CYFI News & Blog

Latest news and articles from Child & Youth Finance and the CYF Movement Network

Financial Education + Life Skills = Girl Power

Adolescent girls are one of the world's most economically vulnerable groups. Compared to boys their age, they frequently have limited opportunities to gain the education, knowledge, resources, and skills that can lead to economic advancement.

Girls do not only need knowledge, skills, and a responsible attitude to manage money in a smart way; to be fully empowered, they also need to increase their self-confidence to support their ambitions. That is why CYFI partner, Aflatoun International, collaborates with Plan International and Credit Suisse's Financial Education Girls Program to improve the financial knowledge and life skills of approximately 100,000 girls in Brazil, China, India and Rwanda. CYFI contributes to and supports the research agenda of the program through the Credit Suisse Financial Education for Girls Advisory Group.

In addition to the program implementation, the partnership carries out research on the effectiveness of financial education for adolescent girls. The results of a recent literature review shows that the most promising financial education programs combine both social and financial elements. So in order to be most effective, financial education programs targeting adolescent girls should also include non-economic elements, such as life skills, interpersonal networking, communication, personality development as well as sexual and reproductive health education.

Research findings are increasingly available about the effectiveness of financial education. However, many questions remain. One of these questions is how to best involve communities in financial education programs. This is easier said than done. Financial education and life skills programs are recommended to encourage communities to engage in conversations about economic empowerment of girls, challenging harmful biases and replacing them with behaviours that foster inclusive and equitable education and labor markets for girls and boys. Ongoing research looks at the contextual factors – including social norms around gender - that financial education and life skills training programs need to understand and address. The program intends to publish the initial results of this country level research in the summer of 2017 so stay tuned!

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Leading The Way Towards Safer Payments for Children

​Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) and Mastercard are launching a groundbreaking guide on banking and payment products for minors. Unique in its approach, the 'Safer Payment Products for Minors' guide identifies recommended practices on how Financial Service Providers (FSPs) can develop age-appropriate payment products for minors; promoting responsible spending and financial decision-making whilst incorporating functionalities that allow for parental guidance towards a minor's financial autonomy.

At a time when governments, the private sector and civil society are doubling down on their efforts to build a more inclusive society, these new guidelines ensure the needs and safety of the next generation are part of the process. Financial, digital and gender inclusion are crucial elements to build a stable world in which everyone gets the chance to fulfill its potential. Minors are the foundation of tomorrow's society and need to be brought into the financial mainstream in a responsible manner.

Developed for national and international financial institutions, the guide is intended to help decision makers and product owners understand the responsibilities, needs and risks associated with this market.

In addition to the goal of supporting the creation of safe and appropriate products for minors, the guide seeks to foster dialogue between parent and child. In this way both Financial Service Providers and parents can guide minors towards financial inclusion, autonomy and responsibility.

Walt Macnee, Vice Chairman Mastercard says: "Today's minors are the adults of tomorrow. As they grow up, we need to ensure that they are prepared to fully participate in the formal and increasingly digital economy. By ensuring that the tools and products that they are given are age-appropriate, we contribute to that preparation."

Recognizing that the varying functional and supervisory requirements of financial products for minors vary depending on the age and development of young people, the paper advocates for an end objective of empowering minors to fully manage their own payment products and money.

The guide was created by Mastercard, Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI), ParentPay, nimbl and Mirador Digital, with contributions from a range of organizations in the financial sector.

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CYFI took part in FINFIN 2017 in Moscow in February 2017

Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) took part in FINFIN 2017 Conference in Moscow, Russia on 16 February 2017. FINFIN is an annual international symposium, aiming to bring together financial institutions, governmental bodies, and expert community to exchange and share best practices and latest trends in the area of financial literacy and financial inclusion.

The Conference fosters an open dialog between market practitioners, government officials and researchers. It also provides an ideal environment to develop new initiatives that would ensure sustainable development of the industry, increase the availability and quality of financial services for the population, and promote financial literacy programs in order to improve the well-being of Russian citizens. 

The conference is traditionally organized by Russian Microfinance Centre and Citi Foundation, with the participation of representatives of the Bank of Russia and Ministry of Finance of Russian Federation, as well as international experts. The 2017 edition of FINFIN saw participation of many global stakeholders in the field, such as OECD, Central Bank of Portugal, UK Consumer Panel, CYFI and other representatives from CIS region and beyond. 

