In collaboration with the Unicef and Ministry of Health.
7th of April is World Health Day. Most of the population of Burundi is not receiving health information. Households are located in rural areas with limited access to health facilities. Therefore AUXFIN developed and launched the HealthCoach at the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020. The HealthCoach is deployed to 200.000 rural households and contains all the basic information to understand what COVID-19 is and how to prevent getting infected. The information is provided using short videos of 1 minute and simple text containing the key messages, and has been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and UNICEF. Our activators were also equipped with a thermometer to screen people with a feverish temperature and to advise them to a health facility.
Evaluations show that the groups using the HealthCoach have increased knowledge of COVID-19 and implemented preventative measures. 90% of groups acquired their knowledge on COVID-19 from movies (1973 groups). The groups are appreciative of having learned how to protect themselves from COVID-19, they take the pandemic seriously and are afraid of the spread in their community.
The two most implemented preventive measures are frequent hand washing and avoiding shaking of hands. The number hand washing stations in the groups increased and other measures taken are: temperature measurement, sneezing/coughing in the elbow, cleaning surfaces and social distancing at gatherings.
The taking of temperature had resulted in the signaling of an increased temperature in 23% of the groups. In 22% of groups COVID-19 tests were taken and this led to a diagnosis of COVID-19 in 2% of the groups, a total of 36 cases.
Outside the HealthCoach a part of the groups had also received information from governmental campaigns and over the radio. Users explain:
● Thade from Gitega: “We appreciate the information about health. Many members don’t have a radio. Now in the tablet those members can also receive information on health.”
● Jean-Marie: “The movies are helpful because we hear about coronavirus but do not know how to do the measures. We also have health workers who visit us every once in a while.”
● Pascal from Kayanza: “For COVID we protect ourselves better. There was one case of COVID who had symptoms and we took that person to the hospital. This person got tested positively, and the whole family was put in quarantine”.
During evaluations group members request to have the same information for other diseases. Most frequently mentioned is malaria, HIV/AIDS, eye problems, diabetes, birth control and family planning. The development of the HealthCoach continues as first launches the inclusion of malaria and nutrition information.
In 2021 the HealthCoach will be scaled to another 200.000 households, reaching an estimated total 2.3 million people in Burundi.
The HealthCoach is provided to rural households using the G50 approach of AUXFIN. Groups of 50 neighbouring households are organised, and governed by three leaders elected by the group and who serve as representatives for the community: male and female, young and old. The groups are voluntary, but excluding members of the community is not permitted. This makes the G50 system an inclusive approach. The groups are provided with a tablet to have access to the digital services provided by the UMVA platform including financial services, agricultural information services and access to agricultural inputs. Most applications including the HealthCoach can be used offline to assure access of information also when the internet is failing.
In the combat of the COVID-19 virus in Africa, digital services (finance, transactions) are regarded as an essential solution to help communities deal with the crisis, to avoid physical contact and limit the need to travel while not shutting down the local economies. AUXFIN is ready to deploy it’s service ecosystem also outside Burundi.
The HealthCoach is funded by the Dutch Embassy in Burundi.
World Meteorological Day takes place every year on 23th March. Please read the blog post of the Netherlands Space Office describing how our smallholders in Burundi are contributing to the necessary ground truth data to validate the ECMWF weather forecast. In times of climate change it is key to have a reliable weather forecast. However frequent and reliable weather observations are scarse in Sub-Sahara Africa, especially in Burundi. Therefore AUXFIN has setup a rainmeter observatory in collaboration with our rain masters. Every day at 7 o’clock the rain masters provide the latest observations to the UMVA platform. Our partner WeatherImpact, in collaboration with Delft University, has been using these observations to better validate the forecast (Nahimana 2020).
AUXFIN aims to deliver financial solutions that are accessible to all, including vulnerable populations with low literacy and numeracy skills, limited access to internet, no- or low access to electricity, and limited experience with mobile and other technologies.
The vision of AUXFIN is to develop value networks accessible to all. This leads to development of the Rural Financial ECO System and the ICT infrastructure; with the development of the Migrant Financial ECO System and the use of remittances as a financial catalyst for rural development; enabling capacity building, financial inclusion and economic development.
The mission of AUXFIN is: 'Financial Access for All'. This means to deliver, against very low prices, basic elementary banking functions such as registration, savings, loans and payments. However, recognizing that some vulnerable participants may require additional assistance to complete a transaction, trained agents and digital coaches are foreseen in our community activation platform. Delivering solutions that offer an appropriate balance between accessibility for all users, while still offering efficiency and transparency gains, is our daily challenge.Several types of organizations can use the platform free of charge, leading to fast and scalable installations and a large user-base. The many transactions result in big data that is the basis for development plans of Government and NGO's.
