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In memory of André Prince

André Prince, Groupe URD’s Financial and Administrative Director since 2006, died last week. We are all profoundly affected by this loss.

Over the last eight years, André helped to shape Groupe URD and played an essential role in running the organisation.

André’s “arrival” at our head office, la Fontaine des Marins in Plaisians, was unusual. He had applied for the position of Administrative Manager but rather than wait for an official response or to be invited for an interview, he turned up at our door one sunny afternoon. He explained that he wanted to continue working in the humanitarian sector and that he wanted to come back to live in France, in a region where he could go paragliding and where there would be sunshine and light for his family.

We shared the same commitment to helping people affected by disasters and to improving the quality of aid, as well as our concern for the environment and the desire to fight for a fairer world.

It was obvious that he was the right person for the job.

Groupe URD was just beginning to grow at this time and André’s contribution to this process proved absolutely vital. Thanks to his methodical and rigorous approach and his sheer determination, Groupe URD was able to rise to the challenge of building an effective and transparent management system. André enabled us to anticipate and prepare for the difficulties involved as we grew bigger, and we were able to manage these successfully. He consolidated our internal operating systems, especially human resources management, ensuring a strong working relationship with each one of the employees. It was thanks to his efforts that Groupe URD was awarded with the ‘Coup du Coeur’ Trophy for Social Economy in 2012 by the Rhône-Alpes region in France.

His commitment and competence were recognised in the different positions he had held in the international aid sector, as is clear from the numerous messages we have received since he died. He has left us with solid, lasting foundations which will allow us to continue to build.

It is now our responsibility to remain true to the path we travelled together. We are very close to his family and we will do all that we can to help them through these difficult times.