Sixty UAE nationals who have been empowered with vital knowledge to manage their finances more efficiently and be more confident with money have today become the first graduates of the ‘Ghaya’ financial literacy programme, launched by the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an.
In a virtual ceremony, His Excellency Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State (UAE) and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) shared an inspiring message, whilst His Excellency and Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi and His Excellency Khalifa Alsuwaidi, Vice Chairman of UAE Banks Federation and Executive Director of the Global Special Situations Department Abu Dhabi, and Her Excellency Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an, were among the attendees to congratulate the graduates for their efforts and commitment following the completion of the pioneering three-month initiative.
In partnership with Abu Dhabi Global Market Academy and The London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF), which helped develop the content, the ‘Ghaya’ programme was launched by Ma’an last year to help improve the financial understanding within local communities. It is a social priority that has been identified by the Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development.
50 of the 60 participants that took part were from the Social Support Authority while the remaining were selected after registering for the programme.
With the support of 10 specialised volunteer trainers, who were recruited in partnership with the UAE Banks Federation, the hands-on programme saw the participants study six modules, giving them an insight on different areas of finance.
The volunteers were trained to guide and assist the participants through the learning journey to become financially independent. During the graduation ceremony, the specialised volunteers were awarded a ‘Ghaya’ Volunteer Trainer digital badge by LIBF in recognition for their resounding efforts over the 12 weeks.
They were also praised for being pioneers in the field by leading by example and were told how they are playing a vital role in bringing the community together and supporting each other.
The modules included personal life cycles and financial needs, understanding financial products, making crucial financial decisions, dealing with money and debt mismanagement. As well as exploring different banking and investment options that are available, it also focused on how the participants should save and live within their means.
The graduates will now put their skills and knowledge into daily use, applying the key learnings to their own finances while also having a responsibility to encourage and inform their families and members of the community on the importance of finance management.
They will also have an opportunity to be a volunteer on future ‘Ghaya’ programmes with volunteers serving as ambassadors in their local communities and assisting those that could benefit from useful financial advice.
By raising awareness of financial literacy among communities, the ‘Ghaya’ LIBF accredited programme aims to contribute to the growth of Abu Dhabi’s economy as well as improving the wellbeing of Abu Dhabi residents and citizens.
The ‘Ghaya’ programme also fosters community engagement – a key pillar of Ma’an’s work, which is helping create volunteering opportunities for those who are delivering the curriculum’s content to the participants. It is part of Ma’an’s on-going efforts to find innovative and sustainable solutions to a range of social challenges as well as create and foster more collaborative communities.
His Excellency Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State and Chairman of ADGM said: “It gives me great pride to see promising Emirati talents enhancing their skills in the financial sector, given the importance of enhancing financial knowledge and promoting sound financial planning across our society. This serves as a means of ensuring a brighter and more stable financial future for our youth and our communities and will ultimately reflect positively on their professional and social lives. This day is further testament to our firm commitment to continue the path charted by our founding father, Sheikh Zayed, by developing the skills and abilities of the nation’s people to foster an empowered generation that is knowledgeable of life’s essentials and is able to keep abreast with its developments, especially in light of the increasing global changes and challenges that accompany digital advancements.
This program will directly contribute to consolidating the foundations of knowledge of financial management among UAE citizens and residents in Abu Dhabi, in addition to providing them with the necessary expertise to efficiently and effectively manage their financial affairsDr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development
We at Abu Dhabi Global Market value the role that specialised skills play in supporting Emirati youth. The Ghaya programme is an addition to our ongoing efforts through the ADGM Academy to foster the exchange of knowledge and promote comprehensive development in Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE in line with the government’s national agenda.”
On this occasion, His Excellency Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development, stated that the ‘Ghaya’ programme is one of the outputs of harvesting the results of the quality of life questionnaire that the department worked on, as the results and analysis showed that 56% of citizens and residents in the emirate of Abu Dhabi face difficulties in covering expenditures for (housing, education, debt obligations, leisure and vacation expenses), and compared to the other side, 21% of individuals living in European countries do suffer face difficulties in covering expenses as well.
His Excellency added, that this program will directly contribute to consolidating the foundations of knowledge of financial management among UAE citizens and residents in Abu Dhabi, in addition to providing them with the necessary expertise to efficiently and effectively manage their financial affairs by providing them with all the necessary methods to enhance the level of knowledge and enable them to take appropriate decisions to manage their financial affairs intelligently.
His Excellency affirmed: We will work continuously to measure the social impact of the program and the extent of its success in enhancing the knowledge of financial management among the targeted segments by analyzing the consumption patterns among the community members through conducting research and surveys by the department, to develop sustainable solutions with you to solve this social challenge.
