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3 July 2024

Embracing Change: Legs4Africa’s Rebrand Journey to ‘STAND – We Walk Together’

Screenshot 2024-07-03 12.21.25

by Tom Williams OBE – Founder

At Legs4Africa, we’ve been on an incredible journey over the past decade. As we’ve grown and evolved, so has our understanding of the role we play in the wider narrative of international development. We recently undertook a transformative rebrand, adopting ‘STAND’ and the new tag line ‘We Walk Together’. This change is rooted in our commitment to decolonising development work and fostering an empowering partnership with the communities we serve.

For ten years, the name Legs4Africa has been synonymous with recycling prosthetic components and supporting rehabilitation centres across eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Our name helped us gain recognition as a trusted source within the prosthetics industry. However, as we reflected on our mission and values, we realised that our name might inadvertently convey a relationship where Africa is just a passive recipient of aid from the Global North. This perception doesn’t align with our vision of more collaborative, equitable relationships.

The decision to rebrand was not taken lightly. It emerged from deep, valuable team-mediated sessions, where we engaged with our team and stakeholders to gain a variety of perspectives. These discussions highlighted that our work extends far beyond providing prosthetic legs. We also support amputee community groups, local counsellors, and peer support volunteers, aiming to improve accessibility and holistic services for people with limb differences. 

A significant aspect of our rebranding journey was acknowledging that the term ‘Legs4Africa’ might oversimplify our work and, more critically, might disempower those we aim to serve. The name could be seen as focusing on the process rather than the people and their stories. Through our reflections and stakeholder feedback, we recognised the need to adopt a name and narrative that truly reflects our values and aspirations.

In our pursuit of a more inclusive and empowering identity, we worked with Firehaus, a branding agency based in Bristol. They generously supported us pro bono, guiding us through workshops to create a new name, tagline, and brand narrative. This process aimed to ensure that our new identity would resonate with and empower the communities we work with, while also maintaining the trust and credibility we’ve built over the years.

We understand that rebranding carries risks, particularly regarding our established relationships within the prosthetics industry, where we source the majority of our resources. To address these concerns, we made a concerted effort to keep our stakeholders, including donors, informed and involved throughout the process. Their input was invaluable, helping us navigate the transition smoothly and ensuring their voices were heard.

Our rebranding journey has been both challenging and enlightening. It has taken just over six months, starting from our initial agreement at the end of 2023 and commencing in earnest in early January. The process has taught us the importance of introspection, dialogue, and collaboration. It has strengthened our team and clarified our mission.

Writing from this side of the rebrand, I feel immense gratitude for our immediate and extended team, who bravely engaged in difficult conversations, and for the pro bono support from other organisations, which enabled us to undertake this significant change without significant financial strain.

‘STAND: We Walk Together’ encapsulates our commitment to partnership, empowerment, and solidarity. It’s a renewed promise to the communities we work with and a step towards a more equitable future.

To gain deeper insights into STAND’s journey and the impact of their work, we invite you to watch their new docuseries at www.stand.ngo/doc. Inspired by powerful stories of the people whose lives have been transformed through the work, shedding light on their resilience and collective efforts towards a brighter future.

Thank you to Tom for telling the story of STAND- We Walk Together here. If you’d like to learn more from Tom about this rebrand – Join us at the SWIDN Annual Conference on October 17th to hear from Tom and our other speakers about practical examples of changes that lead towards locally led development. Find out more and register for the Zoom event here!

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