Last Sunday, we celebrated our 4th Financial Literacy Graduation. 58 participants graduated which brings our total amount to 700 since we began the program in 2014. This is very exciting! We would like to thank all of the participants for their hard work, the 10 financial literacy trainers that lead this work, and to the Levi Strauss Foundation for the support of this program.
There were 3 items that stood out during this phase that we would like to draw attention to.
- 74 participants started the course in January, 58 graduated. That is an 80% completion rate, the highest amount we’ve had since initiating the course. This merits a huge applause to our financial literacy trainers for supporting and continuing to engage the participants along the way.
2. This year, we introduced a new aspect to the financial literacy program, the community savings bank (CAF). This provides a direct action for participants to take after finishing the program to continue putting into practice what they learn during the course and improve their financial security. Already 50% of the participants have signed up to join a savings group.
This is thanks to the financial literacy trainers whose success of their CAF has been a positive example for the participants. The trainers have cumulatively saved over $800 (equivalent to 8 months’ salary) in just 6 months and continuously take out loans amongst each other to support their other income-generating activities. As one trainer, Frideline put it, “Before I would have lacked money to advance or improve my livelihood, but now with the group, I am never in a position where I lack money because we all support each other.”
- We can say it time and time again, but none of this would be possible without the incredible dedication, professionalism, and hard work of the financial literacy trainers. From being participants themselves just 3 years ago, they have grown tremendously over the years and have stepped into huge leadership roles. Their responsibility in improving the financial situation of their communities, Ouanaminthe, and the entire country of Haiti is exemplary and they are fully committed to building the financial resilience of Haitians across the country. This year, we paid the trainers part-time salaries which were well-deserved and validated their hard work, making their involvement and hard work sustainable for the long-term.
Thank you again to the Levi Strauss Foundation for supporting this program. Solkomyo strives to continue providing financial literacy education to textile workers in CODEVI, the Ouanaminthe community, and the entire northeast department of Haiti.