Mars Ambassador Program Overview
First established as a pilot program in 2008, the Mars Ambassador Program (MAP) is a global initiative that allows Mars to put its principles into action by making a difference to people and the planet through the creation of mutually beneficial associate (employee) engagement opportunities, called "MAP assignments."
Working with nonprofit partner organizations in key countries around the world, the program seeks to mobilize talented employees across all segments and regions. MAP associates are connected directly with relevant organizations that support Mars's business objectives and leverage their professional or technical expertise to make a positive difference in major social and environmental issues that are of critical importance to Mars. Staff from any of the Mars offices can travel to any of a number of locations around the world. MAP offers the opportunity for employee attraction, engagement, leadership development and retention.
ACDI/VOCA's role as a MAP implementer is to
- ensure the in-country host organization is prepared in terms of technical activities and logistics
- manage the preparation of the ambassador for the assignment
- ensure the health, safety and welfare of ambassadors
|MAP volunteer in India at orphanage.||MAP cocoa volunteers in Brazil.|
|Flickr album: MAP volunteers on assignment around the world.|
The Mars Ambassador Program relies on a network of preselected Mars and Wrigley partner organizations in key communities around the world. The majority of these partners work with Mars and Wrigley in other capacities as well, for example in helping meet the corporate cocoa certification goal, working in child health and nutrition, or contributing to environmental stewardship.
Types of Engagements
Selected employees engage in direct, on-the-ground assignments through two program types:
Individual Assignments: These last for four to six weeks and allow associates to travel to communities that support Mars and Wrigley business ventures, from cocoa farms in Ghana to the rice fields of Cambodia. On a recent assignment, a Mars employee created nutrition gardens at a Chandigarh, India, orphanage school, teaching gardening and nutritional skills.
Group Assignments: These offer 5-10 employees the opportunity to work as a team with a business partner for one week. In a recent example, seven information technology specialists brought donated laptop computers to Ecuador for use by cocoa producers and provided training on traceability software.
The Mars Ambassadors Program covers all travel, lodging, meals and expenses for participants. Associates are not required to take personal leave for assignments.
Interested Mars employees are required to submit an application to be considered for MAP. As part of the application, staff members can select their desired program type and rank assignment choices. The program is only open to Mars and Wrigley employees.
Mars works with partner organizations to develop and design MAP assignments. As a MAP implementer, ACDI/VOCA further consolidates the selected assignments, verifies the capability of the hosting organization and prepares assignments for associates.
"ACDI/VOCA has a proven track record of mobilizing volunteers all over the world, ensuring that their experiences are pleasant, safe and valuable for all parties. This gives Mars a high degree of confidence in ACDI/VOCA's ability to help manage programs for our associates as they make a difference to people in our operating and sourcing communities and the planet."
—Annette Aitkenhead, Mars, Inc., global community engagement program manager
For more information, please contact: ACDI/VOCA Senior Director of Volunteer Program Diana Roach at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 202 469 6181.