MORE than 300 OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd employees delivered over 900 hours of financial literacy training to some 1,700 students and senior citizens.
The 900 Hours of Financial Literacy initiative, organised in conjunction with the bank’s 90th anniversary, was an extension to its earlier initiative to plant and nurture 9,000 mangrove trees in Tebuk Mendeleng, Sabak Bernam.
The employees from the bank’s 13 divisions and branches across the country volunteered for various roles, from teaching and role-playing to preparation and ground arrangements.
The programme delved into the history and importance of money, healthy financial practices, how the young could distinguish between needs and wants, and how people could work towards financial independence by saving regularly.
It was in partnership with several non-profit organisations including Rotary Club of Kuching and Great Heart Charity Association.
There were also other activities for students and senior citizens, such as recycling initiatives, food aid for the less fortunate and donation of school supplies to needy students.
A notable innovation in teaching financial literacy came in the form of using sign language for hearing-impaired students in Penang.
OCBC Penang branch employee Lim Gaik Chin enrolled in a sign language class to prepare herself for the activity involving SMK Pendidikan Khas Persekutuan in Tanjung Bungah.
“I was surprised to find the hearing-impaired students so excited and grateful for the session.
“Their lives are certainly not easy, especially when they are required to interact with people outside of their school.
“Knowing that they can only communicate with others through sign language motivated me to learn more about this fascinating mode of communication.
“I am glad to have been able to teach them about financial literacy that they embraced wholeheartedly,” said Lim.
OCBC Bank chief executive officer Datuk Ong Eng Bin said it was important to establish a solid foundation in financial literacy.
“Through our 90 years of existence, OCBC Bank has strived to enable individuals, SMEs and businesses to build a more sustainable future.
“Knowing how to manage one’s money is key to making sound financial decisions that lead to financial independence.
“This initiative was especially beneficial to school students as the training provides them with the necessary skills and knowledge to manage their financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial wellness.
“It was a joy for me to join in the initiative by contributing to financial literacy training for 48 students at my alma mater in Penang,” Ong added.