From brink of bank­ruptcy to teach­ing fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy to chil­dren

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - HOME -

KUALA LUMPUR: “I was nearly de­clared bank­rupt, so I do not want it to hap­pen to my chil­dren.”

Hav­ing had such a close call with her de­plet­ing fi­nances, it dawned upon Ida Faran­ina Oth­man that chil­dren and young adults gen­er­ally do not know the ba­sics of man­ag­ing fi­nances which is cru­cial in life.

The mother of three who was for­mally a ‘road run­ner’ for Mix FM back in those days, said lack of fi­nan­cial ed­u­ca­tion since young had ren­dered many young adults bank­rupt at an early stage in life.

Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey by the Asian In­sti­tute of Fi­nance (AIF), young Malaysians are ac­cru­ing debts at an early age while some 40 per­cent spend more than what they can af­ford and live on a con­stant fi­nan­cial edge.

De­ter­mined that her chil­dren not share a sim­i­lar fate as she had faced, Ida Faran­ina, 37, fondly known among her peers as Nina, started her so­cial en­ter­prise project dubbed ‘Grow the Goose’.

Hav­ing been ini­ti­ated way back in Septem­ber 2015, the project fo­cuses on de­vel­op­ing the in­ter­est of chil­dren to self-fund them­selves and at the same time, help oth­ers in need.

“Ev­ery child is blessed with a tal­ent. Draw­ing, cook­ing and many oth­ers.

What I en­cour­age them to do is to change their hobby to some­thing that makes them earn money...and with the money earned, they can use it to help oth­ers,” she told Bernama.

Among her suc­cess­ful stu­dents were Ah­mad Iszud­din Ah­mad Idzham, 11, who is cur­rently on a mis­sion to save the en­dan­gered sea leatherback tur­tles.

The story of Ah­mad Iszud­din want­ing to save the sea leatherback tur­tles has gone vi­ral and was even shared by Malaysian-born in­ter­na­tional mu­sic sen­sa­tion, Yuna Zarai.

He was even in­vited to sev­eral lo­cal ra­dio sta­tions to share his story on sav­ing the en­dan­gered species.

An­other of her stu­dent, Naim Hamid Hamidin, 14, the artist who painted an im­age of Saudi Ara­bia’s King Sal­man Ab­du­laziz Al-Saud, had handed it over to the monarch per­son­ally dur­ing his state visit to Malaysia last month.

“These kids have tal­ent and have a kind heart to help oth­ers. What I want to do is not only teach them ba­sic fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy but also how to give back to the com­mu­nity,” said Ida Faran­ina.

On her great­est ob­sta­cle in im­ple­ment­ing the ‘Grow the Goose’ pro­gramme, she said it was a lonely jour­ney as oth­ers had cho­sen to blame the pol­icy of banks and the gov­ern­ment, in­stead of un­der­stand­ing the core of the prob­lem.

“Blam­ing oth­ers will not make the sit­u­a­tion bet­ter. The change must come from within and one should not fear to learn some­thing new. Nearly fall­ing into bank­ruptcy was my mis­take, not oth­ers,” she noted.

Hav­ing a rep­u­ta­tion as a suc­cess­ful so­cial en­tre­pre­neur and hav­ing suc­cess­ful grad­u­ates to her credit, Ida Faran­ina has been hold­ing var­i­ous pro­grammes with es­tab­lished banks such as May­bank and Hong Leong.

Her pro­gramme has earned her a seat in the So­cial En­ter­prise Fo­rum in Stock­holm, Swe­den to be held be­tween April 21 and May 13, and will be fully spon­sored by the Swedish Gov­ern­ment.

She is the sole rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Malaysia and was in the top eight fi­nal­ists cho­sen from more than 900 ap­pli­cants world­wide.

Ida Faran­ina Oth­man teach­ing her stu­dent dur­ing one of her ‘Grow The Goose’ ses­sions where kids are be­ing taught on how to make money from their hobby and to give back to those in need. - Bernama photo

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