Last week I was back in the Netherlands for meetings at Achmea and HealthNet TPO. Just before my departure I received the first signals that the project for micro-insurance in Burundi was approved by the Board of the Achmea Foundation. We are very pleased with this for several reasons ...
The good thing of this approval is that, we now may qualify for additional funding from the Agency of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs in the context of Private-Public Partnerships. Together with Achmea, Agriterra (Agricultural University Wageningen) and HNTPO we have developed a project proposal that now awaits evaluation. With this project proposal there would, by the financial contribution of the partners involved, become an additional budget available of nearly 2 million Euros. The first hurdle (organizational assessment) is already taken. The next hurdle (evaluation of the project proposal) follows mid-September. When it is approved – and I have confidence in that – we enter the final round. If that all works out, we have a really great project with a budget that provides many opportunities.
Because of this extra application, we cannot start the actual project. All expenses that are made before any approval do not count for the doubling. Therefore we cannot start yet, however we are very eager to do so. Soon also Achmea employees will be invoked, although it is not clear yet what type of expertise we need. This will probably take place next year. The intention is that two times a year, two Achmea employees travel to Burundi for a week. After a short introduction in Bujumbura, they will mainly stay in the inland to be close to actual field activities.
During my stay in the Netherlands I was also surprised with congratulations from the manager of the Silver Pool, Josje Frietman, for my 25 year anniversary at Achmea. Because I was not in the Netherlands on the anniversary date itself, I was unfortunately not able to organize the usual reception. I hope I compensated it by asking to transfer the appropriate amount of money to the solidarity fund of HNTPO Burundi.
Lastly, the application of IT-equipment for the HNTPO offices in Burundi was also completed. The hardware has arrived in Amsterdam and will be sent to Burundi. We are very happy because some of the current computers date back from the previous century (Stone Age computers...).
HealthNet TPO and I agreed that from now on I will return to the Netherlands once every three months for meetings. That also provides the opportunity to consult the Achmea home about the project.
Wim Overbeeke – Country Director Burundi at HealthNet TPO
Background – Wim studied International Relations and Economics (Free University) and before he came to HealthNet TPO he worked at Achmea (large Dutch insurance company), UWV, DGIS (in Burundi), ILO (in Burundi and Benin) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Currently Wim has been posted by Achmea at our office in Bujumbura to manage the local office, to develop new (insurance) projects, to manage the DCR programme and to represent HealthNet TPO in the DCR steering committee.