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Team of Young Women Bridging the Gap of Financial Literacy of Black Youth

Photo provided by Turtle Lodge

Making a difference in your community can be tricky. Where do you start, and what should you even do. An initiative through Volunteer Manitoba is helping youth achieve that goal, making a difference in their community. Big or small, every project can make a difference.

A team of five young black women are using their experience and knowledge to educate immigrant, refugee, and international student black youths 18 – 30 in Brandon, MB, on personal financial literacy. Bunmi Afolabi, Funmi Afolabi, Fikky Adetoro, Barbara Ukwuegbu, and Victoria Ige are working with the host organization Congress of Black Women of Manitoba Inc, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the awareness, education and rights of Black Women and their families in Manitoba. The project utilizes the government’s free resource manual to improve financial literacy among Canadian young adults.

“When we originally saw the call for proposals, we had a few different options on our plate and had considered a career mentorship program. We decided to go with finance because there were already much career-oriented training and mentorship programs. There really wasn’t much financial training targeted at youth, says Funmi. 

She adds that the project was also personal for the group as first-generation immigrants and international students. They felt financial literacy was a skill they lacked when entering adulthood. 

“We didn’t really have access to resources or someone who would say this is what a credit card is. It isn’t free money; you actually have to pay it back each month. We thought we were being presented an opportunity and would like to give back to the community in this way.”

Across Canada, newcomers, particularly black and Indigenous youth, fare poorly in financial literacy and financial management. The project hopes to bridge those gaps, providing black and newcomer youth with the skills to make smart financial decisions. Another important aspect of the project is the representation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) individuals for facilitators and coordinators. 

“Having someone who looks like you goes a long way in building that confidence,” says Bunmi. She says there’s cultural context and materials at these workshops, with help from the mentorship of the Congress of Black Women of Manitoba Inc., that you may not get from a bank. Fikky has seen the benefits of community initiatives and projects. Now that she’s finished her education and working, she’s excited to give back. 

“I have all this time, experience, and skill that I really want to put to good use. To give back to my community because I have benefited from these types of programs.”

For those who want to start a project and improve their neighbourhood, Fikky has this advice. 

“You don’t have to do a big thing; you don’t have to start a big company, give thousands, or feed a hundred people. You can just do something small. In our workshops, we’re looking to reach 25 youth. We’re not trying to educate the entire population of black youth in Manitoba. It can be difficult to start something if you think you have to go big. It can be something small, helping out if you see someone who needs a hand. If you can make a little difference in one person’s life, it’s absolutely worth it.”

This and many other community initiatives this summer are supported through Volunteer Manitoba’s Community Youth Innovators Program, designed to support youths’ efforts to make a difference in their communities.

For black youth interested in participating in the project, contact personalfinanceblackyouths@gmail.com.


Related article:

https://u-channel.ca/new-youth-innovators-program-supporting-groups-to-make-an-impact-in-their-community/


Sources:

https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/programs/research/2021-building-better-financial-futures-challenge/improving-financial-literacy.html   

https://yucfp.info.yorku.ca/files/2015/12/PEACHInterimReportJune201223Jul12.pdf

https://prospercanada.org/getattachment/3ff26769-c2d4-4d9e-82e9-f56467e4eb31/Financial-Literacy-and-Newcomers-to-Canada.aspx

https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/101119/3/Kipusi_Sein_Sheila_202006_PhD_thesis.pdf

– Ryan Funk, U Multicultural

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of U Multicultural.

Making a difference in your community can be tricky. Where do you start, and what should you even do. An initiative through Volunteer Manitoba is helping youth achieve that goal, making a difference in their community. Big or small, every project can make a difference.

A team of five young black women are using their experience and knowledge to educate immigrant, refugee, and international student black youths 18 – 30 in Brandon, MB, on personal financial literacy. Bunmi Afolabi, Funmi Afolabi, Fikky Adetoro, Barbara Ukwuegbu, and Victoria Ige are working with the host organization Congress of Black Women of Manitoba Inc, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the awareness, education and rights of Black Women and their families in Manitoba. The project utilizes the government’s free resource manual to improve financial literacy among Canadian young adults.

“When we originally saw the call for proposals, we had a few different options on our plate and had considered a career mentorship program. We decided to go with finance because there were already much career-oriented training and mentorship programs. There really wasn’t much financial training targeted at youth, says Funmi. 

She adds that the project was also personal for the group as first-generation immigrants and international students. They felt financial literacy was a skill they lacked when entering adulthood. 

“We didn’t really have access to resources or someone who would say this is what a credit card is. It isn’t free money; you actually have to pay it back each month. We thought we were being presented an opportunity and would like to give back to the community in this way.”

Across Canada, newcomers, particularly black and Indigenous youth, fare poorly in financial literacy and financial management. The project hopes to bridge those gaps, providing black and newcomer youth with the skills to make smart financial decisions. Another important aspect of the project is the representation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) individuals for facilitators and coordinators. 

“Having someone who looks like you goes a long way in building that confidence,” says Bunmi. She says there’s cultural context and materials at these workshops, with help from the mentorship of the Congress of Black Women of Manitoba Inc., that you may not get from a bank. Fikky has seen the benefits of community initiatives and projects. Now that she’s finished her education and working, she’s excited to give back. 

“I have all this time, experience, and skill that I really want to put to good use. To give back to my community because I have benefited from these types of programs.”

For those who want to start a project and improve their neighbourhood, Fikky has this advice. 

“You don’t have to do a big thing; you don’t have to start a big company, give thousands, or feed a hundred people. You can just do something small. In our workshops, we’re looking to reach 25 youth. We’re not trying to educate the entire population of black youth in Manitoba. It can be difficult to start something if you think you have to go big. It can be something small, helping out if you see someone who needs a hand. If you can make a little difference in one person’s life, it’s absolutely worth it.”

This and many other community initiatives this summer are supported through Volunteer Manitoba’s Community Youth Innovators Program, designed to support youths’ efforts to make a difference in their communities.

For black youth interested in participating in the project, contact personalfinanceblackyouths@gmail.com.


Related article:

https://u-channel.ca/new-youth-innovators-program-supporting-groups-to-make-an-impact-in-their-community/


Sources:

https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/programs/research/2021-building-better-financial-futures-challenge/improving-financial-literacy.html   

https://yucfp.info.yorku.ca/files/2015/12/PEACHInterimReportJune201223Jul12.pdf

https://prospercanada.org/getattachment/3ff26769-c2d4-4d9e-82e9-f56467e4eb31/Financial-Literacy-and-Newcomers-to-Canada.aspx

https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/101119/3/Kipusi_Sein_Sheila_202006_PhD_thesis.pdf

– Ryan Funk, U Multicultural

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of U Multicultural.

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