- Multi-year "Go Paperless Education Aid Program" utilizes virtual reality and fintech to provide over 10,000 training hours for more than 600 under-resourced students
- New survey reveals kids' misconceptions about digital wallets and lack of knowledge about savings
HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 26 September 2022 - Manulife Hong Kong today announced the full launch of its "FinKids Academy" program in conjunction with its community partner St. James' Settlement (SJS), an initiative that uses innovative technology to help under-resourced children improve their financial literacy, technology know-how and skills to be ready for the hybrid financial world of the future.
The "FinKids Academy" program runs under Manulife's "Go Paperless Education Aid Program" and follows a successful pilot that ran between March and May this year. The program will benefit more than 600 primary school students from 24 local schools providing more than 10,000 learning hours in total.
The program aims to support the children by equipping them with essential skills and knowledge through 10 in-depth workshops that cover topics such as fintech, basic coding, digital money, budgeting, the metaverse and more. Immersive STEM field trips and inter-school sharing sessions will also take place to provide them with a unique and impactful learning experience.
"Driving inclusive economic opportunities is a key part of Manulife's Impact Agenda to create a more even playing field for all. We strive to bring long-term positive impact to the community by leveraging our expertise and network to raise the standard of financial literacy," said Calvin Chiu, Manulife's Head of Asia Retirement. "With the continuous support of SJS, Manulife hopes to continue promoting children's understanding of financial concepts with the use of emerging technologies, helping them to make better financial decisions in the future."
The launch is accompanied by the release of a new survey that reveals misconceptions about digital wallets and a lack of awareness about the importance of saving among Hong Kong's younger generation. The survey was distributed in June by SJS, with the results based on interviews with 325 primary school students.
Nearly a quarter of the students thought their money will never be used up (23%), and 18% said they believed their parents' income will not change after retirement. In addition, over half (57%) are not sure about how much they spent on average in a month. Close to two-thirds (62%) said they are not sure about the balance of their digital wallet and a third (33%) did not even know where the money in their digital wallet comes from.
In addition, the survey indicates a need to educate the students about the importance of savings for the future. Close to a third (29%) said they do not know how to save money. More than a half said their parents have not talked to them about their retirement plan (57%) and their source of income after retirement (57%).
Josephine Lee, Chief Executive Officer of St. James' Settlement, said: "We can see there's a clear need to help the next generation develop their financial literacy if they are to smoothly navigate the hybrid world without undue risk or loss. We look forward to continuing our work with Manulife to benefit the wider community and prepare young people to be able to manage financially in the future."
C.C.C. Chuen Yuen First Primary School was one of first schools to join the pilot in March, along with Ching Chung Hau Po Woon Primary School. Commenting on the pilot phase of the program earlier this year, Zhow Wong Ying, student at C.C.C. Chuen Yuen First Primary School, said: "I looked forward to the lessons because they were very inspiring and a lot of fun, particularly the virtual reality activities. I learned about why and how to save money, and am trying to do that with my pocket money."
About Manulife Hong Kong
Manulife Hong Kong, through Manulife International Holdings Limited, owns Manulife (International) Limited, Manulife Investment Management (Hong Kong) Limited and Manulife Provident Funds Trust Company Limited. As a member of the Manulife group of companies, Manulife Hong Kong offers a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individual and corporate customers in Hong Kong and Macau.
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services provider, helping people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we provide financial advice and insurance, operating as Manulife across Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Through Manulife Investment Management, the global brand for our Global Wealth and Asset Management segment, we serve individuals, institutions, and retirement plan members worldwide. At the end of 2021, we had more than 38,000 employees, over 119,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving over 33 million customers. We trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.
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About St. James' Settlement
Founded by the Rt. Rev. Bishop R.O. Hall of the Anglican Church in 1949, St. James' Settlement began as a club for boys and girls in a temple in Stone Nullah Lane, Wanchai. Our first centre outside Wanchai (named Central and Western District Elderly Community Centre) was established in 1990. Since then, different service centres have been developed and most of them are located along the north coast of Hong Kong Island, from The Belcher's in Western to Hing Wah Estate in Chai Wan. In recent years, in view of the society's ever changing needs, we have opened service centres in Kowloon and the New Territories. To date, our 73 service points are in operation across Hong Kong. By the end of September 2021, we have over 1,800 staff members to provide a vast range of high quality services for people of different ages and needs. In the past year, around 1,000 volunteers have helped in different service units.
In 2020-2021, St. James' Settlement served more than 2.2 million person-times, and our target beneficiaries include children, teenagers, families, the elderly and people with disabilities. We provide a broad spectrum of services ranging from community support to residential care.