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No Borders to the Benefits of Volunteering

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  Volunteering is a fundamental component of the ethos of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA), and hundreds of its members donate their time and expertise to serve on councils, committees and task forces. But some actuaries are volunteering a little further afield.

A forthcoming mentoring scheme in Kenya is only the latest initiative organized by Actuaries Without Borders (AWB), a section of the International Actuarial Association (IAA).

In April, several volunteers from AWB will travel to the East African country for a month. With their board, lodging—organized by the Actuarial Society of Kenya—and travel expenses all provided, they will be assigned to different life insurance companies or regulatory authorities.

While there, they will mentor actuarial staff in such areas as defining the problems they are working on in actuarial terms, evaluating their results and the development of their conclusions, and communicating their findings to the management team. The volunteers will also enjoy collective social and educational activities, and present short talks.

Volunteers assembled by the IAA and AWB have already visited Kenya; in 2009 Allan Brender of the CIA and Dave Ingram of the Society of Actuaries went to Nairobi to deliver a two-week course on enterprise risk management and economic capital concepts and present lectures to local university students and others.

Other AWB projects have seen actuaries travelling to:

  • Azerbaijan, where Peter Murdza of the Casualty Actuarial Society helped teach a three-week course on property-casualty ratemaking and loss reserving;
  • Kazakhstan, where a group of volunteers taught at the Second Actuarial School, covering such topics as liability adequacy testing, risk management, and credit risks of pension funds to more than 60 people from nine countries; and
  • India, where an actuary and two actuarial students worked on setting up a mutual fund to help protect the health of a poor community.
To learn more about the AWB and its work, visit its webpage.

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