ABHMS partnering agency participates in ‘train-the-trainer’ event about finances
Twenty-two employees and volunteers from Corporación Milagros del Amor (CorMA)—an American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) Community Outreach Ministries partner in Caguas, Puerto Rico—recently participated in the “Your Money Your Goals” training created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and presented by Abigail Medina Betancourt, ABHMS’ Intercultural Ministries specialist. This “train-the-trainer” event was part of ABHMS’ In Support of Excellence financial literacy program. CorMA will, in turn, present “Your Money Your Goals” to its clientele in March.
To improve the quality of life in its community, CorMA provides services—most focused on the homeless or on those who have housing but are in need of food, clothing and help with bill paying.
The event’s introduction was about individuals’ perceptions of money as well as whether an expense is a need, desire or obligation.
“We set the tone to start the training understanding that people have different views about money, and we must respect them and not judge,” says Medina Betancourt.
The training continued with information about tracking income and benefits, paying bills and getting through the month. Also used was the booklet “Behind in Bills?”
The training and booklets used were customized for CorMA’s anticipated participants. Medina Betancourt and the CorMA staff created a persona of the typical CorMA client—an individual who receives social assistance and is part of Puerto Rico’s informal economy, or paid little to nothing for such activities as construction, cleaning or asking for money at traffic lights.
Because the booklets were already printed, the group put white labels over parts that will not apply to anticipated participants and wrote in new information where appropriate.
“We wanted the participants to know that we took the time to think about them before giving them the booklet,” says Medina Betancourt. “We wanted them to know that this was done with them in mind, instead of just giving it to them and telling them, ‘Do not use what does not apply.’”
Medina Betancourt will be present with CorMA at the March training to provide any necessary assistance modeling the process.
ABHMS & the CFPB
ABHMS was selected as a grantee of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2019 and, since that time, has held multiple training events equipping ministry leaders with financial tools and resources that are free, accessible online and translated into multiple languages.
A two-session series (in English) introducing the ‘booklets to help talk about money’ is available as an on-demand webinar via ABHMS’ Center for Continuous Learning. A fall session in Spanish was held live, and ABHMS is committed to continuing to develop learning opportunities and resources in multiple languages.
As well as being offered in English, some CFPB booklets are offered in Spanish.