ANZ Bank has been running their Money Minded Financial Literacy workshops since 2017 and helping people to save money while being goal orientated.
Partnering with the Department of Labour, the bank conducted a training program for facilitators outside the bank to run similar workshops for departing and returning seasonal workers last week.
Participants included returned seasonal workers, seasonal employment agents, Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) staff and staff from the Department of Youth and Sport. Turoa Vatoko, Lead Facilitator in ANZ’s Money Minded program says on the completion of the weeklong training, these new facilitators will then be licensed by the bank to go out into the communities to deliver the program to others.
Mr Vatoko says at the moment they are mainly targeting seasonal workers.
One of the main challenges of saving money in Vanuatu that the participants kept bringing up was a common weakness where the Ni Vanuatu tends to always say ‘yes’ and never say ‘no’ when it comes to non-self-reliant over dependent family members begging for money.
The participants also had their own views of the workshop and what they each gained out of the workshops. Most of them believe it is an eye opener and many say they now have an idea of how to move forward financially.
Sonia Rungu, a child protection officer from the Department of Youth and Sports says young people these days don’t really seem to know how to save their money. Rungu says the youths need to set personal goals and have something to save up towards. She says that by having goals this will help them a lot in saving money as it would make them think twice on what is necessary to spend more on and what money should be spent less on.
Jeffred Kaio, VNPF’s Team leader of the Informal Sector says he was grateful to be able to attend the workshop and from the VNPF point of view he is also encouraging current seasonal workers to become voluntary members of VNPF.
Mr Kaio says workers should think wisely now while they are strong and active and save some money in VNPF, saving they can use once they grow old and retire.
Seasonal work agent Nancy Jacob says, as an agent she thinks it is really important for her workers to know how to plan for their future goals and that starts with budgeting. She says workers easily become tempted to just buy anything they see but should refrain from that and set aside personal goals.
She says other agents should also attend this workshop as she believes it is important for them to learn about budgeting before they leave Vanuatu as it will remind them of goals back home in which they have so that they can always think twice before spending on unimportant things.
Mrs Jacob says a lot of times in the villages people wonder why they don’t see the success they hope for after returning from New Zealand or Australia. She believes the reason why is because they don’t have goals that they set.
Returned seasonal worker, Kalomel Sepa says it is really important to have goals and have a dream to work towards. He says goals and dreams are reachable, however it is personal management that will determine whether they achieve them or not.
Mr Sepa says after the workshop, he has come to realise that in life there are some unimportant things which he and others around him have spent too much money on in the past.
He says that a main challenge with young Ni Vanuatu is they spend too much money on unnecessary things.
“When you lack goals and plans, you have no direction,” he says.
“But if you learn to budget and have some idea where you want to be heading, everything should turn out fine and you shall not run short of funds before your next pay day but have a feeling of personal assurance that you have money saved for what you need.”
Mr Sepa is a successful returned seasonal worker. While working in New Zealand he discovered that he has a passion for photography, after returning home, he bought himself a small camera and began freelance photography. After another season, he saved up and bought a bigger camera.
These days you cannot miss him at major events and conferences, taking shots of the highlights.
He is a great example of what ANZ Banks money Minded Program is teaching. He has a passion for photography and set buying a good camera as his goal.