Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) has been one of the pioneering movements towards promoting and advancing Financial Inclusion and Economic Citizenship Education (ECE) for children and youth in Asia and the Pacific since 2012.
More than half of the world's young people – some 650 million between the ages of 10 and 24 – live in Asia and the Pacific. In some parts of the region, young people make up nearly 20% of the population. Yet there remains about 12.8 million unemployed young people in East Asia, 8.3 million in South-East Asia & the Pacific, and 15.3 million in South Asia. These figures in Asia present clear opportunities to improve lives within the region through the advancement of economic citizenship.
Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) aims to address this and more aspects of development by increasing financial inclusion, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship among young people throughout Asia and the Pacific.
The celebration of Global Money Week in the Asia and the Pacific region has continuously grown in strides across the years. Not only did the number of children reached during the week increase this year, but also more countries have joined the celebrations. The celebrations in Asia-Pacific has expanded to a total of 25 countries, where 19 countries have national authorities leading and participating in the celebrations. In the Global Inclusion Awards 2017, it was also the first time that a country from Asia and the Pacific won the Global Money Week Award. It was Bangladesh’s efforts that reached more than 800.000 children during the week and their innovative and engaged approach that received the award.
There are a number of SchoolBank programs in Asia and the Pacific – some are already in implementation, while others are still in the planning and preparation stage. In India, there have been a total of 3 programs that were implemented. The first one was a pilot reaching more than 500 children carried-out by CYFI together with Kudumbashree, NABARD, and Rajagiri Outreach. This was followed by a partnership with the State Government of Kerala which scaled-up the program to more than 12.000 children. Finally, the model was replicated by CYFI and Kerala Gramin Bank at the lead to reach more than 50.000 kids, which innovatively integrated retired bankers as teaching partners to make financial education more practical and understandable for young people.
The Ye! Community has been active in pursuing projects within Asia and the Pacific. The Ye! Community has established partnerships with the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN), Bizjapan, Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE), and the Young Entrepreneurs Society of the Philippines (YESPh). A Startup Summit has been organized so far in the Philippines in 2015 together with YESPh bringing together more than 500 young entrepreneurs in the country, and with the winners of the video competition flown to Amsterdam to participate in the Ye! Boost Camp. In 2016, the same Startup Summit and Video Competition was launched in the Philippines. During the same year, a Startup and Pitching Event specifically for young entrepreneurs was also organized in India which had supporters from public, banking, private, and entrepreneur networks in India.
A multitude of workshops that aim to build capacity for institutions and countries to pursue better policies and programs for financial education and financial inclusion have been spearheaded across the region. In 2014, a region-wide workshop on scaling policies and programs on children and youth-focused Economic Citizenship Education, Financial Inclusion, and Livelihoods was delivered to delegates from 14 Asia-Pacific countries and their responsible national authorities. Other capacity-building workshops also included a Child-friendly Banking Product Development Workshop delivered to about 90% of Bangladesh’s commercial banks and an information session on the development of a national strategy for financial education provided to national authorities in Vietnam. A multitude of workshops and network-sharing meetings are still on its way for Asia and the Pacific for 2017 such as those scheduled for Indonesia, India, and Mongolia.