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BPI sponsors Pinoy WISE Financial Education campaign in UAE and Qatar

“The Financial education course changed my mindset. Before, all my income was spent for the family as I always want to give the best for them. I even took loans for travel and vacations because I know that I have a good job as an OFW.  But after I attended the financial education training, my priorities changed. I started to save and invest”. Ed Alcantara, leader of Foundation for Family Life Migrant Workers in Qatar.  Ed Alcantara is now a financial literacy advocate, dedicated trainer, and one of the coordinators of PinoyWISE-Qatar. He believes that OFWs- both low and high income earners should be taught of family and financial management.

BPI sponsors Pinoy WISE Financial Education campaign in UAE and Qatar

Pinoy WISE financial education training in United Arab Emirates.

The response of the migrants in Qatar on the Pinoy WISE financial education course was overwhelmingly positive. They mentioned that this intervention was long overdue. The Bank of the Philippine Islands sponsored the financial education campaign in Qatar and UAE and supported Atikha in conducting the Training of Trainers on Financial Literacy and Addressing Barriers to Reintegration in United Arab Emirates last August 9 -11, 2013 and in the State of Qatar last August 16, 17 and 23, 2013. The training of trainers is part of the activities of PinoyWISE (Pinoy Worldwide Initiatives on Investment, Savings and Entrepreneurship) Movement.

After the training the migrant leaders who were trained by Atikha were able to conduct regular financial education training in Qatar and United Arab Emirates. In less than a year, PinoyWISE trainers from United Arab Emirates conducted 19 financial education training reaching 4 emirates and gathered 586 participants. Meanwhile, Qatar trainers have conducted 12 financial education training and reached 317 overseas Filipino workers.

BPI sponsors Pinoy WISE Financial Education campaign in UAE and QatarThe ambassadors of UAE and Qatar are championing the Pinoy WISE movement financial education campaign. Most of the seminar workshops were conducted at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Doha. PinoyWISE Financial Education Training in UAE is scheduled every fourth Friday of the month. Other emirates aside from Abu Dhabi were also reached in the financial education campaign. In Qatar, aside from embassy-based seminar, the trainers also conducted the activity in the camp or work sites to reach the low-income workers. They also tapped schools, company and faith based organizations to cascade the financial education training.

“Ang hindi ko malilimutan na bahagi ng training ay iyong concept ng Save before You Spend, kasi kaya laging walang naiipon ang OFW ay laging gastos ang nasa isip. Kapag nagkulang pa ang kita ay credit card naman ang gagamitin. Natutunan ko din na hindi tama ang pagbibigay ng sobrang luho sa mga anak at ang limitasyon ng pagtulong sa mga kamag-anak. Pinag-usapan namin ng Misis ko ang mga bagay na iyon” (What I cannot forget in the training is the concept of Save Before You Spend, most of the OFWs are not able to save because what they have in mind are ways on spending their money. If the salary is not enough, credit card will be used. I also learned in the training that providing too much luxury to the children is also negative.   I also realized that there should be a limit to the support extended to the relatives. I and my wife talk about those things now).  Danny Reyes, an OFW from Lipa working in Dubai.

Like Danny, most of the participants  appreciate the value of the training and they find it life changing.

Atikha,  Pinoy WISE UAE and Pinoy WISE Qatar are grateful for the support  and commitment of  BPI  in their advocacy for financial education for OFWs and their families.  ” We are aware that the overseas Filipinos and their families have problems in managing their funds and they also have a lot of family issues that drain their resources.  We are aware that they need assistance in budgeting, goal setting, saving, investing and in addressing their family issues so as not to waste their hard earned money.  However, without the support of private sector like BPI,  NGOs like us will not have the resources to reach out to them in their country of destination.” Mai Dizon-Anonuevo, executive director, Atikha.

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