One of Nigeria’s foremost financial houses, Access Bank is about setting another pace with a well-conceived programme for disadvantaged communities, called Access Day.
With a population of over 180 million people, with many under the age of 30, Nigeria promises a vast potential, with one of the citizens’ failings being unable to convert this potential to economic prosperity and social equity for all Nigerians. As one of the country’s leading banks, Access Bank has first-hand experience in catering to disadvantaged communities and is committed to finding ways to serve these communities and provide them with value beyond banking services. Access Bank, being a big player in CSR and philanthropy, is keenly interested in partnering with organizations that share these values and are open to giving back to their communities. This informed the bank’s partnership with The Fifth Chukker Polo and Country Club, Kaduna, the country’s premier Polo society, renowned for its sportsmanship and commitment to fostering community, while Fifth Chukker upholds the city’s equestrian history, and is renowned for its steeds and stables. For the last ten years, Access Bank has partnered with the Fifth Chukker Club and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to support the prestigious sports in its efforts to raise funds for children in disadvantaged communities within Kaduna state, especially children who are pre-disposed to displacement from violence and childhood diseases. The most prominent medium through which all parties have raised funds is the highly lauded annual Access Bank UNICEF Charity Shield Polo Tournament, an event dedicated exclusively towards fundraising which begins in Kaduna and peaks in London. The first Annual Charity Shield event was held in 2006, and funds raised from the tourney were used to provide support services for 240 orphans from 12 communities in 6 local government areas in the state. Since then, the tourney has grown to attract some of the best local and international players in the world, who give back through the event. The funds raised from the 2017 tourney helped provide 12,500 children with scholarships and develop community-based projects with a focus on education and community sanitation. The 2018 Access Bank UNICEF Charity Shield Polo Tournament held on June 16, 2018 at the Fifth Chukker Polo and Country Club, Kangimi Resort Kaduna, feting high society as the teams battled for supremacy on the continent. Access Bank supported this year’s Kaduna tourney with an annual donation of N10 million to UNICEF’s community efforts in Kaduna. The donation was presented during the tourney by Access Bank CEO, Herbert Wigwe to the UNICEF campaign to reduce infant and juvenile HIV/AIDS infections. The Bank also pledged to reach 20,000 more persons in Kaduna state through community-driven projects. This brings the total amount raised for UNICEF through the annual tourney to N100 million. Thousands of children from selected schools within the state were introduced to the noble sport during this year’s tourney. This year’s ‘Access Day’ event is slated for July 16, 2018, and will see Nigerian and international polo players compete as a means to raise funds for the aforementioned cause. Access Bank welcomes everyone interested in the tournament and the causes it supports.