In 2014 MICRA was officially becoming the partner of BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) as the implementing partner for HERfinance program in Indonesia. HERfinance is a part of the global HERproject chains, which aims to empower low-income women workers in developing countries to contribute to economic growth and gender equality through workplace programs promoting health, economic empowerment, professional development, and women’s rights. Launched as a pilot in India in 2012, HERfinance is now expanding to Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico. Annually BSR hosts a convening which showcases the best practices and let all the project’s implementing partners from around the globe share their experiences.
As a project, HERfinance's mission is to build the financial capability of low-income employees in global supply chains by delivering workplace-based financial education programs and connecting factory employees to appropriate financial services. Targeting low-income workers, this program seeks to effectively spread the knowledge about simplified financial management to bring improvement into the worker’s households. This has been proved all over the world, bringing a good impact on worker’s financial behavior which will lead to their top performances in the workplace.
Relying on the workplace-based financial education delivery method, this project adopting the peer educators or Training of Trainers (ToT) scheme to reach the whole population of factory workers. This scheme involves a set of training programs, given to Peer Educators, who will be presenting the financial literacy modules to their peers in their working place. In this training program, Peer Educators not only be trained with the modules but also prepared with communication and motivational skill which allows them to be good resource persons for their peers. A comprehensive set of training will comprise of three full hours training which includes the role activity to attune to the educator role.
GOALS OF THE PROJECT
As stated before, this project seeks to introduce simplified financial management for low-income workers. By the end of the project, all the workers' population will thoroughly understand the importance of financial management to control their household income and spending by comprehensively exploring the modules prepared. These modules are developed to meet the needs of the workers to able to:
Comfortably talk about finance with their family members;
Effectively manage their financial resources;
Improves saving behavior;
Brings the awareness of borrowing-responsibly issues;
Understand the available financial product and services in their area.
To be able to apply all the points above is obviously not an instant process. Changing the behavior of the workers is one of the challenges which is tried to be solved through this HERfinance process. We believe in this process where we try to impact this to all of the workers' population, to show them that they are not the only person in this world who is struggling to get rid of their financial stress. This process also shows that it is never impossible to overcome their financial problems if they really start to try. Eventually, this process strengthens workers’ bond with factory management and their peers, who are alongside them, fight together against their illiteracy.
What makes this project unique, among others, is its scheme that requires the factory’s management to actively involve with the peer educators to create a sustainability plan after the completion of the program with the implementing partner. The activity is meant to keep the good benefit of the program stays and even improves in the factory. The sustainability of the project has to be lived among the factory population in their most convenient way; therefore the effort of doing so will be handed to the creativity of the team and PEs. MICRA will assist the team in implementing their plan on the halfway of the project and let the team implement them.