Economic Development Programme (UK)
By April 2010, BRAC UK’s Economic Development Programme had reached 3,000 disadvantaged women and young people in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets with our basic money management course.
Participants attended a two hour local workshop includes budgeting, savings, banking products and information and debt information. Many of the participating women were illiterate in all languages, so materials were predominately visual and the sessions were interactive and dynamic. Sessions were conducted in English, Bengali or Somali.
The programme started in 2007 following a financial education needs assessment in Tower Hamlets. It was the first of its kind and identified the need, especially in disadvantaged Diaspora communities, for financial education.
Other components of our programme included working with young entrepreneurs to establish small businesses, and developing mini-projects to trial out innovative thinking to engaging young people.
Features of our approach included:
- Working and supporting young people who were not in education, employment, or training (NEET);
- Reaching the ‘hardest to reach’ communities to include them in our programmes;
- Breaking barriers between different communities to take shared ownership of their local area;
- Creating wider partnerships to meet the needs of individuals through collaboration;
The programme received funding from Citi Foundation, London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the Office of Fair Trading through the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
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