Where There is A Will, There is A Way!OK, we will proceed with the Financial Literacy Programme in March. But how? Let’s put on our thinking caps and find a way.”
So many questions went through our minds when we heard this. With the COVID-19 pandemic still looming over us, there were uncertainties as to how to run the FLP (Financial Literacy Programme) as all physical gatherings were still prohibited. We were in a dilemma - hybrid or online classes?
The Fighting Spirit
In true Sarawakian fighting spirit, the Miri team kept going. Putting physical limitations and available resources into consideration, the team considered various ways of teaching and, ultimately, decided that due to technical challenges, we would proceed with online classes via Whatsapp. Tasks were broken down and delegated to both staff and facilitators and, for a month, we designed and recorded our teaching videos.
Classes via Whatsapp? Would This Work?
Breaking into four smaller groups, each staff paired with a past participant as co-facilitators, to facilitate the discussions. The ideal plan was to send teaching videos to participants ahead of classes, hold discussions over Whatsapp video calls and then test their understanding with post-class quizzes. Disruptions were a reality we had to deal with due to unstable internet connections, especially when it rained, and differing times of availability. Each session was supplemented with follow-up calls, when we had the chance to clarify any doubts. Each participant was also challenged to do a weekly RM5 savings in May.
Where There is A Will, There is A Way!
After 12 weeks of classes, FLP came to an end successfully. Puan Rani shared that through this programme, she had learnt to prioritise and budget. She challenged herself to make financial goals and saved more than RM60 throughout the course. Our youngest participant, Resky, thought that young people should be encouraged to learn how to manage their finances from an early age. Puan Empina, a participant from last year who became our co-facilitator, shared that the experience has given her a better understanding of financial management for her future. Mr. Baxter, a co-facilitator as well as ministry chairperson, shared that FLP is a course that benefits everyone as financial matters are not taught in school yet are faced by all.
Indeed, where there is a will, there is a way… even if the ‘way’ is doing something out of the ordinary!
Written by Sharon Cheong - Community Development Leader, Pusat CARE Miri
*Story taken from CARE Contact, Sept 2021 Edition