Since 2019, WellsFargo has been supporting the International Rescue Committee to scale its financial capability programming across the US. Implemented in 11 communities across the US as well as virtually on a multilingual web platform, Pathways to Financial Wellness with Routes to Expanded Reach (“Pathways”) provides financial education, coaching, and affordable financial products designed to meet the needs of diverse low-income populations.
With funding of $700,000 USD each year since 2019, almost 22,000 individuals have been impacted since the program began. In the last year alone, the IRC provided financial coaching sessions to over 4,800 clients, supported 1,800 clients with consumer loans and helped over 950 clients establish or increase their credit scores.
This year, WellsFargo has committed a further $800,000 USD in funding for Pathways, backing the IRC’s aim of serving more than 5,500 individuals across the US with high quality financial capability programming and affordable financial products. Running from August 2023 - July 2024, the next phase of the Pathways project will help to make a real difference in IRC clients’ lives, supporting them in developing a strong financial foundation, building assets, and achieving economic mobility in their new communities.
IRC client Palwasha’s story is a true example of how life-changing the Pathways program can be. Arriving in Turlock, California, in 2017 from Afghanistan, Palwasha brought with her an unwavering determination to build a better future for her children in the US. One way that she sought to do this was through opening her own childcare business. However, when she first arrived Palwasha was unbanked, had no credit and was not financially stable enough to open her own business.
After receiving financial coaching through the Pathways program, Palwasha was able to open a checking and savings account, and obtain a credit-building loan. After making payments towards her loan, she was approved for a non-secured credit card. Throughout this time, Palwasha attended tax, credit building, budgeting and banking workshops. Since then, Palwasha has received a business license and opened her childcare business, doubling her household income and building a brighter future for both herself and her family.
“Wells Fargo shares IRC’s commitment to address systemic inequities, build financial security, and advance wealth creation among diverse communities,” said Bonnie Wallace, Senior Vice President, Head of Financial Health Philanthropy at Wells Fargo. “The IRC has achieved significant results in building financial inclusion and access, and we are proud to continue our support.”
“The IRC is thankful to WellsFargo for their continued support of our financial literacy efforts across the US,” says Madlin Sadler, Chief Operating Officer at the International Rescue Committee. “Private sector support enables the IRC to work with low-income new Americans to strengthen their financial capabilities and ensure that people resettled in the US have what they need to rebuild their lives.”
About the International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people affected by humanitarian crises to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. We deliver lasting impact by providing health care, helping children learn, and empowering individuals and communities to become self-reliant, always with a focus on the unique needs of women and girls. Founded in 1933, we now work in 59 crisis-affected countries as well as communities throughout Europe and the Americas.