Changing lives: Transformative learning and financial attitudes of Filipino women migrants in Italy

by Manuela Prandini*

Published online by Taylor & Francis Online, a Journal on the Education of Adults, 04 Sep 2020


Faced with impoverishment after the financial crisis of 2008, Filipino women migrants in Italy struggle to sustain their financial commitments to their families in the Philippines. Research shows that financial literacy and entrepreneurship (FLE) education can improve financial management and decision-making processes.
Spanning a period of eighteen months, this case study aimed at investigating whether the existing training modules organised by Atikha, the Filipino Women Council and the ALSE OF-LIFE Consortium in Italy have led to changes in the financial attitudes of the thirty-three interviewed Filipinas who attended the programs in the last ten years. This paper seeks to highlight the value of FLE training in promoting the transformative interpretation of individual perspectives in line with Mezirow’s Transformative Learning process. The training programs can be viewed as empowering interventions, capable of contributing to the development of new personal and financial goals. The interviewees’ responses to the in-depth, semi-structured interviews showed that the FLE programs have helped participants critically assess how to develop more productive attitudes towards financial management, and identify sustainable forms of support to their left-behind families.

Keywords: Adult education, financial literacy and entrepreneurship training, Filipino women migrants, qualitative case study

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* Manuela Prandini, has a BA, summa cum laude, University of Bologna, and a MSc, (with distinction) University of Endinburgh. She recently completed her PhD in Extension Education at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (Class of 2020) and received the Academic Achievement Award of the UPLB Graduate School ranking second among PhD graduates for her dissertation “Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship: attitudes, behaviors and life plans of Filipino women migrants in Italy”.

Her theory of generative learning and the adult education model, participatory transformative learning for affirmative choices, which she generated from her dissertation inspired her to establish Penso a Te APS (Association with a Social Purpose) with her husband which will help women migrants in Italy.

FWC Graces Famiglie Ombre Book Launch in Florence, Italy

FWC was in full force at the book launch of Famiglie Ombre, the Italian version of Mia Alvar’s book “In The Country” last March 23, 2019 at a feminist library in Firenze/Florence, Italy.

Charito Basa, FWC Founder and current Vice-President discussed the current situation of the Filipino domestic workers, women in particular in Italy based on the research works and activities initiated by the organization. Basa presented the challenges confronted by the Filipino women workers, “their are continuos problems to solve: economic pressures from families left behind, and economic crisis in Italy that resulting into poverty often leading them into indebtedness,” she highlighted.

It was a very lively evening of discussions and exchanges of information with friends from Washington and The Philippines who also contributed to the historical and current political situation in the country.

The event was organized by the Associazione Fiesolana 2B.