A baseline study done by Social Impact and Development Studies on the impact of financial literacy conducted by Atikha and FWC was done and the following are the main findings of the study:

  1. The seminar has been highly appreciated by OFWs, seafarers, personnel of government agencies and local government units involved in migrant concerns and issues, and members of OFW families who have attended. Such high appreciation is due the seminarís relevance in addressing the concrete problems the migrant workers and their families are confronted with, such as lack of savings and investments, dependency of families on remittances, and other financial and familial issues.

  2. The seminar did not only provide the participants valuable information but also the opportunity for self-reflection and evaluation. The seminar has made the OFWs and seafarers realize the urgency to save and invest their hard earned money. They felt the need to act immediately so as not to put their hard work to waste and in order to secure their own and their familiesí future.

  3. The seminar has taught the participants budgeting, goal setting and financial planning. It has also provided information on savings and investment opportunities and on financial instruments that they can avail of to attain their goals.†

  4. The participants have noted changes in their and their familiesí attitudes and lifestyle as a result of their participation in the seminar. They have valued more their hard earned money, have been frugal and no longer are extravagant in their lifestyle. They have also sought various ways of saving and investing their own money.

  5. Many of them have started to practice what they have learned in the seminar. They have sorted out family problems and engaged the participation of their entire families in attaining their set goals. They have made notable savings and investments, following the financial plans that they have set during the seminar. Many of them are also looking forward to setting up their business in the near future. Those who were unable to save and invest have cited illness and other unforeseen circumstances beyond their control.

  6. The participants are looking forward to further assistance from Atikha. They have expressed, for instance, the need that they be monitored and mentored by Atikha in the implementation of their financial plans to avoid backsliding.

The Atikha and FWC experience in the conduct of financial literacy seminar has shown that migrants and their families are not averse to saving and investing their hard earned money. Given the necessary information, skills and tools, migrants can make the correct choice, that is, availing of the best financial products that suit their financial goals. Providing the information, skills and tools through financial literacy seminars, however, requires a firm resolve to reach out to migrants and their families despite the difficulties posed by their living and working conditions.

We still have a long way to go in creating impact on the lives of the migrants, their families and communities and we are bracing ourselves for a bumpy ride but we are happy to note that we are taking the right direction.