CYFI and EFSE DF publish joint study on financial behaviour and knowledge of youth in South-Eastern Europe

CYFI and the Development Facility of the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE DF) have published the final report of the study about financial behaviour and knowledge of young people in 7 countries of South-Eastern Europe (Albania, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia). 

Financed by EFSE DF, the study was conducted in the second quarter of 2016 and included in-depth focus groups and interviews with children and youth between 10 and 24 years old, as well as wide quantitative study of more than 2,000 children and youth people across 7 countries.

The study has showed that the level of financial literacy of youth is quite low, mainly related to a low understanding of traditional products, and the fact that the main sources of information and understanding of finances are derived from family and household experiences.

In the region as a whole, children and young people reported a positive saving behaviour. Having a piggy bank and using it as the primary source for saving money was the most popular way of saving across the region.

The study also revealed the experience of children and youth with various financial products, and some positive effects have been noticed in the results. Youth that have personal experience with owning and using their own bank account was found to be stronger with money management and saving habits, showed better perceptions of the importance of savings, and had deeper knowledge about financial products and formal financial education. The full report can be accessed here.

CYFI would like to thank the representatives of the Central Bank of Montenegro, Association of Serbian Banks, Ministry of Education and Science of Serbia, Institute of Educational Sciences of Moldova, Centre for Conflict Resolution – Macedonia for supporting the organization of data collection for the study. We would also like to thank Bank of Albania, National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia, Central Bank of Montenegro, Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo, National Bank of Serbia and the National Bank of Moldova for their contributions and support.

For more information about the methodological setup of the study and for dissemination of the results, please contact CYFI Secretariat for further support.

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CYFI, CBK and KBA hold stakeholder workshop on financial education in Pristina

In collaboration with the Central Bank of Kosovo (CBK) and Kosovo Banking Association (KBA), Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) organized a stakeholder workshop on the national approach to financial education in the capital Pristina on 22-23 November 2016.

The workshop was hosted and held by the initiative of the Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo and became the first national-level event on financial education in the country. The workshop was aimed at increasing awareness on financial education among national stakeholders, the roles that different stakeholders and organizations from various sectors can play in promoting financial education in Kosovo, and at determining ways of cooperation between public, private and civil society institutions in this sphere.

The workshop covered various aspects that can assist countries in fostering the development of the nationally coordinated approach to financial education, stakeholders' management, integration of financial education in the school curriculum, piloting SchoolBank project, best practices examples of financial education programs for youth and adults and many more. Moreover, the workshop also featured sharing the experience by experts from Bank of Albania, one of the most successful institutions in the region in promoting financial education, as well as provided a platform for local government, private and civil society institutions to share their experiences in financial education in Kosovo so far.

At the end of the workshop CBK and other stakeholders expressed the readiness to form a national platform for financial education in Kosovo, and cooperate closely on developing new educational programmes and campaigns, including Global Money Week campaign 2017. The platform would have an objective to serve as a space to exchange best practices, experiences and streamline and coordinate financial education initiatives in the country.


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3 events - 1 platform for young entrepreneurs!

CYFI initiative, Ye! community, has been busy working with young entrepreneurs all over the world! With events in Ukraine, Kenya, and India, the sky's the limit for the fastest growing online platform for young entrepreneurs!

Ukraine Ye! Boost Training & Hackathon, sponsored by the Development Facility of the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE DF), took place in Kiev over the course of three weeks.Over 60 young entrepreneurs attended lectures and practical trainings on business-creation. 20 chosen entrepreneurs took part in a weekend Hackathon in which they teamed up with some developers in order to produce the first prototypes of their ideas.

The event ended on 31st October with a pitching event where twelve business ideas were judged by an expert panel. Andrew Pavlovsky was named Ye! Entrepreneur Ukraine for his idea ‘Department Action’, a start up dedicated to create collaborations between investigative journalists and lawyers to fight corruption.


The ‘Road to Nairobi 2016 Multi-stakeholders forum’ was run in partnership with Building Bridges andtook place on 26th October in Nairobi, Kenya, at which over than 100 young entrepreneurs were present. The theme was ‘Youth Entrepreneurship as tool for economic development and youth empowerment in Kenya’.

The event featured a training for young entrepreneurs on investor-readiness. The event also provided a platform for young entrepreneurs to dialogue with key national stakeholder. Notable participants included Ms. Sicily Kariuki - Minister of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs and Mr. Frank Makken, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kenya.


On 26th October 2016, Ye! Community ran its first initiative in India: The Ye! Startup Pitching Event & Award Ceremony.

