Barclays Ghana Community Sustainability Programme
At Barclays Ghana, we refer to a three way win when it comes to our community investment. This is in line the community sustainability programme of the Barclays Group. The three areas are Banking on Brighter Futures, Charity Begins at Work, and Looking after local communities.
We thus aim:
- To make a real and positive impact on the communities in which we operate.
- To support our aspiration to become one of the most respected, trusted and admired universal global banks.
- To enhance Barclays brand and reputation and engage our stakeholders
- Increase colleague participation and facilitate skills development
“Make A Difference Day”, our flagship community event is the single largest community activity on the Barclays Calendar. The aim of Make a Difference Day is to encourage people to give their time, not their money, to get involved in volunteering and have an impact on the local community. It unites colleagues, customers and partners to support the communities in which we live and work with various activities and projects aimed at making a difference in their lives.
Barclays partnership with CARE and Plan in Ghana
Barclays and international development organisations CARE International (CARE) and Plan have launched Banking on Change in Ghana, a unique and pioneering microfinance initiative aiming to reach about 63,000 poor people, especially women in the Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Central, Greater Accra and Volta Regions. Close to 90% of the support will be channelled to the three Northern regions of the country.
The three organisations have joined together in a three year, £10 million initiative, called Banking on Change, which is aimed at reaching over 500,000 people in ten countries across Africa, Asia and South America. The partnership’s focus is on improving the quality of life for poor people by extending and developing access to basic financial services via a savings-led community approach.
Barclays Ghana/Junior Achievement Partnership
Barclays Ghana extended an amount of US 30, 000 to Junior Achievement (JA) Ghana last year to deliver JA entrepreneurship and work-readiness education to local young people. The partnership termed Barclays/JA You can b Initiative is in line with Barclays Africa’s is partnering with Junior Achievement Worldwide to provide entrepreneurial opportunities, work readiness and financial literacy to young adults in Barclays centres across Africa. The three-year initiative includes innovative workshops and the expansion of JA programmes for selected second cycle schools across the country
Tari No.1 Solar Energy project - Barclays Bank Plc, through its Global Retail and Commercial Banking unit then, donated a grant of $75,000 towards the northern floods relief Programme. The amount, channeled through Red Cross Society and the Ministry of Health, was used to construct a clinic to cater for the health needs of nine communities in the affected area at Tari no.1 in northern Ghana. After its completion, staff of Barclays Ghana raised funds to purchase a solar energy system to power the clinic.
Afram Plains Development Organisation (ADPO) - This sustainability programme seeks to use solar energy as the main source of power to provide water for communities in the Afram Plains. Solar energy is economical for small rural communities. Barclays bank has supported ADPO to set up innovative sustainable water pump systems in rural areas. Adding solar energy to power the system is itself unique in the region and will hopefully be extended to other areas.
We have been very satisfied with the impact of their work in rural area and have seen a remarkable reduction in water-related illnesses and a subsequent increase in school attendance by children who no longer have to travel long distances for water. This solar system will have an even greater impact because it is environmentally friendly. The project costs £20,000 and will reach over 1000 people in the first year.
Challenging Heights - Challenging Heights is a project that won the overall Barclays Chairman’s awards in 2006. The founder is an ex-Barclays colleague. Challenging Heights is one of the few projects that is tackling child slavery in Ghana. This falls under our youth development theme of banking on brighter futures.
The project takes children affected by or engaged in child labour and slavery and provides them with education and vocational training. It has won awards for their positive impact on child slavery and the children’s future as a whole. The project costs £20,000 and will reach about 150 children directly while sensitising over 10,000 people across the region on the dangers and reality of child labour.
Ghana Education Project (GEP) - This project provides vocational skills training to children in rural areas. The interesting aspect of this project is the ‘contract’ they have with the children to provide a certain number of hours towards community service in return for the free training and educational trips undertaken and other benefits they derive by being part of the project. It costs £13,000 and 500 children will be on the programme in the first year. The NGO also has links with the Wild Life Division, British High Commission and SNV, the Netherlands Development Organisation.
Girls Retention Enrolment and Transition Project (GREAT Project)- The GREAT Project aims to retain the girl child in basic education and enable her to exercise her right to education. In the Northern part of the country where many girls leave school to find street jobs in the south, such a project is crucial. This project has been organized by the women running the local government indicating strong local support for the project in the region.
It has the support of the Ghana Government and is located in one of the poorest regions of the country. Barclays support in tackling an issue that affects both the north and south of Ghana is highly recognized and highly commended. The project costs £15,000 and will reach 6000 girls.
Street Invest - This project fits well with the GREAT project above. Street invests looks at the girls and boys who have left the north and are living on the streets in Accra and Kumasi. Street invest takes a novel approach of attempting to improve the lives of the youth on the street through peer support and street trainers who provide advice, counselling and practical ways of leaving the streets. One key aspect aims to introduce savings groups to these children so that they can develop a savings culture and money management skills necessary to survive and leave street life.
This is an aspect that Barclays colleagues support the project with through volunteerism. No organisation is currently offering such a service for children on the street and is a first in Ghana. The project costs £44,040 and will reach over 4000 street girls. Supporting these 2 projects demonstrates Barclays grasp of the problem and its commitment in finding a sustainable solution.
Mentori - This is an innovative project that was piloted last year. The Mentori project connects mentors from around the globe with SMEs in developing countries. The first pilot Barclays supported in Ghana was to link mentors from the UK Shell Africa network to some of the Barclays Ghana SMEs business club members in Ghana. This added value to our business club members.
This project is to help extend the mentoring even further to smaller SMEs working with referrals from Ghana Association of Industries, Barclays Business clubs, EMPRETEC business forum and others. This project will cost £15,000 targeting 160 entrepreneurs. With this project Barclays is proving that growth can come about when we harness the power of mentoring internationally to support local SME.