Virtual Volunteering with Nurture Africa

At a time when travel wasn’t possible, our volunteers still made an impact overseas. #impactthatmatters

With restrictions in place as a result of the pandemic, we knew that travelling to Uganda to support Nurture Africa wouldn’t be a possibility this year. So 2021 was the year that our overseas volunteers made an impact from their bedrooms, kitchen tables and wherever else they found themselves working remotely.

Nurture Africa has been a WorldClass charity partner of Deloitte’s since 2013. Throughout that time we have supported the charity with our expertise through our annual oversea volunteer programme. Nurture Africa is a non-governmental organisation registered in Uganda and Ireland and their vision is to empower African Families to be more self-reliant.

They do this by lifting vulnerable women and children out of poverty, empowering them to achieve self-sufficiency through a holistic family-centered model that is delivered through their health services, educational support, child rights and advocacy programme as well as nutritional support and financial literacy training giving families living in poverty the tools and resources they need to become more self-reliant.

As we had volunteer groups travel to Nansana, Uganda every year since 2013, we were determined to continue our support for Nurture Africa this year even though we couldn’t physically get there. We have established a very close relationship with the charity, including their staff on the ground in Uganda and we wanted to make sure that this year was no different. Having carried out the preparation and recruitment of volunteers’ pre-pandemic, we knew the interest was there, we just needed to find a way to make it happen.

Eight volunteers took part in the pilot programme in March 2021. Working alongside the Ugandan staff via zoom, the volunteers delivered practical support using their professional skills. Projects varied greatly in scope and nature but included the development of a comprehensive marketing strategy for the Nurture Africa Health Centre, a strategic review of the holistic family centred model and leadership and management masterclasses for Nurture Africa staff. Volunteers even built on work undertaken in 2019 with an automated profit, loss and stock tracking system for Urban Village which had been designed for the social enterprise arm of Nurture Africa.

Although volunteering from home, the volunteers still experienced Ugandan culture, despite the fact that the political environment at the time affected the working environment of the team on the ground in Uganda including access to internet throughout this period. This meant that the volunteers had to adapt and work around the access challenges put to them, while continuing to provide support and help build the capacity of the organisation.

Read what two of our volunteers had to say about experiencing the programme below:

Volunteering remotely with Nurture Africa was an enormously rewarding experience. I met some wonderful likeminded people and I am proud of what we achieved together. It was also a great distraction from the run of the mill, which has become ever more important since the arrival of COVID-19. It was such a privilege to be afforded the opportunity to support the amazing people on the ground at Nurture Africa. I'm incredibly grateful for the experience and hope that I can continue my relationship with Nurture Africa into the future.
Mary-Liz McGrath,

Deloitte Digital

“After working with colleagues here in Deloitte and the Nurture Africa team in Uganda, I could not recommend getting involved in this programme enough. From a professional perspective, it pushes you outside of your comfort zone to engage with skills you didn’t know you had or may underutilise, and from a personal standpoint it is great to be a part of some of the amazing work Nurture Africa do in-country, and work alongside colleagues in the wider Deloitte community. Speaking to the team in Uganda, it is hard not to be impressed with the scale and diversity of the work they carry out; so while it may seem challenging to add value, it is a challenge worth taking in the hope that you can contribute in some small way."

Leonie O'Donnell
Financial Advisory

Claire Bergin

Corporate Responsibility Lead