UMVA (Universal Method of Value Acces) is a set of interconnected solutions that forms the backbone of our work and consists of:
- UMVA CLIENT, the e-banking solution for members
- UMVA BANK, the core banking solution in the cloud
- UMVA LOCAL, the banking solution for locations without internet
- UMVA AGENT, the solution for the last mile
- REG REP, the registration solution for cooperatives, schools and hospitals
- UMVA COOP, the core management solution for Cooperatives
- GEO UMVA, the GEO database solution
AUX-EL is the e-Learning tool for UMVA users providing online courses that are tailor-made to the skills and needs of the users.
Jeanne is the digital coach with chatbot technology.
CEO, Founder of AUXFIN, UMVA and AUXEL
Cornelis Heesbeen has more than 40 years work experience, 7 years in Finance in Developing countries, 17 years in Information Technology with companies like Airport Schiphol, SAP and i2Technologies, 17 years in accounting. AUXFIN INTERNATIONAL is incorporated in 2013.
Marco van Andel
Chief Operating Officer
Marco van Andel has more than 20 years work experience, 10 years in Finance in Developing countries, most notably in Mozambique and Senegal, and 10 years in Insurance. Marco holds a degree in Business Administration for the Financial Sector of Free University of Amsterdam and a Master in Development Economics from Sussex.
Mark van den Brink
Chief Financial Officer
Mark van den Brink has more than 20 years work experience as a Finance Director in particularly fast growing software organizations. A seasoned financial who drives change being focused on results with international expertise in highly changing environments. Been part of several acquisitions, mergers and investments. Mark holds a bachelor degree in Financ/Accounting.
Agricultural program manager
Specialist agricultural applications and M&E
Sabin has more than 13 years work experience. The organization develops the UMVA Platform since 2011. Sabin holds a bachelor degree in Computer technology at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. AUXFIN Nepal is incorporated on 2011.
Territory Manager AUXFIN Burundi / Financial Inclusion Expert
Yannick has more than 7 years work experience. The team works on UMVA projects since 2013. Yannick holds a bachelor in computer science at Université du lac tanganyika, Burundi. AUXFIN Burundi is incorporated in 2016.
Senior Graphics Designer/ QA
Senior Developer (NextLevelValue)
Fullstack PHP Developer
Value Chains Expert Agronom
Freddy Ditutu Kambayi
Consultant Financial Inclusion/ Team Leader
Yves Patrick Iradukunda
Dr. Lydia Moukoury
- AgriCoach V1a successfully launched in Burundi on the UMVA tablet.
- 3.300 farmers/households are using the weatherforecast to better plan their agricultural activities
- Smart farming geodata platform implemented into the UMVA system
- REGISTRATION APP launched for on line and off line use
- MAPPING APP launched for on line mapping
- GIZ awards grant to AUXFIN and partners for IDDEA project in UGANDA
- UMVA PAYMENT APP and POS APP used for rainmetering in Burundi
- JEANNE tool for communication and chatbot used for M&E
- Scoping mission Sudan
- start potato supply chain Kenya
- Waterwatch included
- NSO awards grant to AUXFIN and partners for GAP4A project in Burundi
- UMVA and PosteCash Senegal announce interoperability
- AUXFIN and UMVA present at IFAD marketplace in UN headquarters in New York.
- Launch of UMVA in Mali with support from Mastercard Foundation's Fund for Rural Prosperity
- Connecting UMVA solutions with GEO DATA
- UMVA PAYMENT APP and POS APP
- JEANNE tool for communication and chatbot, with incident reporting
- AfDB commissioned market study for the introduction of UMVA in Mali, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso
- Introduction of UMVA in Italy with support from IOM
- Scoping mission in Lebanon to enable Cash Assistance with UMVA
- Burundi growing to 170.000 families (1 million people)
- POSTE-CASH with UMVA link with 3000 access points in Senegal
- UMVA COOP fase 1 implemented
- GEO developed
- SALPOST introduces POSTUMVA in Sierra Leone on 16th of June, the international day of family remittances
- UMVA projects in Burundi reach 30.000 families
- CAP solution introduced, with 6 pillars
- UMVA AGENT introduced
- AfDB provides a grant to our partner in Senegal to leverage the UMVA service towards financial inclusion
- Study to use UMVA in refugee camps in Kurdistan
- Introduction of community activation in Burundi
- Rabobank funds our partner in Senegal to introduce the UMVA service across its branch network
- Introduction of UMVA in Belgium and the Netherlands
- Creation of AUXFIN Burundi
- First implementation for payment process on the PSEB fertilizer project
- Introduction of UMVA in France
- Development of UMVA LOAN solution
- School registration system installed in Nepal
- Introduction of UMVA in Spain
- UMVA Bank developed with focus on SACCO’s
- Birth of AUXFIN International to boost the implementation of the UMVA solutions
- Launch of UMVA pilot in Senegal with support from IFAD
- UMVA Client developed with focus on international transfers