• The second cohort of the three-month financial literacy programme, taught by specialised volunteers, focused on managing finances more efficiently, understanding the basics of money matters and exploring different investment options.
  • Among the graduates were individuals from the public, as well as the Social Support Authority, Dar Zayed for Family Care and Social Care and Minors Affairs Foundation
  • The participants with their acquired knowledge can now inspire their local communities and pass their knowledge to friends, family and members of the public so they can become more confident in dealing with finances.
  • The programme is in partnership with ADGM Academy and The London Institute of Banking & Finance
Her Excellency Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an

Abu Dhabi: The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an has honoured 93 UAE Nationals trained by 14 specialised volunteers with a background in financial management, for successfully completing its ‘Ghaya’ financial literacy programme with the graduates now set to share their knowledge to their families and friends.

His Excellency Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi and Her Excellency Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an were among the guests to attend the virtual graduation ceremony. They congratulated the participants and expressed their gratitude to the specialised volunteers for contributing their time and energy to deliver the three-month programme.

Launched to address a social priority identified by the Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi, the ‘Ghaya’ programme is part of Ma’an’s on-going efforts to improve the understanding of financial management for citizens and residents in Abu Dhabi to enable them to effectively manage their finances.

The programme plays a critical role in creating volunteering opportunities for professionals in the finance field and fostering more collaborative communities. In addition, it also supports the overall financial wellbeing of the Abu Dhabi community.

The Authority’s programme educational partners are Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Academy and The London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF), which helped develop the curriculum content, ensuring the key topics were taught to the participants. Both ADGM Academy and LIBF will continue to support future cohorts of the ‘Ghaya’ programme as part of their social responsibility commitment.

As well as applicants from the public, applications were also received from individuals supported by Dar Zayed for Family Care and Social Care and Minors Affairs Foundation, as well as the programme’s strategic partners – Social Support Authority (SSA).

The UAE Nationals were taught by a team of 14 Arabic-speaking specialised volunteers, some of who have continued volunteering in the programme after participating in the first cohort, and others who were recruited through the national volunteer platform: www.volunteers.ae.

During the 12-weeks of the course, using theory and applied practices, the programme focused on a wide range of topics over six modules. They included an understanding the difference between wants and needs, financial products, making important financial decisions, dealing with money and debt mismanagement and personal life cycles and financial needs.

They were also given an insight on exploring different banking and investment options and how people should save and live within their means.

In recognition of their commitment, the successful participants received a certification in Financial Literacy, awarded by LIBF, and the specialised volunteers received certified digital Trainer badges by LIBF.

Inspired by their involvement and Ma’an’s mission to create a stronger and inclusive society for all, the participants will now serve as local ambassadors in their communities and share their knowledge to their family and community members.

His Excellency Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi, said: “We are proud to graduate a new cohort of the ‘Ghaya’ programme today, and I congratulate the graduates and thank the volunteers for their efforts, dedication and commitment to hard work that has resulted in great success. Especially as the programme continues to enhance knowledge of financial management among UAE citizens and residents of Abu Dhabi and provide them with the necessary expertise in order to enable them to take appropriate decisions to manage their financial affairs intelligently”.

His Excellency explained that the ‘Ghaya’ programme is delivered within the framework of the social sector agenda in Abu Dhabi, which is focused towards building a cohesive, and cooperative society. It is considered a pioneering model that contributes to achieving positive results that enhance and strengthen social bonds, especially as the programme works to enhance expertise on financial management in many areas, including housing, education, entertainment expenses and vacations.

His Excellency emphasised that work will be done on an ongoing basis to measure the social impact of the programme and its success in enhancing knowledge of financial management among UAE citizens. This will be done by analysing consumption patterns among community members from research and surveys conducted by the department, in order to develop sustainable solutions to solve this social challenge. For example, the results of the second Quality of Life survey revealed that 56 per cent of citizens and residents in the Emirate face difficulties in covering expenses for four main items (housing, education, debt obligations, entertainment and vacation expenses), compared to 21 per cent of individuals from European countries who said they suffered from difficulties in covering expenses.

