Commentary

Western Union Launches Major Financial Education Initiative

by FinancialCorps, 17 April 2015

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Global money transfer giant The Western Union Company has announced the launch of a major financial education program designed to assist migrant workers in developing financial literacy skills that will enable them to manage their personal financial affairs and be best positioned for financial success in the future. The program, dubbed “Apna Sapna,” will be rolled out initially in the UAE with significant support from the UAE Labour Ministry.

Western Union’s plan and objectives were very clear from the outset. Specifically, the company’s goal is to train three thousand individuals during a two-month period in small group structures. To reach its target audience, Western Union will conduct the in-person trainings in labor camps throughout the UAE.

The innovative financial literacy program will be conducted in multiple phases. The first phase of the initiative has already commenced, with more than 1,500 migrant workers taking part at this stage. The second phase is intended to include a disproportionate number of women workers in order to provide additional support and financial empowerment to women.

One of the attributes of the Western Union program that is garnering substantial interest and praise is its multilingual approach. Specifically, the initiative was developed in eight distinct languages so that migrant workers across the UAE could participate in the program in their native languages.

Topics covered by Apna Sapna are broad, providing an even more extensive foundation for the migrant workers participating in the program. Such topics include budgeting, saving, income and overall financial planning. This type of financial education programming is nothing new for Western Union and the Western Union Foundation. For example, through Western Union’s Education for Better program, the Western Union Foundation, which has long supported greater access to education and vocational training, has long encouraged innovative financial literacy initiatives for individuals and families. Assuming the success of the Apna Sapna initiative based on results from the early stages, Western Union is well positioned to expand the program into other countries in the years ahead.


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