Access Bank Driving Its Sustainability Agenda With Employee Volunteering
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