Her Excellency Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an, said: “In the space of just a few months of launching, the ‘Ghaya’ financial literacy programme has rapidly become an instrumental initiative at Ma’an that has been designed to empower people, with 93 particiapants today following in the footsteps of the other UAE nationals that participated in our inaugural edition.

“By working hand-in-hand with our valuable partners to create a tailored solution to address a key social priority, we have helped these graduates to not only gaining an understanding of key topics but also increasing their confidence into how to deal with finances as well as the importance of making crucial informed decisions – all of which they will have to face at different stages of their life.

“In line with our mandate of our Community Engagement pillar, the participants will now embark on their own journey, inspired by their involvement in the ‘Ghaya’ programme and contribute to the development of Abu Dhabi Emirate. As members of the community, they will be responsible in making a positive difference by educating their family, friends on financial management so they can build a secure future for themselves and their children.”

H.E. Abdullah Al Ameri, Director General, Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority, said: “We are proud of our cooperation with Ma’an in launching the ‘Ghaya’ financial literacy programme over two cohorts and are pleased to be one of the partners who contributed to developing this pioneering programme. Ghaya is in line with our strategic aspirations to help Emirati families benefiting from the Abu Dhabi Social Support Programme achieve financial independence. Increasing financial literacy awareness and understanding will have a positive long-term impact on the participants and their families as they will leave Ghaya better equipped with the financial knowledge they need to help manage expenses and increase savings.”

“We are celebrating today the graduation of more than 40 beneficiaries from the Abu Dhabi Social Support Program. These graduates who successfully completed the programme deserve to be honoured. We are encouraging them to complete the programme journey and help share the financial management knowledge learned and apply the knowledge they gained to help them maintain their resources, to support the economic development of the emirate”.

Alex Fraser, Chief Executive of The London Institute of Banking & Finance – one of the programme’s partners – said: “As a leading international provider of financial education, we are proud of the growth of the Ghaya programme with its second cohort. In such a short time, we have seen a positive financial behavioural shift amongst programme beneficiaries and their circle of family and friends.

“At LIBF, we believe that education plays a key role in helping communities become more financially sustainable and the Ghaya programme is playing a unique role in improving financial wellbeing in Abu Dhabi.”

Commenting on the achievement, Mr. Hamad Sayah Al Mazrouei, Chief Operations Officer at Abu Dhabi Global Market and the Managing Director of ADGM Academy, said: “It is inspiring to see the second cohort of promising Emirati talent graduate from this programme. Growing awareness of the need for robust financial literacy development for our national youth, is a key commitment for the ADGM Academy and we are committed to supporting increased knowledge in this vital subject.

Mr. Al Mazrouei added: “The Ghaya programme will further the development of Abu Dhabi by educating delegates on a broad range of personal finance topics from understanding financial products to exploring different banking and investment options. Through providing our youth with a foundation in such critical topics, we will create a bright, secure financial future for our society. The programme is an extension of our ongoing efforts through the Abu Dhabi Global Market Academy to disseminate knowledge and promote comprehensive development in line with the national agenda of the Government of the United Arab Emirates.”

About Ma’an:

Ma’an was established in February 2019 under the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi with the aim of bringing together the government, the private sector and civil society to support a culture of social contribution and participation. The authority will deliver solutions for social challenges with five main pillars of work – a Social Investment Fund, a Social Incubator Programme, Community Engagement Programmes and the introduction of a new type of public contracting, Social Impact Bonds, as well as Outreach Management.

Ma’an will support the third sector to flourish in Abu Dhabi, enabling responsible not for profit associations or foundations and social enterprises to contribute to the development of strong, active and connected communities.

Ma’an Authority for Social Contribution is an initiative under the Ghadan 21 accelerator programme, supporting Abu Dhabi to become one of the best places in the world to do business, invest, live, work and visit.