I have been in Uganda for 36 days. Out of those 36 days I have waited at Barclay's bank 2-3 times a week for at least 2 hours each time (when I'm super lucky!). After the first day of waiting for 3 hours at the bank I realized that I needed to allot wait time into EVERYTHING I do here and that the best thing I can do is sway to 90s pop that plays throughout the office and remind myself that each small task accomplished leads Acacia Avenue Designs down the right path.
One of our companies goals is to give our young ladies the ability to save a part of their income, so when they are done with our 3 year program they can enter the "real world" on the right foot. Barclay's helps make this goal a reality.
Barclays is one of the safest banks and has extra measures to ensure that NO ONE can steal banking information. Their safety measures make it difficult for the cardholder to get their information though, which shows how secure their methods are (even if it is not very helpful).
Keeping that in mind I will now give you two lists of the steps it takes to change a phone number on a form and get one bank account for a beneficiary.
Task 1: Changing phone numbers.
Step 1: Find out Meg cannot receive the pin necessary to log in online due to residing in South Africa.
Step 2: Have Meg try and Skype call Barclay's, but having such poor connection it won't go through.
Step 3: Have Meg and me Skype, so I can call Barclay's in Uganda off of my phone and try to change the number.
Step 4: Be told that the person must come in person to change the number on the form.
Step 5: Boda to the bank branch. Be told that I cannot fill out the form. Be given an email address for Meg to utilize. Send email address to Meg. Have email address not work.
Step 6: Boda another day to talk to another banker about the need to change the phone number. Be given a representatives phone number.
Step 7: Meg calls the representative. Representative informs Meg that I have to come in and take a form, scan it to Meg, have Meg fill it out and sign it, scan it back, print it out, and return it to the office.
Step 8: Boda to the bank to retrieve form.
Step 9: Complete Step 7.
Step 10: Boda to the bank to turn in form. Be notified by representative that a copy of Meg's passport needs to be given to representative as well.
Step 11: Convince representative to allow Meg to email her a copy of her passport.
Step 12: Boda to bank to see if email was received.
After 12 seemingly easy steps you can change a Ugandan number to a South African number, so that you can have access to your bank account.
Task 2: Get Barbara a Bank Account
Step 1: Boda to bank. Fill out paperwork.
Step 2: Have bank inform you that a letter needs to be written by the Dean of the University explaining that beneficiary is a student.
Step 3: Turn in letter to bank.
Step 4: Be told the letter is incorrect and needs more information.
Step 5: Return to school, get a new letter, and return to bank (at least 3 times for 2-5 hours each, or else it doesn't seem like you want it enough)
Step 6: Be informed that all paperwork needs to be scanned to the UK to be approved and then we would be notified that a bank account is ready.
Step 7: Return to the bank 3 different days to find out that representative is out sick and the UK office has not approved of the account.
Step 8: Boda to bank and receive bank account number.
Step 9: Have beneficiary meet me at the bank to fill out additional information and receive bank card and set up online banking.
Step 10: Take picture of beneficiary with bank card, because a task has been completed, and we are SO STOKED!
Repeat steps 1-10 with next beneficiary once new ID card at school is given.
Each task can drag on for hours (and days), so when they are officially completed I get so unbelievably giddy that I end up dancing, laughing, smiling, and hugging anyone and EVERYONE around me. That's the good things about so much time and effort going into each individual task. It allows me to reflect on each small step we are taking as a company and finding happiness throughout the day in all the little wins.
The Bank War is not complete. But, two battles were won, and I CANNOT be happier.