FWA plans financial literacy help for underprivileged women

FWA plans financial literacy help for underprivileged women
FWA president Fiona Yik (second from left) and four of its past presidents (from left) Junie Foo; Low Chin Loo; Trina Liang and Chan Ee Lin.
PHOTO: Lumo Studios

THEY opened their hearts and wallets to help underprivileged women by being in their shoes and providing financial literacy.

Financial professionals signed up to attend a poverty simulation workshop and pledged to sponsor a beneficiary through a financial literacy programme.

The charitable causes are two pledges by Financial Women's Association of Singapore (FWA) as it celebrated its 15th anniversary this year on Dec 1.

FWA raised about S$17,000 in total and the proceeds will go to Daughters of Tomorrow (DOT), which FWA has chosen as its designated charity.

The event's ticket sales contributed about S$12,100 after operating expenses. The sales of charity items - stuffed owls made by DOT's Sewing Mums and artisan bread - added about S$1,750.

There are 18 sign-ups for the workshop and 22 pledged S$150 each to sponsor a DOT beneficiary for the financial literacy programme, adding another S$3,300.

The president of FWA, Fiona Yik, said: "FWA has found resonance with DOT's cause in teaching underprivileged women to fish, rather than providing them the fish.

"It sounds cliched, but in the highly competitive financial industry, I think there is fulfilment when we are able to contribute to the betterment of others' lives.

That's why at FWA, we choose to do our part to give back to society and champion relevant charitable causes."

Executive director of DOT Carrie Tan said the unique Poverty Simulation Workshop is designed to "enhance one's empathy for the poor and underprivileged and become more familiar with our beneficiaries' day-to-day living".

It will also form a key foundation towards more effective volunteering and mentoring efforts later, she said.

Participants can expect to be organised into 'families' based on real case studies of families living in poverty.

They will also go through rounds of activities, with each round simulating a week in real life.

Said Ms Yik: "They will have to face choices and make decisions in the shoes of the poor and experience an emotional journey of what that entails."

A debrief after the experience will discuss the issues and struggles that surfaced for the participants during the activities.

"This is indeed a one-of-a-kind recruitment drive with a group of financial industry professionals altruistically encouraging their peers to come forth to take on charity commitments," said Ms Tan.

The anniversary event was held at The Great Room Offices, with food sponsored by Limehouse; wine sponsored by Underground Wines; door gifts by Her World Magazine, Meraki Yoga, Barre 2 Barre Pilates; charity sale items from Christopher Larry, Kai's Fresh Bakes and Gold Quotient.

This article was first published on December 06, 2016.
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