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News & Features - August 2015

Can Accounting really change the lives of some of the worlds most vulnerable people?

Thursday 13th August 2015


Charities, NGOs and Social Enterprises across the developing world do amazing work in the most difficult of circumstances, with limited resources and a dire lack of financial expertise.

Many desperately need the skills of qualified accountants to make them more sustainable and ultimately to enable them to continue changing people lives for the better.

Since their inception in 2009, Accounting for International Development (AfID) has provided ongoing support to over 350 charities and grassroots organisations in more than 50 countries. Almost 1,000 accountants from across the world have used their unique skills and expertise to make a real difference through an assignment arranged by AfID.

Having taken a brief career break, Judith Hartley recently completed a 3 week placement in Burundi with long established UK based charity Action on Armed Violence (AOAV). AOAV help individuals affected by armed violence to rebuild their lives. Judith said, "Before I left I was anxious about meeting their expectations, but I received such a warm welcome, and they were so grateful that it was quite humbling. One of them said that just by being there, and showing an interest in their work, I had helped to give them a renewed sense of purpose."

The Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC) in Tanzania received the support of two volunteer accountants, Amy and Victoria, for two months and three months respectively. PWC work to improve the lives of vulnerable Pastoralist women and children who are often marginalised.
Upon completion of Victoria’s assignment, PWC Programmes Manager Jill Nicholson commented, "The volunteers we received made a profound and positive impact on our organisation. We were struggling. I knew to some extent some of the challenges we were facing, but more were uncovered through their expertise. Systems that were introduced by Amy and Victoria are still in place and the local staff are building on them.

''Now the organisation has a structured basis. Good systems are in place and the staff are more confident. To pay for the extensive support we needed would have been absolutely unfeasible for us."

AfID’s experienced and dedicated programmes team work on assignments, which typically last between 2 weeks to 12 months, tailored around volunteer’s individual preferences, skills and circumstances. This ensures that the volunteer and partner organisation have a rewarding, productive and highly impactful experience which really does help change the lives of those most in need of help.

For more information about AfID and their opportunities to volunteer overseas please visit their website www.afid.org.uk or email info@afid.org.uk

 image: copyright Afid

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