In 2017 CYFI contributed to the panel on the ways to improve financial literacy of Russian population, alongside the speakers from the Central Bank of Russia, Moscow State University, and various private sector initiatives. The wide consensus was reached that starting teaching children the basics of financial behaviour, such as saving, budgeting and spending, is essential from the first years of school. The role of the Ministry of Education in this process was defined as crucial by all participants of the panel. CYFI Regional Advisor Karina Avakyan shared the recent findings of financial education landscape for young people, emphasized the importance of active practicing of savings from the young age, and presented the recent publication by CYFI and World Savings Bank Institute (WSBI) on various Schoolbanking models.

On 15 February 2015 CYFI was also invited to take part in the informal roundtable, organized by the Russian Microfinance Centre (RMC) and Bank of Russia on the financial literacy programmes for SMMes and entrepreneurs, and their role in the overall financial literacy strategies and policies. CYFI representative shared some examples and best practices from CYFI network members and other countries in Europe.


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Queen Máxima joins Global Money Week celebration for youth

Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) will collaborate with leading partners in the Netherlands on an event taking place on 30 March 2017 to highlight the importance of financial inclusion for youth.

The 6th edition of "Global Money Week", celebrated in 135 countries worldwide, takes place from 27 March - 2 April 2017. The Dutch Money Week, "Week van het geld", is organized during the same period. Both events provide an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of financial education and financial inclusion by connecting children and youth from around the world.

This special joint Global Money Week celebration is organized by CYFI in collaboration with the Money Wise Platform (platform Wijzer in geldzaken), Aflatoun International and partners. Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, honorary chair of the Money Wise Platform, will join the celebration.

Linking with the important issue of providing child and youth-friendly services, Queen Máxima will receive the pioneering document "Safer Payment Products for Minors – guiding minors towards financial autonomy," co-authored by CYFI and Mastercard in collaboration with partners. As the UN Secretary General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development and honorary patron of the G20's Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, Queen Máxima is a leading global voice advancing universal access to affordable, effective and safe financial services in order to strengthen human development, especially among the poor. In The Netherlands she supports financial inclusion particularly in the areas of financial literacy and financial education.


Moderated by renowned Dutch TV presenter and global traveler Floortje Dessing, the event includes an interactive "Trip Around the World" connecting Dutch and international children and youth to share insights on what the Global Money Week theme "Learn. Save. Earn" means to young people in their country, and addressing the issue: does money make you happy? During various interactive workshops, school students will focus on key themes such as saving and borrowing, digital payments, tools for entrepreneurs, and social and financial education.

In the afternoon, international stakeholders will join a round table discussion on "Digital Finance and Consumer Protection Implications for Youth (digital natives)." Panelists will discuss opportunities, challenges, risks and solutions related to digital financial inclusion of the young generation.


Official press release from the Royal House of the Netherlands can be found (in Dutch) here.

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CYFI receives continued support from players of the People's Postcode Lottery!

CYFI is delighted to have attended the 2017 People's Postcode Lottery annual Charity Gala where it was announced that £66.3 million was awarded to charities and good causes in 2016 - thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery.

CYFI is one of 69 charities that benefitted from this incredible funding, with £225,000 amount received in 2016 alone.  The news of the funding total was shared at the annual event, on Tuesday 24 January, at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh. The Charity Gala celebrated the phenomenal achievements of charities working across Great Britain and internationally that are supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery.

The event was attended by HRH Prince Charles, Sir David Attenborough, with entertainment provided by stars from the UK music scene.

This amazing contribution enables CYFI to further our efforts in establishing pilots around initiatives such as SchoolBank and scaling programmes which support youth financial capabilities across the countries in which we work.


Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, said: "Our Gala is such a special time in People's Postcode Lottery's calendar where we come together and celebrate the incredible amount of money raised by our players and the fantastic work carried out by the supported charities as a result of the support. We continue to be overwhelmed by the incredible support of our players and thank them for their funding."



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Empowering children and young people for a sustainable future - Aflatoun International Meeting 2016

Children make up half of the nearly 900 million people living below the global poverty line, according to UNICEF, and 124 million children and adolescents worldwide do not attend school.

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Workshop on youth empowerment at the Annual MFC Conference 2016

Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) was once again leading the discussion on the youth segment at the annual conference of its strategic partner – at the 19th Microfinance Centre Conference that took place 23-24 June 2016 in Tirana, Albania.

