woman with daughter at computer

Money Matters helps organizations bring financial literacy to victims of gender-based violence

Voices of Muslim Women is a Muslim women-led organization that empowers all women and girls to become connected and informed leaders through educational and professional development opportunities.

Based in Vancouver, the non-profit organization offers a number of different programs, such as Women in Leadership, designed to support the professional development of women in leadership roles, and Young Leaders of Today, which focuses on the leadership development of girls aged 10 to 16.

A few months ago, the organization was seeking to offer personal finance training as a professional development workshop. The goal was to essentially host a “train the trainer” event so that the participants could better learn how to teach financial literacy to their clients.

Event participants came from a number of different organizations, but the majority of them worked with women who had been affected by gender-based violence. Through the workshop, they would learn how to better help their clients with things such as budgeting.

Hadil Al-Ashwal was hired to help develop the training and deliver the workshop. She had heard about Money Matters from a friend, and leveraged the existing curriculum to adapt it to her needs.

Money Matters is a free introductory financial literacy program from ABC Life Literacy Canada. There are five different workbooks available, on topics such as Smart Shopping, Ways to Save, and Budgeting. Workbooks are used in classrooms across Canada and are full of learning and activities that can be adapted according to the needs of individual groups.

Al-Ashwal chose the budgeting workbook for her workshop, utilizing materials from the program as well as adding in her own information. She says the program was easily adaptable to the needs of her audience.

The feedback from participants was very positive and felt they were able to apply what they learned to their own work.

The workshop helped participants identify a better way to talk to clients about finances and allowed them to understand how to think about budgeting in different ways. For example, victims of gender-based violence often think more about short-term goals, so the participants were able to better understand how to talk to their clients about finances in terms of short-term goals as opposed to long term goals.

For more information about Money Matters and how you can bring this free financial literacy program to your organization, visit abcmoneymatters.ca.