As part of our CSR commitment we’re championing the development of financial literacy amongst those in our communities that need it most. Our latest area of focus is Hong Kong, a region which relies on a large number of migrant domestic workers. Caroline Underhill, our Global Marketing Director and Head of CSR, announces the second project in our CSR initiative.
Last year, we took the decision to make a positive impact in some of the communities where we operate, as part of a wider focus on CSR. One of our aims is to use our resources and skills to help improve financial literacy for those who need it most. There’s a clear link with debt and financial exploitation for those with limited financial awareness, so we’re committed to supporting the education and empowerment of these groups to help them develop the knowledge and confidence to take control of their own finances.
We embarked on our initial project late last year in Singapore, partnering with Michael Gilmore, a respected financial professional and financial literacy advocate, and SDI Academy, a social enterprise which empowers migrant workers.
Our second project sees us connecting with Enrich, a Hong Kong based charity which supports migrant domestic workers, most of whom are women. Many of these women travel to Hong Kong to live and work, often sending their earnings home to support their own families in countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia. Although migrant domestic workers may earn higher salaries in Hong Kong (which can be as little as £450 per month) than in their home countries, a lack of financial literacy leaves them ill-equipped to deal with the enormous pressures on their finances, which include recruitment debt, family obligations, extortionate interest rates on loans and falling victim to scams. Through education, support and mentorship, Enrich aim to empower these women with the tools to overcome financial difficulties and achieve their goals and dreams.
This new relationship has begun with us making a donation which will provide sponsorship for 10 migrant domestic workers to complete the full Enrich programme – 28 hours of education over five life-changing financial and empowerment education workshops. Our Hong Kong team are also exploring volunteering opportunities with the charity and our team will support with their own fundraising initiatives locally.
As well as our work with Enrich and SDI Academy we’re committed to identifying other charities, social initiatives and projects, to extend our impact and continue to help those most in need of financial education in our communities.