And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. Matthew 25:20
On December 23, 2017, I took a three hour train and bus ride plus taxi to a church friend’s dinner party. What I thought would be an African group (we attend the same church and sung in the African Nations Choir), turned out to be a mini session on financial management and an introduction to financial literacy — and the WFG campaign to financially educate 1 million families by 2020 campaign.
Taught by a soft-spoken manager Nan Satt, the first immediate take-away was prudent spending and habitual saving as avenues to financially-secure future and retirement.
Two weeks after the December dinner, I was on a 15-hour bus ride to attend the World Financial Group Conference in Atlanta. This turned out to be a 7,000-strong gathering of delegates from all USA stares, Puerto Rico and Canada — all members just like me, of the campaign bandwagon to help get one million families trained by the finale of the campaign financially literate by July 4, 2020.
On this date, all financially literate people, will gather at the Washington DC Mall to celebrate financial literacy and a financially secure future.
Having spent close to three years in financial doldrums, during which I’m sure every time I called a relative, they probably wondered “what’s her song this time – is it rent, subway, cellphone bill…?” A lesson in how to manage my finances and secure my future, through wise tucking away some in smart investment accounts, sounded GREAT to my ears.
When I got to Atlanta, I realized many of the Canal-Street-to-Atlanta bus riders were attending the same conference I was attending. But as we were “sardined” into a 16-seater (passengers plus luggage) mini bus to the venue of the conference, I began wondering “what are you doing here Janet Zeenat Karim?”
I, perchance uttered this doubt to my fellow group delegates; the reply came from new financial-literacy-seeker friend Francis, and it was in the form of a double-barreled question.
“You’re a teacher, right?” Francis asked me.
“Yes, I am,” came my quick response, wondering where he was leading this.
“How many people are at this gathering?” Francis continued.
“7,000 plus or minus,” I responded.
“There’s your answer to what you’re doing here,” Francis ends the grade school lesson.
There were over 7,000 people, who for the next two days sat and listened to motivational messages, testimonies, and coaching sessions from the WDG Chief coach, and inspirational message from the company’s chief executive, and a variety of experienced and new learners of the journey to financial literacy.
I took focused notes, many pictures and stayed close to my group —- having attended numerous United Nations meetings, while meeting new people and networking, it is important to keep close to your group to avoid getting lost or left behind.
So what is financial literacy, and what is or how does one secure one a financial future or put in another way, how do you save for your future?
These are the topics of workshops that are held twice weekly in various centers throughout the USA, Puerto Rico, and Canada – a massive system of learning. The aim of the campaign to train one million people across Canada and the USA in financial literacy is to save their future of people struggling to make ends meet, or those too poor to retire on their current financial statuses.
As if my employers at the school I teach heard or read my mind, this past week I was given a personal finance class of high school senior students.
The employers didn’t read my mind; but God never seizes to amaze me. As I made arrangements to acquaint myself with the course objectives, unit and lesson plans for my new assignment, I started attending the WFG literacy workshops – not for the faint-hearted because it is a two-three hour train-bus and then bus-train-bus-bus ride twice a week — the sessions turned out to be the syllabus of my class.
I’m a firm believer of any labor exerted in the search for knowledge is always worth the sweat and sometimes tears — did I mention huffing and puffing up three flights of stairs? This is all part of the package called in search of financial literacy.
The double benefit for me is firstly, I’m learning how to manage my finances; but I’m also gaining information that is immediately being infused into my classroom lessons. This is how cool God works things out.
And although the body may complain, my spirit is ever eager, willing, and ready to brave the elements (rain, snow or sun), I am there.
If you reside in the USA or Canada, I want to share the financial literacy information with you and link you with people in your area for the workshops.
I want you to be among the one million financially literate persons; I want you to join me on July 4, 2020 at the Mall in Washington D.C.
Get in touch with me: don’t be among the throng of people who don’t know what they don’t know!