FWD Group Holdings (FWD) is expanding its financial literacy programme, JA SparktheDream, to span seven markets in Asia as part of its 10th anniversary year community initiatives. Developed in partnership with Junior Achievement Asia Pacific (JA), the programme integrates financial, social and life skills education for students to help boost financial literacy in the region.
Overall, JA SparktheDream aims to benefit around 25,000 students across Asia by 2024. Successfully piloted in Hong Kong and Singapore last year, the programme was introduced in Indonesia and Vietnam earlier this year with Japan, the Philippines and Thailand to follow soon. Increasing financial literacy and educating the next generation for a brighter future is an integral part of FWD Group's Environmental, Social and Governance strategy.
Mr Huynh Thanh Phong, Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of FWD Group, said, "At FWD, we are here to help people celebrate living, so we're excited about supporting the next generation with financial education that's also fun. Through JA SparktheDream, we're teaching foundational life skills – such as the difference between saving, spending and earning – in an engaging way. Caring for our communities has always been a part of who we are, and we're pleased to scale up this programme in our 10th anniversary year."
Led by FWD colleagues, the multi-year initiative brings volunteers and students together in local schools. Over the course of 2022, more than 100 FWD volunteers taught 2,500 students in Hong Kong and Singapore. Through fun games and interactive quizzes that leverage both in-class and digital platforms, the students learned about managing budgets, making sound financial choices and solving their communities' needs in a creative way.
Mr Maziar Sabet, President and Chief Executive Officer of JA Asia Pacific, said, "FWD and JA Asia Pacific have a unique opportunity to educate, equip and empower youth in the region with the skillsets to become financially capable individuals and with the competencies to become socially minded, positive contributors to their communities. There's a real sense of empowerment that we're seeing, especially among the younger students, as they become inspired to be their own agents of change. We're grateful for FWD's support to extend this programme to even more young people in Asia."
As part of JA SparktheDream, students also participate in a social innovation showcase, where they work with FWD volunteers, parents, teachers and each other to identify and address a local issue, from helping lower-income families to job matching. At the end of 2022, the students in Hong Kong and Singapore shared their ideas online, sparking conversations around financial planning and inclusion at home and in schools.