This strange year is coming to a close. As we look back at the anxious and uncertain times of 2020, I hope we’ll also remember the bright spots of resilience and shared humanity. All over the world, we have found renewed appreciation for front-line workers and the great risks they take every day.
Photo at the top of this post, courtesy of MicroLoan Foundation: Catherine accepts her certificate for Whole Planet Foundation’s Field Officer Award this year.
Every year, Whole Planet Foundation recognizes our partners’ field officers who in ordinary times overcome many challenges to deliver last mile services. This year, field officers have taken on even more risk to help their communities navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Our partners have pivoted their extensive field operations to share vital health information and resources; distribute soap, sanitizer, and masks; and help entrepreneurs adapt their businesses and restructure loans. Field officers are at the very front of these initiatives.
Here are just a few examples of the many ways field officers and their communities have worked together and stay motivated to face the complex challenges of COVID-19.
Josphine, The BOMA Project, Kenya: During COVID-19, Josphine taught participants to diversify to businesses that were not impacted by market closures. All her participants grew sales at a time when businesses around the world were closing down.
Elie, One Acre Fund Burundi: (in his own words) “During the start of COVID-19, I helped train farmers on how to build tippy taps. Am happy to say that 95% of farmers in my site, have tippy taps and are using them with their families.” (WPF note: Tippy taps are handwashing stations.)
Catherine, Microloan Foundation Zambia: Pictured at the top of this post, Catherine works in Microloan Foundation’s Livingstone Branch. MicroLoan Foundation shares, “Currently our branch has been affected negatively by the COVID-19. Livingstone is a border town where the majority of our clients depend on imports from neighboring countries. With borders closed, businesses were impacted negatively. Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, Catherine has gone the extra mile in customer service. She engages her clients through mobile phone and engages center leaders.”
Solange, BRAC Rwanda: She worked daily to collect information of the impact of COVID-19 on the communities where she works, which she shared with management to help guide BRAC programs.
Please meet the winners of the 2020 Whole Planet Foundation Field Officer Appreciation Awards in the East and Southern Africa region! All winners received certificates. The Grand Prize and Top Tier Winners also received cash prizes.
Gratitude for your support this year
Our Whole Planet Foundation team extends appreciation to all our stakeholders, partners, and especially field officers employed by our partner organizations. We appreciate your passion and energy for the entrepreneurs you serve, going the extra mile to reach those who struggle to access financial services, healthcare, business trainings, and other vital services. Thank you.