Standard Bank employees have joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Aids Day by forming a big red ribbon and lighting candles outside their head office in Lilongwe as a show of solidarity and commitment to fight against the pandemic.
Head of Marketing & Communications Thoko Unyolo said the activities are part of the bank’s comprehensive action in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other pandemics such as Tuberculosis and Malaria.
“This is the first solidarity display of its kind by Standard Bank in Malawi. We are doing this because we are more than a bank and our people are more than bankers. We are committed to put in more in the fight against AIDS and show our support for Mother Malawi,” she said.
Unyolo said the comprehensive action on mitigating effects of pandemics has seen the bank sign an MOU with the Global Fund, the fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria interventions.
She said following the MOU, signed in April, Standard Bank has conducted training sessions in financial management targeting implementers of Global Fund projects with the objective of building their financial capacity in the fight against the triple diseases.
“Through our partnership with the Global Fund and engaging with its grant recipients and program implementers, we are helping to make sure that grant efficiency and effectiveness is improving, which ultimately has a positive impact on the fight against the three diseases,” she said.
The training sessions target Action Aid, World Vision International, their partners and the government through Ministry of Health. Under the MoU, Standard Bank made a commitment to release an initial K40 million for various activities by the fund.
Unyolo said education in financial management builds capacity for Global Fund recipients by improving operational controls and procurement and reducing risk, ultimately having a positive impact on the health of the population.
She said the training is in line with Standard Bank’s broader Corporate Social Investment priorities in health and education with the emphasis on encouraging staff to volunteer to get involved in assisting communities and building our brand.
Priscilla Banyani, the Finance Manager of Project Hope, one of the partners of Action Aid said the training is proving useful.
“The training gave me a real feel of the operations of Global Fund. The content was well packaged, and I have found it useful in my work as it has given me a perspective on what to expect with the project,” she said.
The Standard Bank partnership is operational in 20 countries where Standard Bank group has operations in Africa. It covers three broad areas of monetary contribution, employee engagement and consumer finance initiative.
Standard Bank group, Africa’s largest banking house by assets, has committed to invest more than $4 million over the next three years in its bid to make progress real in communities it operates.