The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an hosted the graduation ceremony for the fourth cohort of the Ghaya Financial Literacy Programme, a three-months programme that aims to achieve a positive social impact by helping the members of the community in Abu Dhabi become financially savvy.
A total of 144 UAE nationals and residents were celebrated during the virtual event, that drew the participation of 22 specialised volunteers. Ma’an has also announced the kick-off of the fifth cohort of the Ghaya Financial Literacy Programme.
Ma’an launched the initiative in 2020 in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Global Market Academy, and The London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF), and with the support of the Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority. Today, the programme is operated by the Emirates Association of Accountants and Auditors (AAA) and supported by the Department of Community Development (DCD).
Since its inception, the programme has continuously increased the number of beneficiaries, training a total of 490 participants over its four cohorts. In recognition of their efforts and support for the programme, the event also honoured the programme’s specialised volunteers who lead the delivery of the sessions and highlighted the contributions of its strategic partners and participating entities.
To ensure the efficient delivery of the programme, Ghaya assembles a team of specialised volunteers from prominent organisations including Credit Agricole Group, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, PWC, and Mubadala who take pride in contributing their valuable time and talent to improve the financial wellbeing of Abu Dhabi community.
To date, the programme has drawn the active involvement of more than 65 specialised volunteers who are professionals in the finance sector. These volunteers play an instrumental role in driving change in the community and contribute to building a financially-healthier society, through sharing their expertise with participants, teaching and guiding them throughout the course.
Volunteers are trained on the financial literacy curriculum by The London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF), to equip them with the necessary tools and knowledge to best support the participants. Upon completion of the programme, they are awarded a Certified Ghaya Volunteer Trainer digital badge by LIBF in recognition of their effort, which in turn enables them to showcase their professional ability in delivering financial literacy programmes.
The officials extended congratulations to the graduates for their commitment and acknowledged the contribution of the volunteers towards achieving the programme’s objectives.
Maysa Al Nowais, Community Engagement Director at Ma’an, said: “In today’s consumerist world, financial literacy has become an urgent priority to create a prosperous and stable society. To fulfil the aspirations of our wise leadership in building a secure and cohesive society, Ma’an realised the need to address this priority by equipping people with the right knowledge and skills to manage their finances effectively, while delivering a long-term positive impact on the financial resilience of the society.”
She added: “Since its launch, the Ghaya programme has identified individuals facing financial difficulties as its primary target audience as part of our efforts to help the members of the community adopt financially responsible behaviour and make smart and informed financial decisions. Seeing the benefits of the program on participants, and in view of the overwhelming response from the public, we have allocated a number of seats for fresh graduates, job seekers, and Abu Dhabi government employees, and the wider public. We wish the graduates the very best as they navigate the financial landscape in their future with improved financial literacy and healthy spending habits.”
Ghaya programme’s collaboration with organisations that shares its commitment to advancing financial and social wellbeing has helped develop a tailored programme with interactive learning sessions, allowing participants to apply the knowledge and skills gained through the programme, in addressing real-life financial issues.
Throughout the programme, ADGM Academy (ADGMA) has been committed and fully involved in developing a comprehensive curriculum for ‘Ghaya’ Financial Literacy Programme with the London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF). With the aim to drive an impactful change in people’s lives by broadening their perspective of about the functions of money and helps them move towards greater financial stability and contribute to their community’s prosperity.
By sharing knowledge with their social circle, Ghaya graduates contribute to the wider society and make them more financially aware through initiating healthy and open discussions about personal financial that can support the community.
Kareem Refaay, Managing Director, LIBF MENA, said: “We are proud to be part of this ambitious programme that educates and promotes financial responsibility among members of the Abu Dhabi community, enabling them to lead a balanced and sustainable lifestyle. The partnership has provided us with the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the long-term financial wellbeing of the society, as the programme participants transfer their learning outcomes to their families and ecosystems, helping shape a financially sound and socially responsible generation.”
The programme participants include applicants from the general public, as well as from Ma’an’s participating partners – the Social Support Authority (SSA); individuals nominated by the Crown Prince Court (CPC), as well as Abu Dhabi government employees nominated by the Abu Dhabi School of Government (ADSG), in addition to individuals nominated from the Human Resources Authority, Department of Education and Knowledge and Social Care and Minors Affairs Foundation.
Aimed at embedding the foundations of financial knowledge in participants and increasing their financial awareness, Ghaya has been highly successful in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of managing their finances.
Furthermore, Ma’an conducted a financial behaviour survey with the participants which showed positive behavioural change among the programme beneficiaries, in terms of budgeting; financial planning; tracking expenses; saving for unforeseen circumstances, as well as identifying and dealing with overspending.
Her Excellency Amna AlMhari, General Manager, the Emirates Association of Accountants and Auditors (AAA), said: “As evidenced by the successful completion of its past four cohorts and the results of its financial behaviour survey, Ghaya programme has proven to be an efficient financial education tool to empower the participants to make informed decisions about their financial choices and reallocate their budgets more efficiently. This supports our collective efforts to build a resilient community that is better prepared to deal with its current and future financial challenges.”
UAE nationals and residents specialised in finance are urged to volunteer as trainees in the programme and contribute their time to create a positive impact that can have a ripple and lasting effect on the society. Moreover, government and private entities are encouraged to enrol their employees in this unique programme.