Amref Flying Doctors

The unique change power of Amref Flying Doctors

“We had never positioned Amref Flying Doctors relative to other organizations. We felt the need to know where our distinctive power lies. Thanks to this trajectory with Branddoctors we found out and together we developed the new positioning: change power. And we found out that we are really proud of the African DNA, we now feel that much more and we also carry it out. ”

Now we really feel it

The positioning process with Brand Doctors makes us more aware of what makes Amref Flying Doctors really unique; You change from within. Full of conviction and energy, Amref Flying Doctors helps in Africa, with the Africans constantly on new and sometimes unconventional roads that bring an independent, self-aware and healthy African continent closer. We call this change power. This power of change was already in our DNA - we just had to recognize it, activate it and give it space. Now we really feel it. We are very proud of that. We know this sets us apart from any other charity.

Branddoctors helped us by looking at the entire brand in a clear and clear way: First from the inside. That is how we came to certain insights. Then we took the step 'outside' by testing the insights in the outside world. When developing a new positioning, you don't always get everyone involved. You have to take time for that. Branddoctors also helped us to create internal branding with internal branding. There are 'brand value trophies' and 'BrandEnergizers', a group of colleagues who take all kinds of initiatives to load the positioning internally. If everyone is increasingly woven into their own stories, even if it is at the lunch table, then it will add up.

The market is changing, but the change power of Amref Flying Doctors is not

Charities and development aid have been the subject of much criticism in recent years. People no longer believe in it, because where does the money actually go? The time here in the Western world to think about how things should be different in Africa is really over.

Amref Flying Doctors has been around since 1957 and is anchored in African society. The employees are almost all African, with our headquarters in Nairobi, so they know the traditions and culture from the inside out. As a result, Amref Flying Doctors can work well with the population on the one hand, and can influence the healthcare system and the government on the other. So that medical care - and therefore health - is within everyone's reach. This creates a lot of confidence, because Amref Flying Doctors does it differently from other charities. The power of change and the African DNA makes Amref Flying Doctors unique and distinctive.

"We wear the shoes, we know where it hurts and we will fix it."

Positioning comes to life

Last year we started an innovative project in Kenya, together with the local government, Philips and the national health insurance fund. By joining forces and making use of everyone's expertise and added value, we are working on an entrepreneurial and sustainable model in which everyone can make use of good care, including the poorest of the poor. This creates direct influence on the reduction of maternal and child mortality. Very unique.

We are not in all African countries, but where we are we help change entire systems from the inside, and we can achieve culture and behavioral change. That is the power to change. Change power is also the respect of the local population and government, so you can discuss very difficult topics. Take, for example, female circumcision, which is very normal with the Masai, something they have been doing for centuries, as a Western organization you do not have to come and talk about it. Our African colleagues can enter into this dialogue and thus facilitate change from within. That has an effect!

Brand doctors temporarily part of our organization

We soon noticed that Branddoctors had a genuine and intrinsic interest in learning about the Amref Flying Doctors brand. Branddoctors is also really strong at making connections. Not just the internal organization with the stakeholders and the outside world. But also in their method. During the start-up of the project we visited Branddoctors a few times and we brainstormed together with Bianca and Susanne on a large whiteboard. The word 'change power' came into being for the first time. But thinking along and sparring with the rest of the team also feels very valuable. For us, it never felt like hiring an external party, no, Branddoctors was temporarily part of our organization.

See also the example of Canon of the Netherlands the assignment to involve several pilot museums in propagating an unambiguous, validated identity.

Want to know more?

Make an appointment with Bianca van Zwol via or via Ellen: +030.

Published on
2 July 2018

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About Amref Flying Doctors

Amref Flying Doctors was founded in 1957 and has become the most important health organization in Africa. Aircraft are still being used to reach remote areas. But the work now includes much more. These days Amref focuses on staying healthy, through education, training and research. Where the doctor does not go, they bridge the distances to health care.

Interview with:

Patricia Vermeulen, director of Amref Flying Doctors since 2015 and Michèle Rabouw, who has worked at Amref Flying Doctors since 2007, now as head of Corporate Communications.


Bianca van Zwol

Senior art director

Lisette van Elst