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Personal Financial Resilience in a World of Uncertainty

The following article is provided by the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU), a World Council associate member.

The Asian Confederation of Credit Unions held September workshops for women and youth members to help them develop a financial plan amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Forty Global Women's Leadership Network (GWLN) Sister Society leaders were among the women who attended one workshop, while 26 young credit union leaders, officers and youth coordinators participated in another.

The participants were from:

  • Bangladesh.
  • Hong Kong.
  • India.
  • Indonesia.
  • Nepal.
  • Philippines.
  • Taiwan.

The "Personal Financial Resilience in a World of Uncertainty" training was intended to raise awareness on the need for credit unions to guide members in preparing their simple financial plan.

The template developed by ACCU is focused on building members' net worth by saving for emergencies, building assets, getting out of debt and engaging in multiple streams of income.

During the pandemic, members can find it very challenging to meet their daily needs if they do not have emergency savings. Many members who derived income from small businesses and services lost that income due to lockdown.

"We can anticipate that vulnerable members could slide back to poverty or that those who are already middle-income earners could become underemployed," said ACCU CEO Elenita San Roque.

People with more savings are more financially resilient to shocks, such as the impacts of COVID-19. Financial resilience enables members to weather storms with less need for debt and government support.

The training raised the participants’ awareness of their financial safety and provided them with ways to be financially resilient. By setting their personal financial goals and preparing a family financial plan, they have taken the important initial step toward becoming financially secure.

The training was supported by Paul Dawson, General Manager of First Choice Credit Union and Chair of the Australian Mutuals Foundation, and Gillian George, who facilitated the first-day introduction sessions on “Credit Union Responsibility in Helping Members Prepare for Rainy Days” and “Financial Resilience – Why Does It Matter Now?”

As a requirement for graduation, participants were tasked to prepare and action plan and provide coaching sessions to their colleagues, family members or coop members.