Al Khaili extended thanks to the Abu Dhabi Global Market Academy, the London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF), and the UAE Banks Federation for collaborating with ‘Ma’an in developing and delivering the program, which provided participants with the necessary knowledge to manage their financial affairs. With a focus on various topics including learning different approaches to saving and investing money effectively, and building financial balance between income and expenses.
Her Excellency Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an said: “Today marks an important chapter in Ma’an’s journey as we celebrate the completion of our first ‘Ghaya’ financial literacy programme and I would like to congratulate all the graduates who took part in the first edition of this pioneering programme.
“Financial literacy can contribute to society’s economic development but there are certain skills gaps that need to be bridged. Thanks to our partners and our team of volunteers, who are experts in this field, we have delivered a tailored solution that will empower the participants with important knowledge that is easy to understand, allowing them to be more resilient and able to support their families and communities further.
“The learnings they will take from the ‘Ghaya’ programme will be instrumental in their everyday lives not just for today but also for the future and we hope they can pass on their knowledge to their friends and family as this will help drive a more stable and financially responsible society in Abu Dhabi.
“This is only the start of the ‘Ghaya’ programme and we have big plans to take this initiative to a wider audience as we continue on our journey of creating positive, measurable and sustainable social impact across many facets of life for many communities in Abu Dhabi.”
Hamad Sayah Al Mazrouei, COO of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Managing Director of ADGM Academy, said: “As a leading provider of financial research, training, education and literacy for Abu Dhabi and the MENA region, we are pleased to have been involved in developing a comprehensive curriculum guide for the first Ghaya programme. Working alongside established, like-minded institutions, such as Ma’an and LIBF, towards a shared commitment continues to be a primary goal for both ADGM and the ADGMA. We are confident that this programme will ignite a generation of financially savvy and capable Emirati nationals, further contributing to Abu Dhabi’s wider efforts in establishing a knowledge-based economy.”
The Social Support Authority’s goal is to increase the financial independence of Abu Dhabi’s low income families through economic activation and improved financial managementAbdulla Al Ameri, Acting Director General of Social Support Authority
His Excellency Abdulla Al Ameri - Acting Director General of Social Support Authority said: “We are pleased to have been part of the first ‘Ghaya’ programme "by recruiting 50 of our beneficiaries to participate". The ultimate goal for Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority and Maan in this program, is to raise awareness of financial literacy and improve the financial knowledge for Emiratis in Abu Dhabi, ‘Ghaya’ programme has covered all the key areas of finance that will significantly help them in different stages of their lives and allow them be more independent as well as ensuring they can live a decent life.”
His Excellency Abdulla Al Ameri - Acting Director General of Social Support Authority added : “The Social Support Authority’s goal is to increase the financial independence of Abu Dhabi’s low income families through economic activation and improved financial management. To achieve this goal, SSA have collaborated with Ma’an in this innovative Ghaya program which connects Abu Dhabi residents with a network of volunteer financial experts. Ghaya program have has helped 50 families SSA beneficiary members to complete a structured training program, enabling them to better manage their family finances in areas from managing debt to investment. SSA looks forward to helping more low income families access this new program and contribute positively in securing a better quality of life.
Jamal Saleh, Director General of UAE Banks Federation, said: “We, at UAE Banks Federation are proud to participate in the ‘Ghaya’ Financial Literacy Programme by scouting for 49 specialized volunteers and seconded staff members of UBF’s member banks including: First Abu Dhabi Bank, CITI Bank, National Bank of Fujairah, Emirates NBD, Sharjah Bank, Emirates Islamic Bank, HSBC, United Arab Bank, BNP Paribas, and United Bank Limited. 10 of the specialized volunteers participated in Cohort 1 by sharing their knowledge with others and giving back to the UAE community to create a positive and healthy behavioural change towards financial responsibility, they are also helping enhance the level of financial awareness of those families who are also benefiting from this programme.
“We congratulate the graduates in the first edition of "Ghaya", and we re-affirm our happiness as well as willingness to further support and be part of this significant social project in its upcoming editions.”
Alex Fraser, Chief Executive of The London Institute of Banking & Finance said: “Financial literacy and community wellbeing are the heart of our organization’s pillars. Therefore, it is our honor to able to implement financial behavioral change in Abu Dhabi by contributing to Ghaya and providing financial tools to enable the community to become financially independent.“
Wajd Al Hashmi, a volunteer, praised the ‘Ghaya’ programme. Wajd said: “I believe that this programme is important to anyone who wants to improve their financial wellbeing at an entry level. The programme has given me an opportunity to deliver knowledge that helped the beneficiaries develop their skills with personal finances."