How Local ‘Skillanthropy’ will Transform Africa

Eve Mungai, Grameen Foundation

Eve Mungai is helping African organizations improve their service to the poor through Bankers without Borders®

Ubuntu is a long-held African tradition of helping others, but the concept of using skilled volunteers to help organizations amplify their impact is still new.

Eve Mungai, is determined to use this updated version of ubuntu as a force for change. As Grameen Foundation’s Africa Program Officer for Bankers without Borders®, she's responsible for matching skilled professionals who want to volunteer their services with social enterprises that need their expertise.

Over the last five years, more 1,400 skilled professionals have provided pro bono consulting worth $5.9 million to more than 100 organizations globally. In Sub-Saharan Africa, volunteers have supported more than 152 projects in nine countries, including Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

“Capacity building is a major issue for many African social enterprises”, Eve said. “Being able to connect them to pro bono consultants gives them serious expertise that propels them forward. Sometimes, all it takes is exposure to an alternative perspective, an ‘outsider’ view and the power of a different idea to move to their next level.”

Eve is keen to help more African organizations access the rich expertise and talent of Bankers without Borders volunteers, and she’s especially passionate about building up the corps of Africa-based consultants, who account for just 4 percent of all volunteers.

“Growing the database of Africa-based volunteers will give organizations here access to more volunteers who deeply understand the cultural context, which is important for projects that need that particular skill. In addition, it will enable more African volunteers to share their skills in other regions and enhance cross-cultural exchanges,” she said.

For volunteers like Fredrick Ndiwalana and Kazeem Durodoye, Bankers without Borders provides a unique way to give back to their communities. Frederick, who we profiled a few months ago, used his banking expertise to help Grameen Foundation test and design new financial products for poor Ugandans. Kazeem, a repeat volunteer and IT consultant, has helped social enterprises assess and select the best technology systems for their organizations.

Eve’s passion is fuelled in part by the dedication of the Bankers without Borders volunteers.

“Whether they are at entry-level or are a CEO with more than 20 years of experience, there is a passion and desire to serve and go the extra mile to make a difference and it makes me proud to be a part of the process,” she explained.

What’s your passion? Visit Bankers without Borders® today to learn how you can join the fight against poverty.