Western Union recently finished the initial stage of its free Apna Sapna financial literacy training for migrant workers.
The program has trained 18,500 migrants in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia in basic financial skills since 2014. The program typically takes place at labor camps and other workers' residencies outside of normal working hours. Many of the participants are unskilled laborers earning their living in the retail and corporate sector.
"The Apna Sapna program builds upon Western Union's long history of commitment and engagement with migrant workers and echoes the UAE government's directions to focus on their welfare and help them safeguard their future through effective financial literacy," Western Union Regional Vice President Hatem Sleiman said. "It is the impact and importance of the program that has led to its resounding success. When we launched Apna Sapna, we were hesitant to restrict ourselves with any target numbers, but the results have exceeded everything we expected. Apna Sapna has not only proven very popular -- in the number of participants and venues -- but it has made a substantial impact in the lives of so many people."
Based on feedback, the second round of Apna Sapna will focus on personal savings skills and long-term goal achievement, a focus Sleiman hopes will help workers shift the state of their lives from "survival to stability."