L’Union Culturelle des Franco-Ontariennes

Seed Grant

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L’Union Culturelle des Franco-Ontariennes set out to prove that greater financial literacy can lead to more financial stability.

Award amount

$74,900

Award timeline

2017-2018 (11 months)

People impacted

300

Age group

Senior (+65)

Catchment

Champlain

Community size

Rural or small communities (20,000 or less)

Population served

Francophone women

Opportunity

Many senior Francophone women in remote areas end up living in poverty. Could giving them better financial knowledge and skills help them become more financially stable?

Approach

Selected Grant Result: People who are economically vulnerable have access to community services that enhance financial stability.

L’Union Culturelle des Franco-Ontariennes wanted to deliver a financial literacy skills program to economically-vulnerable senior Francophone women in Champlain to assess if these skills could improve their financial stability.

Community impact

The project demonstrated that there was a real need among senior Francophone women aged 50 years old and over in rural Ontario for greater financial literacy. It also demonstrated that financial literacy can help financially empower these women to improve their situation.

  • 212 surveys were gathered in the East and North regions
  • Four three-hour workshops took place in the East region reaching 15 women
  • Five two-hour workshops took place in the North region reaching 11 women
  • One three-hour workshop took place reaching 27 women
  • Seven volunteers contributed a total of 65 hours

UCF♀ demonstrated there was a real need for greater financial literacy among this group, and that financial literacy can help these women become more economically stable.

Financial literacy is how well people understand and use different financial skills in their life, such as saving, budgeting, debt management, and investing. Having these skills is recognized as being critical to the prosperity and financial well-being of Canadians. It helps them:

  • Make informed decisions around spending, saving, and other financial matters
  • Navigate the products and services that can help them
  • Plan for the future
  • Understand and evaluate financial information and advice

Poor financial literacy, or financial illiteracy, can contribute to more people living in poverty or being unable to improve or stabilize their financial situation.

L’Union Culturelle des Franco-Ontariennes (UCF♀) recognized that one group who could benefit from improved financial literacy was senior Francophone women living in remote areas. Despite having worked their whole lives, many of these women end up living in poverty. They have often had a lower income than their male counterparts, while facing more expenses as single mothers or informal caregivers, living alone, or having no information about money management. To compound the problem, French-language community services are rare in rural areas.

UCF♀ received a $74,900 Seed grant from OTF to deliver a financial literacy skills program to economically vulnerable senior Francophone women in Champlain, eastern Ontario. The aim was to assess if these skills could improve their financial stability.

The project, strengthened by seven volunteers contributing a total of 65 hours, reached 300 women through:

  • 212 surveys in the East and North regions
  • Four three-hour workshops in the East region
  • Five two-hour workshops in the North region
  • One additional three-hour workshop

UCF♀ demonstrated there was a real need for greater financial literacy among this group, and that better financial skills can help these women become more economically stable.

At the end of the project, it was recommended to provide a financial literacy training program focused on these women’s specific needs. UCF♀ also intends to apply for a Grow grant through OTF to provide province-wide workshops and potentially target all adult women in their community.

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