Wealth Management and Savings for the Poor

Dream big. Do you want to pay for your daughter’s university education? Do you want to throw a celebration for your son’s wedding? Do you want to make significant improvements to your house? Even if you are poor, these dreams can be possible through financial planning.

Noel, of the Client Services department, welcomes Dungganon members to the workshop

This week, I had the opportunity to take part in a two-day workshop for Project Dungganon* members on wealth management and savings generation – where clients were encouraged to think of future goals and how they could be a reality. The course focused on two lessons 1) understanding the income and expenses of your household, and your capacity to save, and 2) understanding how small amounts of savings today can add up to large lump sums in the future. Members were energized by the content of the workshops, which involved each borrower having to analyze the finances of her family on a weekly basis. And important questions were asked of the entrepreneurs – Can you save? or save more? Can you improve your income or eliminate expenses? What do you want to save toward? How would you prioritize these future dreams? The workshop was a success – equipping borrowers with a new way to look at their financial situation and plans, and in some cases a renewed motivation to save.

Participating in this session, I was inspired. The degree to which borrowers participated showed that they enjoyed learning, and may apply these lessons to their lives. Moreover, I was inspired by Project Dungganon’s work. Micro-savings products are important for the poor – allowing them to safely save small amounts of money for the future – but these products are only as good as the education that comes with them. I am truly impressed by the commitment that NWTF’s Client Services staff showed as they delivered an engaging workshop – providing Dungganon clients with education they can use in further improving their lives.

Clients discuss their own goals for the workshop on Day 1
* Project Dungganon is the main microfinance arm of the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF)

Joanne Gan is finishing up her last month as a Kiva Fellow at the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation in Bacolod City, Philippines. She continues to admire the work of the Client Services team at NWTF that is dedicated to providing non-financial services to the poor including business and financial training, trade fairs, and medical missions. To join the NWTF lending team, click here. To fund an entrepreneur in the Philippines, click here.

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