My Job as a Financial Literacy Trainer in Pakistan
Posted on September 07, 2012, by Rubbia Abbas, Financial Literacy Trainer, Kashf Foundation
As I make my way to the house of one of our clients, I nervously look at my watch and hope that all the clients in my training group have gathered together already. I also pray for a light breeze, as I know the clients’ can pay far more attention when there is a draft in the room. As I enter the client’s house for our meeting, I see that one of the usually quiet clients is talking animatedly with another client. I try to listen in on their conversation – she is telling her friend that she had a long conversation with her husband yesterday and they have decided to save for a refrigerator for their small grocery store so they can add cold items to their inventory. She also curiously asks her friend whether the trainer – that’s me – would mind helping her make an individual schedule for the saving. I proudly smile to myself. It’s hard to imagine that these are the same women who, when they first approached Kashf, had never accessed formal credit before. Without support of business development officers, they had thought they were not talented enough to make financial decisions.
Rubbia trains her clients in financial literacy in Pakistan.
After 15 minutes, I assemble the group – most of whom are illiterate – into a circle and begin my session. We start with separating ‘needs’, ‘desires’ and ‘unnecessary expenses.’ I divide the group into smaller groups and distribute pictures of expenses. I ask them to arrange the pictures in three piles corresponding to the nature of expenses. The clients discuss and debate. I am glad to notice that the members in the group are taking a stance on why they think a particular expense should fall in a particular category. We debrief. The energy levels in the room are soaring. All clients promise to spend less on items they have placed in the ‘unnecessary expenses’ category and to save money for items in the ‘desires’ category. The session ends on a positive note.
Clients prioritize pictures of items based on their needs.
I have been working as a trainer for the Systemized Financial Education Program at Kashf Foundation for the last eight months. The journey has been good and the most satisfying aspect is to see the change in clients’ confidence levels. By equipping clients with tools and skills on savings, budgeting, debt management and financial transaction, I hope that I will be able to contribute to Kashf Foundation’s vision of holistic transformation in the lives of clients and their families.
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