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It’s enthralling, it’s exhilarating, it’s dauting, it’s courage, it’s vulnerability, it’s service, it’s a whole lot more. I can feel it in my bones, I can smell it in the air and I am all in!

In under two weeks time, I will be in Vietnam as part of the team of expert consultants sent by SAP to support different host clients change their world. Sounds big right? It is big, it is the cumulative effort applied at grassroot level by social enterprises and non profit organization, no frills or fanfare, but nevertheless creating tangible impact in the lives of people and communities. Now you might be thinking, on what basis can I make such bold claims?… I questioned myself too, and being a finance professional, any statements purporting truth need to be backed by numbers. So here we go.

To commemorate 10 years of the SAP Social Sabbatical program, yes that is right, 10 years of making a difference in partnership with more than 470 host organizations, in 52 countries. Results, more than 6.4m lives positively impacted and 1000+ of volunteer hours. The stats are phenomenal. Anyway back to my starting statement, SAP partnered with 60 Decibels, an impact measurement social enterprise to evaluate the social impact and business value delivered by the program.

The results exposed the extend of impact over the years. The SAP Social Sabbatical program is contributing significantly to the overall goal of SAP Corporate Social Responsibility, which is to drive long-term social impact and business value as part of SAP’s sustainability strategy.

So you will understand my state of exhilaration and pressure both at the same time. Together with 12 other participants from different parts of the world, we have been gearing up, training up, conditioning our minds and equipping ourselves with all the right tools to make our mission in Vietnam a success. For 5 weeks, we have been exploring together, learning together and figuratively ‘marrying’ each other at first sight. We have to build connections quickly, trust each other and have each others back. Yet we have never met physically, we come from different cultures, different backgrounds but once we land in Vietnam we will be joined to the hip, all day, everyday for 4 weeks!

It is the final prep phase, we are dotting the i(s) and crossing the t(s). I am in position and its READY, SET…