It is 7am on a sunny Saturday morning in Copenhagen, Denmark. The MYC4 office is full of 25 volunteers ready for the day’s campaign which is intended to create awareness about the problem that 380 million adults don’t have access to a bank in Africa. The 25 volunteers are sent out in teams of two to cover the 100 ATMs in Copenhagen with a sign to close the bank. The idea with the sign was to give the bank customers the feeling of not having a bank. The feeling was of cause only temporary because upon closer inspection of the conspicuous “CLOSED” sign on the machine, you could read that the bank wasn’t really closed and that there was talk of a fictional closure. The sign had the following text:
An efficient and stable banking system like Denmark’s is a necessity to operate a sustainable society. For more than 380 million adults in Africa not having access to a bank is the daily reality. You can help to change this at MYC4.com by lending out as little as €5 in a microloan.
Fortunately we are in Denmark, so the ATM machine works fine.
In connection with Saturday’s event Mads Kjær, CEO of MYC4, comments:
“In Denmark we have one of the world’s best banking systems which most of us take for granted. In Africa 380 million adults do not have access to a bank. We want to focus on the practical and financial implications this can have when trying to build a sustainable society and equip people to be able to stand on their own feet.”
“By pretending this fictional closure of the Copenhagen ATMs, we want to plant a sense of what it is like not having a bank. Despite the fact that Africa is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, their banking system is not geared for this because the access to capital is not yet guaranteed. In a time where we donate billions of charity for Africa, it is a problem that we don’t focus enough on the missing middle.”
We were very happy to see how enthusiastic all our volunteers were about the project which went as expected; we had a lot of positive talk about MYC4 and the problem we wanted to communicate, furthermore we also ended up on the Danish news channel TV2 News. Watch the interview here.
Stay tuned for our viral video about the project “A day without banks”.