St. Albans, England December 6, 2016 – Some 50 leaders of Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID) Unions gathered in Pretoria, South Africa, on Nov. 8-10 for a unique training experience.
“I believe this was the first [training] of its kind,” enthused Goodwell Nthani, chief financial officer of the SID.
The training was unique because risk management training is usually not customized for insurance coordinators. Giles Barham, Adventist Risk Management, Inc (ARM) account executive for Africa and Christina Quionquion, customer service representative for Africa, presented the 3-day training event.
To meet this need, ARM partnered with SID administration to hold a training event specifically for insurance coordinators in the SID. Ruthy Nyawasha, Savie Maphosa and Russell Raelly of the SID Insurance Department facilitated and coordinated the training.
Training for Insurance Coordinators
Barham began the training by introducing to the attendees the idea of risk management and practical strategies to respond to these challenges.
Whilst Barham dealt with the specific policies and general questions surrounding issues the coordinators were facing, Quionquion presented the more technical aspects of the role, such as how to fill in forms correctly, how to navigate the ARM website and how to submit claims.
“We wanted to make it perfectly clear to the attendees that ARM is a General Conference institution, created by the church for the church, and as such we are here to support our institutions with challenges they experience within their operations,” said Barham. “Many view ARM as just an insurance company, but we actually offer much more to our church clients than just insurance. Training opportunities are something that we really want to promote in the African region for 2017 so that greater knowledge is espoused and greater care is taken with how we, as church institutions, manage the risks presented to us on a day-to-day basis.”
Plenty of time was provided so that attendees could highlight specific issues they were having in their roles, which the ARM team responded to in each incidence.
Barham also included some scenario-based questions whereby the attendees had the opportunity to get in groups, discuss the case and recommend remedies—whether it be a particular policy or to verify policy remits. The participants appeared to enjoy this aspect, especially as ARM branded prizes were handed out for correct responses.
It was really interesting to experience the issues specific to the SID, which are somewhat different and unique to the challenges we may experience in the United Kingdom, or Europe,” said Quionquion.
A Commitment to Training
The visit to South Africa was part of a strategic training trip by Barham to educate church leaders throughout Africa. During the previous week, he gave presentations during year-end meetings in Kenya, offering strategies to limit church losses throughout the region and clarifying policy questions specifically for treasurers. The training was well received with Barham receiving requests for union specific training in 2017.
Thoughts from Attendees:
“The training focused on the actual needs of the church work and, as such, the coordinators’ jobs would be made easier when they returned to their respective institutions as they now understood operational aspects of their job which they had perhaps not fully appreciated before.”
“Our presenters had more patience and they were entertaining all our questions.”
“Barham and Quionquion were ready to listen and explain until the attendees fully understood.”
“The individuals I have talked to say excellent work was done this training session and should be repeated in the future! Thanks guys and BRAVO! Come again!”