Helping communities thrive

We work with local partners and employee volunteers to deliver programmes focused on health and education

Creating a world free from avoidable blindness

Our aim is to tackle avoidable blindness and visual impairment by improving access to quality, affordable eye care in the markets where we work.

In 2018, we’re celebrating 15 years of Seeing is Believing, our visionary partnership with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, to tackle avoidable blindness and visual impairment.

We committed to raise USD100 million for Seeing is Believing between 2003 and 2020 through fundraising and fund matching by the Bank and, in 2018, we announced that we’d achieved our goal two years early.

View our celebration page.

Avoidable blindness is a key health issue across our footprint. Globally, there are an estimated 36 million blind people and a further 217 million people suffering from moderate or severe visual impairment. Incredibly, 80% of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured.

We invest funds raised for Seeing is Believing in a number of ways, from projects that seek to provide comprehensive eye care in low and middle-income countries, to innovative eye health delivery solutions.

Between 2003 and June 2018, SiB reached 167 million people through medical interventions, eye examinations, eye health education and training, supported 4.4 million sight-restoring surgeries and trained more than 318,000 health workers.

Learn more

Unleashing the potential of adolescent girls

Our aim is to empower adolescent girls with the confidence, knowledge and skills they need to fulfil their economic and leadership potential. Between 2006 and 2017, Goal reached more than 381,000 girls across more than 20 countries. We're committed to reaching 600,000 girls by 2020.

We recognise that gender equality is critical to economic growth. Educating girls and giving them the tools to shape their own future has an incredible multiplier effect on communities and societies.

Goal uses sports as a tool to engage girls and deliver life skills training. The Goal curriculum is built around four modules: 'Be Money Savvy' focuses on financial education; 'Be Yourself' develops communication skills; 'Be Healthy' builds knowledge on health and hygiene; 'Be Empowered' instils self confidence.


What’s next?

In 2018, we aim to reach an additional 85,000 girls and are piloting projects to promote employability and entrepreneurship.

More about Goal

Providing financial education

Our financial education programmes aim to build financial awareness among young people and micro and small businesses. In 2017, we trained more than 117,000 young people and 1,500 entrepreneurs.

Financial education and access to financial services are key drivers of inclusive economic development. While more individuals and businesses have greater access to financial services, many don't know how to use them. Young people often lack the financial knowledge and capability to plan for their future, and many micro and small business owners lack financial management skills.

We have two global financial education programmes delivered by our employee volunteers. Financial Education for Youth is active in 20 countries and teaches young people how to budget and manage their money. Education for Entrepreneurs helps micro and small businesses master the basics of financial management and entrepreneurship. Between 2013 and 2017, we trained 5,557 entrepreneurs, 56% of whom were women. We’ve already achieved our commitment to reach 5,000 micro and small businesses by 2018.

What’s next?

We're exploring how we can digitise our approach to financial education and further the impact of our programmes.

Supporting communities through volunteering

Volunteering has a positive impact on our employees and our business, as well as the communities where we work. That’s why we offer every employee three days paid leave to volunteer.

Volunteering provides an opportunity for our staff to share their time, skills and expertise with local partners working on issues that matter in their communities.

In 2016, our employees contributed 67,611 days of volunteering; over half of these days were dedicated to the environment, health and education. 

What’s next?

This year we're continuing to promote skills based volunteering opportunities across our global network.

INSIGHTS See how we’re helping people, businesses and economies to prosper

Empowering girls: why we must do more

To help the millions of underprivileged girls across the world, it takes collective action

Explore our world | 17 Jul 2017

Seeing for the first time: one boy’s story

This World Sight Day, we share how Criscent Bwambale’s world opened up in the blink of an operation

Explore our world | 13 Oct 2016

Seeing smart: transforming emerging-market eye care

Ophthalmologist turned innovator Dr Andrew Bastawrous shares how smartphones are helping hundreds of thousands of people see again

Explore our world | 11 Apr 2016

More on our approach to banking

We’re committed to promoting social and economic development in our markets through our core business of banking

More on sustainabilityAbout our services