MoneyMinded makes an impression in Uganda
“I asked the team to cap the attendance to 40 people per training session. The team leaders didn’t quite manage to do that, my largest class was over 110 participants.”
Since 2018 I have been volunteering overseas and helping vulnerable communities in Uganda. I have been involved in caring for orphaned children and vulnerable women, building houses and helping the local communities with daily tasks.
After my second visit to Uganda in 2019, I realised I could use my skills and financial knowledge to have a greater and more specific impact in the community.
Upon returning I spoke about my experience with a colleague in Asia. He told me about his volunteering experience and how he felt after delivering a MoneyMinded workshop, the ANZ financial literacy training program for adults.
The conversation gave me an epiphany. Maybe I could deliver the MoneyMinded program in Uganda. This became my new goal.
In 2020, I used volunteer Leave to travel to Fiji and trained as a MoneyMinded Coach. I did the training in Fiji because the Asia and Pacific Island MoneyMinded training related more closely to Uganda’s economic situation.
After becoming an accredited coach, I booked a trip for mid-March 2020.
However, the Australian Federal Government had other plans for my flight. On Thursday 19 March the government declared COVID-19 a pandemic and the following day shut the borders to international travel – two days before I was due to depart.
At the time I was devasted I would not get back to Uganda anytime soon.
Life changing experience
Finally, in September 2022 I embarked on my journey. In hindsight, it was perfect timing.
MoneyMinded gives people the tools to allow them to manage their money better. However, during a time of crisis (such as the global pandemic), people are not thinking about those tools. They are thinking, how do I survive?
In 2022 the harsh financial effects of the pandemic were over and people in Uganda were figuring out their ‘new normal’. This is a perfect time to start planning for the future.
The MoneyMinded training was so important to their community and the uptake was outstanding.
I asked the team to cap the attendance to 40 people per training session. The team leaders didn’t quite manage to do that – my largest class was over 110 participants.
I taught MoneyMinded to 565 people in total, across three weeks. Participants ranged in age from 18-65 years.
I ran nine sessions. Some of them more truncated and others were a full day. The content was largely the same, but I adapted the courses a little to suit each audience.
One of the biggest challenges was making sure the content suited the specific audience.
I had a mix of participants who were fluent in English and those where I used a translator to assist. They ranged from high school students to the care-giving women, to the leadership team and teachers – all with varying levels of education, backgrounds and income.
One of my most powerful memories was seeing all the “light bulb moments” go off in the sessions. They really started to comprehend the content and improve their financial decision making.
Volunteering at ANZ
ANZ invests significantly in the communities where it operates and plays a role in supporting their capacity and resilience. The employee Volunteer Leave Policy applies to permanent, regular and fixed-term employees, providing at least one day of paid volunteer leave each year. Since the program began ANZ’s employees have contributed more than 1.4 million volunteering hours
The global award-winning corporate volunteer program started in 2001 with an initial goal to provide 50,000 volunteer hours each year to local communities. More than two decades later, ANZ and employees celebrated the longevity of the program during Australia’s National Volunteering Week in May 2022.
ANZ’s Group Executive of Talent & Culture and Service Centres, and Chair of Workplace Giving Australia’s Employer Leadership Group Kathryn van der Merwe said, “our volunteering program allows our people globally to engage with community partners directly, on projects and activities that resonate with them.”
ANZ New Zealand received Volunteering Auckland's 2021 Leaders of Volunteer Engagement (LoVE) Corporate Champion award, recognising our dedication and commitment to promote volunteering.
In 2022 staff volunteered 52,443.5 hours to community organisations. This represents more than 6,555 working days and $2.6 million in value to the community. 13.8 per cent of employees volunteered this year, compared to 15.5 per cent in 2021.
The lasting impact
After three weeks of delivering the program, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. One participant’s feedback made an impression: “we’ve done a lot of financial literacy training before and nothing has been as good or as exciting as this”, said the participant.
Many who attended the training (especially the teenagers) thought the content would be “super boring”. But in the end the consensus was: “it was the best training day ever.” The participants were energised and filled with hope for their future.
Recently, one participant messaged me and said “I just want to let you know we bought our second house. Our first house we’ll be turning into a kindergarten business. And this has all stemmed from your training.”
I was nervous heading into it, thinking, “will I hit the mark, will I be able to adjust to the cultural nuances?”
It was a beautiful experience and I’ve been invited back in this year – this time for four months to continue delivering the program and helping to improve financial literacy in schools.
I am grateful to have the opportunity and flexibility to go on these trips. It is important for organisations to allow employees to have experiences that align with their values. In my case of helping people and communities to thrive.
Kym Chapman is Associate Director at ANZ Institutional
Community & Purpose
Simple lessons for a bigger life