Financial education has proven to be an efficient tool for systematically and effectively building assets in a society (OECD, 2005). One of the components of the Opportunities for My Community project consists of providing financial education to over 120,000 people in Guatemala.
Our financial education project consists of a successful and innovative strategy that promotes financial inclusion, education, and savings mobilization. It forms, informs and converts transactional clients into account holders, bringing their informal savings into the formal financial system.
The project utilizes a strategy with six main components: 1) developing financial sector partnerships; 2) selecting and training of a team of financial educators; 3) providing one-on-one financial advising for remittance recipients and other transactional clients; 4) conducting workshops and trainings for financial institution staff; 5) tracking data and outcomes; and 6) sharing outcomes and lessons-learned with stakeholders.
The expected results are to establish and modify behavior and knowledge on basic financial management. Establishing new behavior and knowledge motivates thinking about saving and budgeting, and modifying behavior and knowledge mobilizes personal resources into the formal financial system. Thus, we achieve financial access and education simultaneously.
In this report, we share the stories of some of the financial educators working for the project in Guatemala and their importance within the communities where they provide financial advise.