Monday, November 15, 2010

Standard Chartered Volunteers Shine

Over the last couple of months in Delhi, volunteers from Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) branches all over Delhi have taken time out from their busy days to volunteer to teach, play with, and learn from our Goal girls.

In the past couple of weeks, SCB volunteers have conducted financial literacy for the girls at different sites. For many of the girls whose parents may not ever have had a bank account, the lessons taught by the staff are invaluable. An integral part of delivering these financial literacy modules includes a visit to a Standard Chartered bank office by the girls.

Over the last few weeks over a 100 girls from Goal sites around Delhi were taken to different SCB branches to learn from some of the employees about how the bank works and what role banking could play in their lives. All the visits were accompanied by fantastic presentations from the bank staff about the importance of banking, the different roles of the bank, how a bank account can be opened, and finally how an ATM works. For many of the girls who had never seen an ATM machine, let alone actually withdrawn money from one, it was an amazing experience. Not only did the girls get the chance to see how a bank works, but they got to interact with Bank employees and understand a whole new spectrum of employment.

Some pictures from the visits:

Sumitra, a Goal participant from Sanjay Colony, said of the Financial Literacy sessions: "It's the first time someone is talking to me about money and my own responsibility of saving. I used to think this was only the duty of my parents!"

A huge thanks to all the SCB employees who made these visits for the girls so special and such a success. Without people like Meenakshi Dhanda, organizing and co-ordinating logistics for the visits, or Mansi Khandelwal's taking time to take the girls so enthusiastically through the banks, or Bank Managers like Shishir who kindly welcomed the girls into their banks, the girls would never have been able to take part in such an invaluable life experience! A huge thanks to Rajiv Mehrotra and Amrita Aggarwal for their massive efforts in co-ordinating with Goal over the last few months in providing SCB staff with the time and resources to interact with the Goal girls (and vice versa!)

These sessions and visits are just a small portion of the work that has been carried out by SCB volunteers in the last couple of months. SCB volunteers have gone above and beyond in their sessions with the girls. In Aali Gaon, where SCB staff hold weekly English sessions for the girls, the employees collected donations within their branches to provide the Goal girls of Aali with a small sitting mat, a water bottle, two registers and stationary.

A huge thanks from the whole Goal team to SCB volunteers all over Delhi for all their efforts in the last few months and here's to hoping these efforts can continue to make huge differences in the lives of these Goal girls!

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