking of flights, hotels, checking visas and passports

We were given given assignments to find out more of Argentina- history, culture, food, society, economy and were given reading and video materials on how a voluntary program works. We also came up with our team name ( Los Buenos), mission and goals.


3 weeks before the trip in April 2016

We are given our Scope of work. I was assigned, together with 2 other team members, to assist Puerta 18, a non profit organisation that offers a variety of ICT courses, vocational learning and the task is to assist Puerta 18 to franchise their successful formula and roadmaps to the rest of Argentina. We researchedon Puerta 18, interviewed our client and came up with agneda to conduct a onsite interview when we are in Argentina.

My thoughts so far

This is a exciting program and time for me.  I felt i needed to take a break from office work and this came along.  We need to work outside of our comfort zone and do some progrects outside of my job scope. So far, i have built networks with people outside my arena, organised personal trips to Iguazu Falls for the team and acted as facilitor for the group in some of the assignments. I hope to build leadership, communications skolls, humility and bring this back to my team in SAP.

My flight to Argentina : 2 April/30 hours inclduing transit and stay tune for more news…… Janice Leong

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