Legend has it that the Millennium Development Goals were drawn up in the basement of UN headquarters by a group of men. It wouldn’t shock me if this was true.
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), on the other hand, were finalized in 2015 by an open working group with representatives from 70 countries. Hurrah! Not only did these academic, political and thought leaders work collaboratively to set global targets, they decided this was so important that they made collaboration one of the SDGs!
SDG #17 – Partnerships – is one of my favourites; by working together, charities, private industries, and governments can create the most impactful change. Every day I am thankful to work for an organization that values collaborations across and beyond the financial inclusion sector, to break down silos and avoid duplication.
This week is International Development Week (#IDW2018) and I’d like to highlight just one of FINCA’s many partnerships.
Last year, I learned that a Canadian banker would be boarding a plane in early 2018 to volunteer in Malawi. The Uniterra volunteer, Pedram Kaya, would be tasked with sharing his knowledge with FINCA Malawi as they work to improve our clients’ financial literacy and create digitized products that will allow youth to more easily access credit and savings. We hope FINCA’s partnerships with Uniterra can deepen so that they can place more Canadians within the FINCA network!
I finally got to meet Pedram in Toronto in November 2017. He was also introduced to FINCA International co-founder, John Hatch. It was a match made in heaven as John was a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia in 1962 and his time there framed his entire life’s journey. I have no doubt that Pedram’s time in Malawi will reshape his future as well.
The strong connection between these two inspiring men reminds me that the partnerships we forge to eradicate poverty also create human connections that make us all better individuals.
Pedram arrived in Blantyre, Malawi in January and will stay there for a year. I know he will form so many meaningful connections in that time and I am proud that he is a part of the FINCA and Uniterra families both here in Canada and in Malawi.
It turns out Pedram is also a gifted writer. Take a moment to read his blog, Banker Without Borders.
As you celebrate #IDW2018, let usknow what YOU think is the most important SDG. Join the Twitter conversation with #IDW2018 and tag @fincacanada!