PHL Ambassador speaks at the Pan Pacific and SouthEast Asia Women's Association in Wellington, New Zealand
In line with the Philippine Embassy’s public diplomacy initiatives to promote deeper people-to-people ties and greater understanding and goodwill among Filipinos, New Zealanders and people from other countries, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez joined the officers and members of the Pan-Pacific and Southeast Asia Women’s Association New Zealand Incorporated (PPSEAWA NZ Inc.) and other guests for a fund raising dinner to support the Financial Literacy Programme of Lucas Remmerswaal held at The Pines in Wellington on 19 October 2013. PPSEAWA is composed of women from the Pacific and Southeast Asian regions who come together to promote greater understanding and friendship and engage in projects for the benefit of the children, youth and the local communities. It is a multicultural organization set up in New Zealand in 1931 with groups in Wellington, Auckland and Wanganui and accredited to the United Nations through ECOSOC in Category 11 and ESCAP, UNICEF and UNESCO. PPSEAWA is actively involved in a successful financial literacy programme for children in a school in Wellington.
As one of the speakers on this occasion, Ambassador Benavidez thanked the organizers for the opportunity to be with such a distinguished group and honoured guests bound together by the collective mission to make the children and youth become more economically empowered and socially responsible citizens. This will ultimately help reduce the risk of poverty and financial vulnerability among the young population of the country. She especially acknowledged the work being done by Mr. Lucas Remmerswaal whose books and publications on financial literacy and creative projects, games and pathways to instill passion and inspiration for lifelong financial education and skills among children and youth continue to help make a distinctive and positive impact on the lives of children in New Zealand. She also acknowledged PPSEAWA officers and members from the Wellington group led by its President, Ms. Sylvia Findlay Rawle, PPSEAWA National Executives led by Ms. Beryl Vincent, PPSEAWA National Executive Auckland led by Ms. Ana Maria De Vos, Dr. Jo Cribb, CEO, Women’s Affairs, Mr. Brian Morris, Maori Language Publishing/Financial Literacy Manager, Mr. Raveen Annamalai, President, Multicultural Council of Wellington, Ms. Shanti Annamalai, Ms. Ethne Windham Smith, Volunteer, Child Poverty New Zealand, Ms. Lonie Martin and Ms. Angie Briguera, Filipino Hiyas Wellington Cultural Group, performers from the Myanmar and Latin American cultural groups, and all the distinguished guests present.
Ambassador Benavidez gave an overview of the current worldwide efforts and initiatives of governments, private sector, non-government organizations, concerned individuals and various stakeholders to promote financial literacy, training and education, development of life skills in financial management and understanding and foster values for sound financial decisions especially for the children and youth who are particularly vulnerable and encouraging and empowering them to become creative and productive as early as possible in their lives. She also shared with them the Philippines’ financial education programme to reach 25 million elementary and high school levels recalling the words of Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal who once said, “Ang kabataan ay ang pag-asa ng ating bayan” (The youth are the hope of our future). The Central Bank of the Philippines, the Department of Education, print and broadcast media and banks are in the forefront to continue to implement an integrated economic and financial learning program for students and young adults.
“PPSEAWA’s active support and sponsorship of a successful financial literacy programme in a school in Wellington speak volumes of its officers’ and members’ laudable commitment to come together to promote greater understanding and friendship and engage in projects for the benefit of the children, youth and the local communities. This evening is another vital step and a building block to achieve what we hold dear to our hearts: empowerment of our children and youth with rewarding and life-changing financial competency free from debt, poverty and anxieties and secure in their future,” Ambassador Benavidez stated.
Speeches from Dr. Jo Cribb, Mr. Brian Morris and Ms. Ethne Wyndham Smith, cultural performances from the Filipino Hiyas, Myanmar and Latin American groups, hearty buffet dinner, remarks from Ms. Annie Coates, vote of thanks from Dr. Gloria Hettige and the fellowship and interaction among the guests contributed to making the evening for a cause an enjoyable and meaningful one.
Ms. Sylvia Findlay Rawle, President, conveyed PPSEAWA’s appreciation to Ambassador Benavidez for her friendship, interest and support for its projects and activities for the benefit of school children and other beneficiaries.