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Financial Education for SEWA Bank Members

In June 2002, SEWA Bank introduced Project Tomorrow, a project for its members to gain skills in personal financial planning. The program is intended to help members to escape cycles of poverty, make informed decisions about their finances, build their own future and live a secure life. It is reasoned that financial education for members is becoming increasingly recognised as a key element to ensure that members are active and knowledgeable participants in their financial decisions and that households are able to fully utilise and leverage the financial services available to them.

The goal of Project Tomorrow Financial Education Program is to build the capacity of SEWA members in urban and rural areas to be better financial planners. By the end of the program the aim is for members to have:

  • Stated the importance of financial planning
  • Analysed their money management practices
  • Recognised life-cycle financial needs and managed future risks
  • Analysed trade-offs between various financial options
  • Recognised how SEWA Bank and other financial products can help them to improve their financial situation
  • Made a financial plan for their household

The intended outcome of the Program is for SEWA Bank members to be able to make informed decisions about personal financial management and planning through better understanding of the implications of various financial choices they can make. This Facilitator’s Guide on Financial Education for Members had been developed to assist urban and rural SEWA Bank staff and community leaders to achieve the goals of the Project Tomorrow Program. Some sessions have separate examples or activities for urban and rural audiences. There is a workbook for members in the appendix that provides exercises to do, corresponding to each learning session. The guide draws heavily on story-telling, posters and metaphors, such as animal behaviour, with which participants can easily relate. Although developed by SEWA Bank, given the aims of the Project Tomorrow Program, this guide is useful to a much wider audience involved in the provision of financial services. The Guide itself is also tailored to different levels of trainers and trainees.

Following the introduction, the guide begins by setting out useful points for facilitators when preparing for each session, including a number of generally important principles to remember. The start of each session also sets out the objectives, time, preparation/materials needed and the teaching methodology to be used. The sessions are then broken down as follows:

  1. Introduction to financial planning
  2. Daily money management practices
  3. Planning for future events
  4. Savings and investment
  5. Borrowing and loan management
  6. Insurance and risk management
  7. Making a financial plan

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