Financial Literacy Best Supports the Ultrapoor

Next to talk about financial literacy and inclusion in #GlobalDominionOnline is Alden Ejorango, who is an avid follower of financial literacy and financial inclusion discussions, including some of the interviews done in Global Dominion. Alden has been in the financial services industry for more than a decade, but he admitted that he still learns new things every now and then. He conceptualizes social innovation strategies and redesigns livelihood programs related to poverty alleviation and community development, as the head of the International Care Ministries’ “Transform” Livelihood department.

Financial literacy in Alden’s Point of View

Financial literacy in Alden’s point of view, is the transfer of information to help people manage their finances. “It is more of allowing the person to have a deeper understanding on the world of finance in the simplest terms,” says Ejorango.

“In times like these, whoever has the knowledge has the power. He has the ability to get the opportunities in front of him anytime,” Alden stated to emphasize the importance of obtaining more knowledge about financial management. “If we are able to provide valuable information, even the simplest information, that’s really a treasure for them,” he adds to describe how our smallest actions can be immensely helpful to another person, especially in his case, helping people in ultrapoor communities through their organization.

In Alden’s experience in helping the ultrapoor, everything starts with teaching them how they can earn – probably the first and most critical step in financial management, especially for those who literally do not have resources to actually manage to begin with.

International Care Ministries in the Philippines

International Care Ministries (ICM) has been in the Philippines for 25 years as of the interview. Although it has started with helping the ultrapoor in another way, it has expanded the support it provides adding financial literacy and livelihood support to their program. ICM enrolls people to their program and helps them all the way through until they graduate. Participants, as Alden shared, become empowered, and they begin to learn, earn, and even invest.

“Under the department, we provide BIB or business-in-a-box, wherein we provide a kit composed of raw materials. We lend this kit to the participants,” Alden shares describing the core functions of the livelihood department he is in-charge of. “Ang kailangang gawin lang is to produce that kit into a product, let’s say a puto cheese. Lulutuin mo and then ibebenta mo sa kapit-bahay mo, then you’ll earn,” he adds. Another component of their program is what’s called garden-in-a-box which creatively assists their participants in building their own mini-farms which can serve as their source of food and income.

Aside from livelihood support, ICM also touches hygiene and basic education in communities. According to Alden, the experience itself in reaching out to the community is rewarding. ICM’s website shows some results, like 106% increase in income, 28% decrease in serious illness, and 43% increase in self-worth, from their efforts for the communities.

At the end of the interview, Alden Ejorango called for the support of more Filipinos to ICM, which can be by volunteering or by donating. People can also visit their website for additional information.

Important Note:

The purpose of the interview is to promote an advocacy for greater financial inclusion and not to endorse a company or product.

GDFI’s Purpose:

Global Dominion’s purpose is to provide accessible financial products and services so that every family is empowered to achieve their goals and dreams.

Watch the entire interview with Alden Ejorango on Facebook or on YouTube.