Financial Literacy for Colorado Refugees
Over the past decade Colorado has become home to over 18,000 refugees. This is one of the many reasons we are proud to call Colorado home. This experience is both terrifying and hope-filled for the families and individuals who are resettled in this great state. Many know little to nothing about Colorado, but each are determined to make the transition and become productive inhabitants of Colorado as they rebuild their lives and attempt to overcome the hardship and tragedy of the past. Newly arriving refugees are offered one-time housing placement assistance. The cash assistance that refugee families receive is limited and bound by time constraints. Refugee families are expected to pay back the cost of their air travel to the US and become self-sufficient within 42 months (less than 4 years). This can be a very difficult and daunting task
To help aid refugees in becoming self-sufficient and productive Colorado inhabitants, Teach By Tech, offers free financial literacy and business education classes to female refugees in Colorado. Our education courses employ the hybrid model: 50% face to face instruction and 50% video instruction. Face to face classes use real world scenarios and hands-on application of material to aid in comprehension of information. The video modules allow participants to access lessons at any time. These visual lessons are specifically designed for semi-literate to non-literate people or non-native English speakers. The videos use stories, graphs, motion graphics and charts to convey a variety of topics. The 9-week course includes lessons on U.S. currency, keeping records and budgeting, opening and maintaining a bank account, using a checking and a savings account, electronic banking, creating a spending plan, understanding credit and the cost of using credit, and the use of credit cards.
Our partnership with Project Worthmore has been invaluable in providing a larger refugee population access to our services.
Business Education for Ghanaian Women
An estimated 781 million people aged 15 and over remain illiterate; nearly two thirds of them are women. In many parts of the world, especially the developing world, as girls age their responsibilities increase and their ability to access education decreases. Women are primarily responsible for household chores, water collection, elder and childcare as well as informal sector employment. These as well as cultural norms often deny women education. We have developed a business education curriculum that will overcome the obstacle of time and provide quality education. Our curriculum is offered using a hybrid model. Business education curriculum is delivered 50% in face to face to classes (1 meeting a week) and 50 % via mobile phone instruction. In order to offset the wages lost or household duties halted during the face to face instruction, we offer a meal to participants and offer childcare to participants for children 6 and under. Through our program we have attempted to solve the problems of access, time and obligations that hinder women from engaging in business education. In our modules, designed specifically for illiterate to semi-literate women, we take women through the process of understanding what is business, to understanding profit/loss to developing marketing to business planning and management. Women have access to video modules via mobile phones for continued learning and understanding and they receive text messages to engage them in the material and ask questions for clarification. These, both, can be accessed at any time or place allowing the women to participate at times that suit them. By using mobile phones Teach By Tech has solved the problem of connectivity and eased the burden of time allotment.
We are proudly working with students from the IDEA Lab at Red Rocks Community College. These students are developing a prototype of portable, solar powered classroom. This allows us to take the classroom to our female participants and offers the women an opportunity to re-charge their mobile phones at least once a week.