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CYFI consultation on guidelines for making payment products safer for children and youth

CYFI have developed a set of guidelines for Financial Service Providers on how to make their payment products safer for children and youth and wants to hear your opinion!

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CYFI collaborates on workshop on financial inclusion for young people in Ukraine

CYFI together with its project partner University of Banking and the National Bank of Ukraine held a seminar in Kyiv on July 8th on the role of public-private partnerships and the role of the private and civil society sectors in improving financial literacy and access to basic financial services for young people in Ukraine.

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CYFI ranked among top NGOs in the World

The fourth edition of Top 500 NGOs World has ranked CYFI in the top 50 of the world’s top charitable organizations. Recognizing the Child and Youth Finance Network’s collaborative approach, Jean Christophe Nothias, Editor of NGO Advisor, noted that CYFI’s ranking ‘reflects not only immense efforts from CYFI’s team and partners but the organization’s deep commitment to create a more inclusive world’.

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CYFI Network Stars: Thea Handumon

Continuing our focus on the role of youth participation in acheiving economic empowerment for children and young people, this month's CYFI Network Star is Thea Handumon! Thea has been a very active youth member of the CYFI network in recent years - thanks for all of your suppport Thea!

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YES Cameroon launches financial education training for 6000 micro-entrepreneurs

6000 microfinance entrepreneurs are expected to benefit from a financial literacy project launched on June 14, 2016 by the Youth Employment Services (YES) Cameroon and the Association of Entrepreneurs in Cameroon (AEC). The project beneficiaries will be selected from all 10 regions of Cameroon and will undergo a five-day intensive training on topics including, budgeting, debt management, savings, negotiations, insurance and micro-credit. They will also receive training on effective entrepreneurship.

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CYFI joins ParentPay to launch financial awareness solution for youth

On 14 June, Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) joined Network partner, ParentPay, the market-leading online payment service for schools and families, for their launch of nimbl, a new financial platform aimed at encouraging financial awareness and independence amongst young people via the use of a prepaid MasterCard® debit card and smartphone app.

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Network Collaboration: Reflecting on working with CYFI

A key part of CYFI and the Child and Youth Finance Network’s approach to ensuring young people worldwide can become economically empowered citizens is through collaboration with our global Network.

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CYFI SchoolBank workshop success in Zimbabwe

On 23 and 24 May Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI), in collaboration with the People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB) Zimbabwe, organized a SchoolBank Workshop in Harare, Zimbabwe. The two-day event was attended 25 participants, including branch managers of POSB Zimbabwe and employees of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Education. It was aimed at providing the participating institutions, who will be engaged in a SchoolBank Zimbabwe pilot, an understanding of the principles and operational modules for a SchoolBank project.

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Developing child and youth-friendly financial services in Zambia

Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) in collaboration with the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) organised a two-day product development workshop on May 9 and 10, 2016, at Protea Hotel Lusaka. The objective of the workshop was to train Zambia´s financial services providers (FSPs) on how to develop innovative, appropriate, and cost effective savings accounts for children and youth. It also aimed at training participants on how to link product portfolios for children and youth to financial education.

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International seminar on curriculum integration & teacher training in Minsk – Visegrad project

Within the framework of the project supported by Visegrad 4 Eastern Partnership Program – Flagship projects of the International Visegrad Fund, CYFI together with the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, hosted a seminar on 25 May 2016, in Minsk devoted to the integration of Financial and Economic Citizenship Education content in the school curriculum in Belarus, presenting internationally accepted models and experiences from other countries.

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National strategies of financial education – The way forward with youth

Creating national strategies to develop financial literacy amongst children and youth is key to the financial inclusion of young people. By listening to the experiences and needs of young people, decision-makers can develop strategies which are child and youth-friendly and support young people in shaping a positive future for themselves.

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Towards the national approach to financial literacy of young people in Bulgaria

CYFI network partner Financial Literacy Initiative Foundation in Bulgaria has been keeping busy, organizing activities and widening its network in order to increase financial literacy for young people in Bulgaria.

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GSRD Foundation supports Systems Change in Asia

CYFI is delighted to announce a generous grant from GSRD Foundation (G-Star RAW Denim) to support the Child & Youth Finance Movement’s work around systems change in Asia.

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