FWD Group (“FWD”), a pan-Asian life insurance company, is supporting a new programme that aims to promote financial inclusion and empower young people across the Asia Pacific region. JA SparktheDream, developed by Junior Achievement Hong Kong (JA Hong Kong) together with FWD, begins by acquainting young students with essential financial literacy skills and concepts. But it goes further than just imparting knowledge – it also reinforces concepts through engaging games and invites young people to work with their parents and peers to imagine how they can apply this knowledge for social good.
“JA SparktheDream means inspiring children to become financially capable individuals and igniting their imagination to turn aspirations into reality. We’re excited to make a difference in our local communities by educating the next generation and providing an early platform for them to achieve a better financial future,” remarked FWD Group CEO, Huynh Thanh Phong.
When asked why the programme primarily focuses on pre-teen and early teen learners, JA Asia Pacific President and CEO, Maziar Sabet remarked, “There are skills, habits and mindsets that take root most effectively if the seeds are planted early on. There is a sense of empowerment that comes with knowing you can make choices in life that can positively impact yourselves, your families and the broader community.”
The programme seeks to address a glaring gap in education in the region – first and foremost by instilling basic skills around financial literacy and inclusion. “The integration of financial, social and life skills education is essential, but has not been emphasised enough in our regular school curriculum” noted Dr. William Lo, JA Hong Kong Chairman. By taking a holistic approach, JA SparktheDream also seeks to develop other essential 21st century skills: “This is a hands-on learning journey empowering children to make informed decisions, think creatively, empathise with others, and manage their lives in a healthy and productive manner” Dr. Lo went on to remark.
The multi-year initiative will be led by FWD volunteers, providing a unique opportunity for the organisation’s employees to serve the communities in which they are based.
The programme will launch in Hong Kong and Singapore in 2022, before being brought to life across a total of seven markets in the region and aims to reach some 25,000 students and thousands more of their peers.