Ac­cess Bank Driv­ing Its Sus­tain­abil­ity Agenda With Em­ployee Vol­un­teer­ing

Financial Nigeria Magazine - - Con­tents - By Martins Hile

Ac­cess Bank driv­ing its sus­tain­abil­ity agenda with em­ployee vol­un­teer­ing

Ac­cess Bank Plc re­cently demon­strated its com­mit­ment to sup­port its host com­mu­ni­ties through the bank's Em­ployee Vol­un­teer­ing (EV) ini­tia­tive. The ini­tia­tive – which is a key com­po­nent of the bank's sus­tain­abil­ity pol­icy – en­cour­ages the staff of Ac­cess Bank to be in­volved in vol­un­tary com­mu­nity sup­port ser­vices. The EV scheme helps to lever­age the tal­ents of the bank's work­force in ad­dress­ing the so­cial needs of host com­mu­ni­ties.

On May 2, 2017, Ac­cess Bank cel­e­brated its Em­ployee Vol­un­teer­ing Aware­ness Day across all its of­fices na­tion­wide. The bank set aside the day to com­mem­o­rate the ef­forts of its em­ployee vol­un­teers in driv­ing the bank's sus­tain­abil­ity agenda. The EV ini­tia­tive has strength­ened the bank's ap­proach to sus­tain­abil­ity by lever­ag­ing its peo­ple and part­ner­ships.

Un­der the EV scheme, over 7,000 of the bank's em­ploy­ees have used their skills and re­sources to iden­tify, se­lect and cham­pion in­no­va­tive com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives to ad­dress chal­lenges in sev­eral ar­eas, in­clud­ing en­vi­ron­ment, ed­u­ca­tion, health, sports and arts. One of the ini­tia­tives in­clude the Heart for Eye Project, un­der which four hos­tels were built to ac­com­mo­date forty vis­ually-im­paired peo­ple. The rooms were equipped with beds and mat­tresses. Another project un­der the EV scheme is a N2 mil­lion Clos­ing the Dig­i­tal Di­vide project de­signed to help close the dig­i­tal di­vide for chil­dren in Gbara Com­mu­nity School, Lagos State. As part of the project, a team of Ac­cess Bank staff pro­vided the stu­dents with 20 per­sonal com­puter sys­tems, in­ter­net con­nec­tion, a pro­jec­tor, printer, UPS and fur­ni­ture for the com­put­ers.

Ev­ery year, an Ac­cess Bank EV group or­gan­ises projects to bring aware­ness to is­sues of sex­ual and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren. The EV scheme also fo­cuses on skill ac­qui­si­tion projects to em­power women. HIV preven­tion cam­paign also forms part of the ini­tia­tives some Ac­cess Bank em­ployee vol­un­teers par­tic­i­pate in. The bank part­nered with HACEY Health Ini­tia­tive on World AIDS Day 2016 – marked on De­cem­ber 1st – on a project tagged “Hands-up for HIV Preven­tion.” The aim was to ramp up ef­forts to end the AIDS epi­demic by 2030.

The ap­proach of the EV pro­gramme fos­ters part­ner­ship and co­op­er­a­tion among Ac­cess Bank's staff in the dif­fer­ent di­vi­sions and units of the bank as they come to­gether to share ideas and lend their skills to so­cial causes. In this re­gard, the Heart for Eye Project was ex­e­cuted by the Ac­cess Bank's Cen­tral­ized Op­er­a­tions Group (COG), which se­lected the Nige­rian So­ci­ety for the Blind (NSB) as the ben­e­fi­ciary of the bank's 2014 vol­un­teer­ing ini­tia­tive. In a sim­i­lar vein, the bank's em­ploy­ees in the ICT unit im­ple­mented the Clos­ing the Dig­i­tal Di­vide ini­tia­tive.

The Fi­nan­cial Con­trol and Strat­egy Group of Ac­cess Bank has been im­ple­ment­ing projects to help pre­vent vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren. Over the last seven years, the group has been organising var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties to cre­ate aware­ness, ed­u­cate and en­cour­age pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion in the fight against this vice. In 2016, Ac­cess Bank's Re­tail Op­er­a­tions Group launched a ca­pac­ity build­ing pro­gramme with the aim to train and em­power dis­ad­van­taged women across Nige­ria. The Group part­nered with Field of Skills and Dreams (FSD) Academy to train par­tic­i­pants for a three-month pe­riod to en­able them ac­quire vo­ca­tional skills in cater­ing, fash­ion de­sign­ing and hair­dress­ing.

Over the years, more than 300 ini­tia­tives have been im­ple­mented across an ex­cess of 300 com­mu­ni­ties in 36 Nige­rian states, and the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory, Abuja. The com­mu­ni­ties have re­ceived dona­tions of over 500 school uni­forms, as well as more than 200 com­puter sys­tems and ac­ces­sories.

In ad­di­tion, over 40 class­rooms and 20 hos­tel rooms have been built un­der the EV pro­gramme. By ad­dress­ing so­cial is­sues in var­i­ous host com­mu­ni­ties, the Em­ployee Vol­un­teer­ing scheme has helped to im­prove the lives of over 100,000 ben­e­fi­cia­ries, in­clud­ing stu­dents in schools, pa­tients in hospi­tals, vis­ually-im­paired per­sons, peo­ple in re­tire­ment homes, prison in­mates, vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren, and or­phan­ages. The bank's em­ployee vol­un­teers have de­voted over 200,000 hours of their time to the var­i­ous ini­tia­tives.

Fol­low­ing the Em­ployee Vol­un­teer­ing Aware­ness Day last month, Ac­cess Bank's Head of Sus­tain­abil­ity, Omobolanle Vic­torLaniyan, said the col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­forts have brought demon­stra­ble so­cial and eco­nomic ben­e­fits to host com­mu­ni­ties in var­i­ous parts of Nige­ria. “It is clear that the em­ployee vol­un­teer­ing scheme tran­scends sim­ple dona­tions to or­phan­ages to more strate­gic and high im­pact ini­tia­tives that have added value to com­mu­ni­ties across the na­tion. We are thrilled that by help­ing others, our em­ploy­ees have changed their own lives as well,” Mrs. Vic­tor-Laniyan said.

Through its award-win­ning sus­tain­abil­ity agenda, Ac­cess Bank has con­tin­ued to show its com­mit­ment to fight dis­eases in so­ci­ety, cham­pion in­no­va­tive fi­nanc­ing and de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives, re­duce en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts and de­velop lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties from Nige­ria to Ghana, The Gam­bia, Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo and sev­eral African coun­tries where Ac­cess Bank has op­er­a­tions.

Staff of Ac­cess Bank in photo op af­ter an Em­ployee Vol­un­teer­ing event

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