About Us

Claude Rwaganje CFL Executive Director

Welcome! Founded in 2008, Community Financial Literacy (CFL) is a growing 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Portland, Maine. CFL offers financial literacy courses and one-on-one financial counseling for individuals and families. Our services are open to all refugees, immigrants, asylees, and low-income individuals in Greater Portland and Lewiston/Auburn, Maine.

There is a great need in the community for financial education. Many refugees and immigrants come from cash-based societies and struggle to understand the complex American financial system. The lack of understanding and access to U.S. financial institutions is a primary barrier to economic and social integration into the local community.

To help educate Maine’s newest residents, CFL offers three financial literacy courses, Basic Money Management in America, Saving to Build Wealth and Microfinance. All of CFL’s services are offered at no cost to participants and are available to all immigrants, refugees, asylees and low-income individuals living in Greater Portland and Lewiston/Auburn, Maine. Each course consists of five two-hour individual classes covering topics such as:

  • Basic Banking

  • Family Budgeting

  • Setting and Meeting Financial Goals

  • Building, Maintaining, and Repairing Credit

  • Saving for College, Retirement, Buying a Home or a Car

  • Basics of Small Business Management

Our courses not only instruct participants on good money management practices, but also build aspirations by showing them how to save for college, work towards homeownership, purchase an automobile or start a business. In addition, CFL provides one-on-one counseling for specific financial concerns or questions.

CFL is the only organization working in the area focusing on financial education for refugees and immigrants. In fact, CFL is a refugee-led and run organization. We are proud to have a multicultural Board of Directors, and our Executive Director and instructor are former refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo. We understand the specific challenges newcomers face, and we are trusted figures and leaders in the community.

Last year, CFL conducted 120 one-on-one financial counseling sessions and offered 19 courses in Portland and Lewiston/Auburn. To date, CFL has reached more than 600 refugees through our courses and one-on-one counseling sessions. CFL also participates in orientation programs for newcomers to Maine. Each year, through our formal courses, counseling or outreach, hundreds of refugees and immigrants learn how to plan for the future and reach their dreams.

For more information on CFL’s classes or one-on-one counseling, please visit our Programs page.

Support Our Mission

Community Financial Literacy shares the same notion with other researchers that the well-being of the Nation increasingly depends on whether Immigrant’s economic progress keeps up with their demographic growth. CFL will make a difference in supporting Refugees and new Immigrants reach their dreams.

Brochure

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Brochure printed with a generous gift from Goodwill Industries of Greater Portland.