Deeds not words

To truly represent the communities they serve, organisations need more than good will: they need to lead with purpose.

Photo: BASF-SE/Hans-Juergen Doelger
I have just had the privilege of visiting the Kiuyu Millennium Village Project on Pemba Island off the Tanzanian coast. Why am I telling you this and why is this important in helping us improve diversity?

The Millennium Village Project is part of Millennium Promise, a non-governmental organisation focused on Sub-Saharan Africa with the simple idea that holistic development can break the stubbornness of poverty that traps over a billion people into the poorest conditions on earth, ensuring life is harrowingly incomplete and short. It works with 16 communities across Africa developing context-specific and community-led action plans in health, agriculture and environment, education, infrastructure, microfinance and nutrition and gender equality. The Millennium Village Project is changing lives and restoring hope. A vital part of this change is the impact empowerment is having on the lives of women. In the Kiuyu Millennium Village Project, over 1,000 girls are in education (and more importantly staying in education) for the first time. Women are taking the lead in forging the future of their community representing nearly 40 per cent of smallholder cooperative members and over 70 per cent of the agricultural development.

Michael Hastings

Before taking on his current role as global head of citizenship at KPMG International, Lord Dr Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE was the BBC’s head of public affairs and then the first head of corporate social responsibility from 2003 to 2006. Michael is a trustee of the Vodafone Group Foundation and served for nine years on the Board for Responsible Business at British Telecom (BT). He first represented KPMG International on the Global Corporate Citizenship Committee of the World Economic Forum (2008–2010) and was a board director of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) (2010-2012).