Chiefly Island Empowers Youths with Financial Skills

February 3, 2012

Even the heavy rains failed to dampen spirits as forty young people on the chiefly island of Bau gathered around the village hall yesterday to receive financial literacy training.
The youths underwent Westpac’s Financial First Steps, a two hour training on how to manage their income, expenses and savings and budgeting for the future. They were then introduced to various insurance policies that would best suit their needs by BSP’s Life.

“You are privileged to be receiving this sort of training –that has been handpicked just for your needs. We, your elders, envy you today and wish we had gone through this training during our time. We are very thankful to UN’s Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme, Reserve Bank of Fiji, Westpac, BSP and FRCA for facilitating this financial literacy training and bringing financial services to our doorsteps,” expressed Mr. Draunibaka, a village elder.

Westpac waived certain requirements to accommodate the opening of new accounts and with the Fiji Revenue and Customs facilitating Tax Identification Numbers, it was really a one stop shop for the Bau villagers.

Several adults and even village elders learnt great financial tips and listened in on the training as they sat near the tanoa. An enthusiastic participant, Mr. Leanatasi Vuiloma, 57 years of age and partially disabled, expressed in the i- taukei language, “Wananavu qai totoka vakaoti na vuli ni kua; e sa na veisautaka sara ga na noqu i vakarau nivakayagataki lavo!” (The training today was awesome; it will totally change my spending habit!)
Positive sentiments were echoed by villagers and the visiting team plan to hold follow up sessions on the chiefly village.

The Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) is a Pacific-wide programme helping to provide sustainable financial services to low income households. It is funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) and operates from the UNDP Pacific Centre.