Save Smart Training of Trainers series launched in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar

TRIANGLE in ASEAN, in partnership with Philippines-based NGO Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative, have hosted a three-part series “Save Smart Training of Trainers: Gender-Responsive Financial Literacy Training for Migrant Workers and their Families” in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Myanmar.

Press release | 07 June 2019
Every year, millions of women and men leave their homes looking for better life opportunities and jobs with higher wages. It is estimated that there are currently 20.2 million migrants originating from ASEAN countries, 6.9 million of whom migrated to other countries within the region.

Many migrants send money back home. These remittances are often a significant financial resource for creating enterprises and jobs, providing education to siblings or children, and serve as social protection for their families in their home countries. However, many migrant workers and their families lack basic literacy and numeracy skills, especially women.

With this in mind, the Save Smart: Financial education training manual and complementary financial planner have been developed to enhance financial literacy among migrants in the region. Three Training of Trainers workshops were organized in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Mandalay, Myanmar in May and June. They provided Migrant Worker Resource Centre (MRC) staff and partners from the three countries with an overview of setting migration and financial goals, borrowing and getting out of debt, saving and investing, sending remittances, managing an income, and managing finances upon returning home. Given women and girls generally have less access to migration and financial information, this training series specifically addressed financial education and literacy for women and girls.

The training package is part of ILO TRIANGLE in ASEAN’s efforts to build the capacity of its MRC network to help them provide better support and services to migrant workers. As a result of the trainings, the 65 participants now have the skills and knowledge to share the training manual with their peers and have devised concrete plans of action to bring financial literacy into their MRCs.

The successful launch has also sparked interest from other countries in the region and discussions are currently ongoing for the rollout of the Save Smart training package in Viet Nam.


The financial literacy trainings were hosted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme, in partnership with Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative, Inc. The ILO TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme delivers technical assistance and support with the overall goal of maximizing the contribution of labour migration to equitable, inclusive, and stable growth in ASEAN. TRIANGLE in ASEAN (2015-2025) is a partnership between the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and the ILO. Atikha is a non-government organization that provides economic and social services to overseas Filipinos and their families in the Philippines. The organization aims to help address the social cost of migration and tap the development potential of migration.