Work with purpose: The LGT Impact Fellowship

What is the purpose of your job? An increasing number of professionals look for meaning in their careers. Some take a radical step and decide to give back to the community. Tundu Kenyua is one of them. This is her story.  

Laura Gianesi, LGT
7 minutes
Portrait photo of Tundu Kenuya smiling
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tundu Kenuya realised: "I want a job that makes me wake up, log in in the morning and say, this might be a drop in the ocean, but I know I’m doing something to help make the world better."

"I used to be an investor relations consultant, focusing on numbers: the return on equity, the earnings, the profit margins, selling the company’s value to shareholders.

My mindset shift had already started earlier, but the real aha-moment came in early 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the lockdowns, I used to hurry from one career step to the next, earning good money, without giving anything much thought. The pandemic suddenly brought everything to a standstill, and I finally found time for introspection: I realised I had worked for 15 years, and I still felt unfulfilled. I realised I could survive without big pay checks. Questions popped up: Why haven’t I achieved what I want? What do I want? What am I doing with my life? When the world opens up again, what do I want to achieve? What makes me sleep better at night? When I’m old and looking back, what life choices will I be proud of?

Tundu during a workshop
As a Fellow, Tundu took part in workshops with government teams from day one.
What changed my inner compass, too, was seeing how countries reacted differently to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how poor leadership in a crisis costs livelihoods - lives, even. Would some governments have protected their citizens better if they had been better prepared? Shouldn’t crisis management be a top priority for every government? Even in peaceful times?

This was when I realised I wanted a job that made me wake up, log in in the morning and say "this might be a drop in the ocean, but I know I’m doing something to help make the world better" - and not something that just makes firms look glittery to investors. Also, during lockdown, I had intense discussions with my friends and former colleagues about how corporates can take over responsibility for their local communities, and how strong states succeed in protecting their people. All of these factors made me jump when I discovered the LGT Impact Fellowship job ad on LinkedIn.

Portrait of three young women
Three LGT Impact Fellows for AMP Health: Tundu Kenyua started in 2021, Evelyn Kaumba in 2022 and Peace Kadondi in 2023.

LGT Impact Fellowship: Do you want to make a difference?

To have a positive impact, organisations do not only need financial support, but also human capital: Financial contributions will be transformative if the organisation’s employees have the skillset, knowhow, experience and perseverance to make a difference.

This is where LGT Impact Fellows step in: during a 12-month full-time engagement, LGT Impact Fellows support one of the LGT Venture Philanthropy portfolio organisations with their business expertise.

LGT VP first works with organisations to identify their specific talent needs - be it in the areas of finance, strategy, HR, communications or business development - and then recruits an experienced professional . By recruiting an LGT Impact Fellow, LGT VP supports organisations’ long-term growth, as they usually do not have access to a global talent pool.

Do you have more questions about the LGT Impact Fellowship? Find answers here.
Interested in becoming an LGT Impact Fellow? Apply here until 31 March to be part of the 2024 cohort.

I applied, I got shortlisted. I had my first job interview with LGT Venture Philanthropy, then I had a few interviews with AMP Health. I read all their published material, and what resonated with me most was their belief that global challenges can only be addressed by leaders who know how to be leaders. Their unique set of values fitted mine perfectly, as did the skills they were looking for. What was amazing was my last interview with the AMP Health Managing Director: he really wanted to get to know me and my motivation and find out if I was a fit for the team. Because you can have the perfect CV, but the wrong mindset. 

A few days later, Miriam from LGT Venture Philanthropy called me and said: “You got the job!” And I replied: “Amazing, when do I start?” And she said: “Yesterday!” 

A group of ten people in a park. Tundu is seen on the right
LGT Impact Fellows truly become part of the team: "It’s so valuable that LGT Venture Philanthropy sends people as well as financial support."

Nonprofits are different

Anything new is a shock to the system - it was a lot to take in. From day one, I took part in AMP Health workshops with government teams. I found myself in the midst of ministry leaders; and I realised that they had made time to attend this three-day-workshop in the middle of a pandemic. I can’t explain how shocked I was! The minister of public health surely had more than enough on his desk. But then I realised they were here because they had faith in us. They knew this workshop would improve their management skills, which would help them bring their people through this crisis. A short-time sacrifice, a long-term benefit. 

AMP Health: Better governments, better healthcare

Implementing resilient healthcare strategies is a challenge many African governments face. If you want to ensure people have access to better healthcare services no matter where they live – be it against Malaria, HIV or cancer –, you have to start at the government level. AMP Health has been working with more than ten African governments to strengthen their management capabilities and leadership skills - and thereby, their community and primary healthcare systems. 

Find out more about AMP Health here.

One of the biggest challenges during my Fellowship was my own mindset. Coming from a large corporate to a small nonprofit organisation is a huge change many LGT Impact Fellows struggle with. My focus had to shift from economic profit to social impact, from fast-paced change to long-term gain. In the beginning, I would suggest initiatives like roadshows, media agencies, big events – instead of putting myself in the shoes of a small NGO that is financed by donations only. During the weekly check-ins with Miriam from LGT Venture Philanthropy, she told me to slow down, be humbler, be more empathetic towards this NGO, understand their limits and that they cannot realise all great ideas despite the great vision, meet them where they are, work with what I have. That helped a lot. 

Photo of a group of AMP Health employees in South Africa.
AMP Health has grown from eight people to thirty since 2021.

In the end, I didn’t finish my 12-month Fellowship - because AMP Health gave me a permanent offer earlier. I had proved myself by taking on many new roles - from communications to programme coordinator to operations to finance. I’m still at AMP Health today. And having seen them grow from eight people to thirty since 2021 is phenomenal. There are new challenges, new ideas, new opportunities, and I’m learning every day.

Since my start, we’ve had three Fellows who became permanent colleagues. All of them have had a long-term impact on AMP Health. As a new joiner, you clearly see where gaps are in a firm and bring new skillsets to the team that help us improve.

It’s so valuable that LGT Venture Philanthropy sends people as well as financial support. After all, it’s not money alone that solves problems. It’s people."

Tundu during a workshop with a thumbs up
Tundu and AMP Health were a match from the start: "Their unique set of values fitted mine perfectly, as did the skills they were looking for."

Philanthropic commitment

LGT Venture Philanthropy (LGT VP) is an independent charitable foundation established in 2007 with teams in Switzerland, Sub-Saharan Africa, and India. The Foundation strives to improve the quality of life of people facing disadvantages, contribute to healthy ecosystems and build resilient, inclusive, and prosperous communities. LGT VP focuses on strengthening the capabilities of locally rooted organizations that deliver effective, scalable solutions across health, education, and contribute to directly to the SDGs.
To explore further engagement opportunities with LGT Venture Philanthropy, please feel free to contact them at info@lgtvp.com

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