Giving Thanks: Field Officer Appreciation Award for Africa/Middle East

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It’s the season of giving thanks, and Whole Planet Foundation wants to acknowledge the achievements of our microfinance partners’ field officers, who are often the main point of contact between a microfinance organization and the entrepreneurs financing their businesses with micro-loans. In July 2014 we piloted a new Field Officer Appreciation Award in the Africa/MENA region and in 2017 the foundation awarded its fourth year of awards to nominated field officers. In total, this region currently includes 28 partner institutions.

burkina faso microfinance

Simpore Sandaogo of Entrepreneurs du Monde in Burkina Faso at a microcredit client meeting. Simpore received an Honorable Mention in this year’s awards.

Dedication, creativity, inclusiveness, and leadership. These are some of the traits shared by many of the nominees for the 2017 Field Officer Appreciation Award in the Africa and Middle East Region.

Field Officers are at the front lines of our partners’ mission of financial inclusion, and they often work in very tough conditions. As we read the stories of each field officer, we learned how they were able to deliver exceptional services to their clients.

Dedication

Field officers often travel great distances on bad roads to reach clients in rural areas who may be tens of kilometers from each other. To keep costs low, they go by public transportation, on foot, or on a motorbike. On top of all that travel, they also have to complete desk work to keep their records up to date. One of this year’s winners regularly arrives at the office by 5am, starts visiting clients at 6am, and sometimes stays at the office until 9pm at night. Another field officer was attacked by robbers while working but has stayed with his job. One field officer goes out of his way to help clients with administrative tasks, like applying for national ID cards and birth certificates.

Ramboa from WPF Madagascar partner Jiro-Ve shows a microcredit client how to operate a solar lamp in the field.

Creativity

Microfinance clients often have little financial cushion and are especially vulnerable to shocks related to illness and death, unpredictable climate, and market volatility. Many of our partners nominated colleagues who use creativity and flexibility to help clients navigate financial difficulties, and start or expand their businesses. One field officer proactively connect his clients to outside opportunities, and helped a client win a youth microfinance prize which came with an award to support the growth of the business. Another field officer worked closely with a client who faced emotional and financial setbacks from two family deaths; the client has now grown her business and graduated from a group to individual loan.

Inclusiveness

Many of the winners were especially committed to the financial inclusion of disenfranchised communities. Winners included field officers who dedicate extra effort in outreach to youth, women, people with disabilities, and people with HIV postitive status.

togo african women day

Fabrice from Togo, a second-tier winner in this year’s awards, pictured with microcredit clients on African Women’s Day.

Leadership

Our partners also highlighted field officers’ contributions to organizational growth. Many of the winners helped open new branches and areas, execute innovations, represent their organizations in external partnerships, and help mentor and train colleagues.

A note on the process: We asked all of our Africa/MENA partners to internally nominate their strongest field officer and submit her or his story to WPF for consideration in the competition. We were thrilled to receive submissions from 19 partners!  The entire Whole Planet Foundation team took part in a vote to recognize the best among the best. This year’s top award goes to Liliane, working in rural communities in Northern Madagascar for Premiere Agence de Microfinance.

Congratulations to all of our partners’ hard-working Field Officers!

2017 Awards

Grand Prize Winner

Liliane Ravonimalala

Country: Madagascar

Microfinance Institution (MFI): PAMF

Years with MFI: 10 years, 9 months

Number of Clients Served by Field Officer: 230

liliane madagascar winner

Second-Tier Winners

Sabina Chota

Country: Tanzania

Microfinance Institution (MFI): One Acre Fund

Years with MFI: 3 years

Number of Clients Served by Field Officer: 367

sabina chat one acre fund winner

Beatrice Cuene

Country: South Africa

Microfinance Institution (MFI): SEF

Years with MFI: 6 years

Number of Clients Served by Field Officer: 440

south africa beatrice winner

Fabrice Bate

Country: Togo

Microfinance Institution (MFI): Assilassime/Entrepreneurs du Monde

Years with MFI: 3 years, 6 months

Number of Clients Served by Field Officer: 511

fabric togo

Reuben Nyirongo

Country: Zambia

Microfinance Institution (MFI): MicroLoan Foundation

Years with MFI: 3 years

Number of Clients Served by Field Officer: 668

Reuben_MLFZambia

14 Honorable Mentions

Zambia Rent to Own Lukundo_Sinyangwe

 

Lukundo Sinyangwe

Rent To Own in Zambia

 mahamadou

 

Mahamadou L. Susso

Reliance Financial Services in the Gambia

Burkina Faso EdM SIMPORE SANDAOGO

 

Simpore Sandaogo

EdM-Yikri in Burkina Faso

Keny OAF Ezekiel_Otieno

 

Ezekiel Otieno

One Acre Fund in Kenya

Burkina Faso GRAINE Tindano Harouna 

 

Tindano Harouna GRAINE in Burkina Faso

Israel KIEDF Shuroq 

 

Shuroq Amara

KIEDF in Israel

Madagascar Jiro Ve Ramboa Tahiry Henintsoa 

 

Ramboa Tahiry Henintsoa

Jiro-ve in Madagascar

Nigeria BG Magaji A Abdu MIK_nomination

Magaji A Abdu

Babban Gona in Nigeria

Nanasi

Nansasi Brenda Rebecca

BrightLife in Uganda

Morocco INMAA AL_OUAFI_MOHAMED

Mohamed El Ouafi

INMAA in Morocco

 

 

Coulibaly

Coulibaly Beh Moussa

Première Agence (PAMF) in Cote D’Ivoire

Cameroon GHAPE Gemoh Clovis Afanui 

Gemoh Clovis Afanui

GHAPE in Cameroon

field officer award winner

Kedir Geda

Buusaa Gonofaa in Ethiopia

Senegal Caurie_Isidore_20170907_105339[1]

 Isidor Ndione

CAURIE in Senegal

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