Renu Sharma

Member Support Advisor SOS Children's Villages International
photo: © Stefan Lechner Photography

Investing in people’s capacities can change the way we work

Even when all SOS programmes are running very well and SOS co-workers are working hard to see the smile on children’s faces, at the end of the day, we as SOS co-workers are all accountable to someone. “Someone” are the donors who provide the money or funds to support children and programmes. We need to inform the donors through journals, newsletters, reports, etc. The sharing of information with shareholders helps to let them know that the hard-earned money that they have donated is used in an efficient and effective manner and for the purposes for which they have given it to SOS.

The hard work behind the actual work
I am located at the Regional Office, which is responsible for providing information to various stakeholders, including Promoting and Supporting Associations (PSA). This is where my challenge starts. The information to be provided must be correct, on time, maintain quality and authenticity, and be useful and understandable. There are different platforms in our system for feeding in the information and data. The main concern is that the information on each platform should say the same, it should not be different.
In past years the International Office was responsible for providing the answers to the PSAs’ queries. This communication with PSAs has now moved from the International Office to the International Offices in the Regions . I am also the one co-worker in my office dealing with responses to PSA requests.
All PSAs are requested to enter their queries in the software called INFO HUB. Sometimes the challenges that I face include a lack of clarity in the request, the questions entered are not clear or deadlines are too short. In addition, the information is sometimes available in one or another document, but they still ask again. This leads to duplication of work.
The constant state of being under pressure
Sometimes the deadlines are so short that it becomes difficult for me to collect and compile the information. Yes, I respect the needs of PSAs, but at the same time we have to take account of the Member Associations (MA) as well. I remember I once received a request from a PSA with a very short deadline. It was a holiday in the MA at that time, but the PSA said that if we do not get back to the donor on time we might lose them. I therefore got some information from the MA by phone, compiled it and shared it with the PSA on time. I felt really good when I heard from the PSA that the donor was happy to see the report and we were able to get the donation. At that moment I forgot the hurdles that I had had to overcome to get the information.

There are moments when I am really challenged by working with MAs, making the needs clear, making them understand what is required from them and how to compile the information in the most efficient and effective way. It is the capacity building of the MAs. However, with the ongoing efforts and building the capacities of MAs, we are able to achieve it. I hope in the time ahead that the small hurdles will also disappear.

Renu Sharma

Renu lives near New Delhi, the capital of India, and joined the SOS Children’s Villages in 2005 as a Finance Coordinator. After moving to another department, she has been making many positive experiences within her role and responsibilities as a Member Support Advisor. Renu is happy to work for the development and growth of children in need.
She has a family on her own, which consists of her husband and her two kids. The family enjoys having discussions and likes to talk about their day. Renu is a good listener and the person to find ways for resolving a problem.
In her free time, she likes to spend time with her family. Renu likes traveling, especially with her loved ones. Cooking as well as experiencing new things in the kitchen can be counted among her hobbies. Nevertheless, if there is no work to do, Renu enjoys to rest as well.