The aim was to celebrate the work and achievements of inspiring young Indian entrepreneurs. 20 of them attended the event, while 14 start-ups pitched their projects to an expert committee, after a first video selection.

Vennela Krishna won the competition with her Law School 101 startup, receiving the first Ye! Youth Entrepreneur Award for India and an invitation for the Global Inclusion Awards 2016 held in Stockholm.

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Successful culmination of Flagship Visegrad project – Experience exchange between Central and Eastern Europe

In October 2016 CYFI and its 9 project partners have successfully concluded the project, supported by the V4EaP Program of International Visegrad Fund, aimed at experience exchange between Central European (Visegrad) countries and Eastern European (Visegrad Partnership) countries in financial education strategies and programmes for young people.

In the course of just a bit more than a year, six events were conducted in different parts of the region, and a number of distinctive training materials were produced and translated in various languages. CYFI network members from public sector in the region took an active part in project activities. For example, the National Bank of Belarus and CYFI organized an international curriculum integration seminar for more than 40 representatives of educational authorities in Belarus. The seminar was inaugurated by the Deputy Governor of the National Bank and featured sharing country experience on integration of financial education components in the school curriculum from national authorities from Brazil, Moldova and Ukraine.

In Ukraine, the National Bank also supported the organization of the dissemination seminar and hosted a workshop for banking and civil society sectors on the development of responsible banking products and financial literacy programs for young people. The Master Training in Tbilisi was attended not only by partner organizations, but also by representatives of the financial regulators from Belarus, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

These and many other examples show the multi-stakeholder approach to all aspects and themes of this project. More information about these and other meetings and activities of the project can be found in the Project Report, recently published by CYFI Secretariat.

Visegrad countries have been among the pioneers in introducing financial education in the national curricula and also dedicating resources to the creation of national programs or of national strategies for financial education for a long time.

However while implementing the project, CYFI and its project partners noticed the lack of such documented cases about Visegrad countries, containing comprehensive information about the national policies, standards and program highlights with regards to financial education for young people. Therefore, we have also put together a Best Practice Report, aimed at briefly outlining the case for youth financial education practices in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

CYFI would like to extend our gratitude to our project partners that made implementation of this project a particularly fruitful and enriching experience: Microfinance Center – Poland , Institute of Banking Education of the National Bank of Slovakia , The Foundation for Improvement of Financial Culture (Alapítvány a Pénzügyi Kultúra Fejlesztéséért) – Hungary, European Financial Planning Association – Czech Republic, LEPL National Youth and Children Palace of Georgia , Banking University – Ukraine, Institute of Educational Sciences – Republic of Moldova, Youth Entrepreneurship Support and Development Center – Belarus, Reliable Youth Future NGO – Azerbaijan

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nimbl – the future of financial inclusion through fintech

In a recent survey of 6,000 parents in the UK, 7 in 10 agreed that their children do not understand the value of money in the way that they did when they were the same age. The survey, commissioned by nimbl, the prepaid MasterCard® debit card and smartphone app for children aged 8-18, found that 80% of parents believe that children spend money too easily. 2 in 3 parents also believe that the growth of digital money makes it harder for children to learn about spending.

Created by the founder of ParentPay, Clint Wilson, nimbl was launched to address these concerns by encouraging financial awareness and independence amongst young people.

nimbl allows 8-18 year olds to keep track of how much they have spent and where, on their prepaid, contactless MasterCard® debit card.

With the nimbl app, parents have their own account that manages and controls their child’s nimbl card with notifications and alerts to allow them to track their child’s spending in real time. They can make one-off transfers to their child’s account or choose regular weekly or monthly pocket money or allowances, set up weekly or monthly spending limits and view online statements to help guide their child’s financial decisions.

Using the web and mobile app, the child can keep track of money coming in, what they’ve spent, and how much they’ve saved. Friends and family can also be involved in the child’s financial journey and send money easily via a secure gift link.

nimbl aims to create carefully controlled conditions that help young people to understand the value of money and enable them to grow up as financially responsible adults.

Supporting the financial inclusion of young people

nimbl is part of a working group, collaborating with CYFI, MasterCard® and a range of other partners, seeking to make financial products safer for young people. The working group is developing a set of principles to guide the development of financial products and services by the private sector.

Paving the way for the future of child and youth-friendly e-banking, nimbl is an excellent example of how fintech can educate and include young people safely and securely. Whilst still under the protection of their parents, children are empowered and gain financial confidence for the future.

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CYFI conducts workshop on active learning methods in Moldova

CYFI, together with its project partner the Institute of Educational Sciences of Moldova, held a Training in the field of financial education on implementing effective financial education and financial inclusion programs between the 23 -26 August 2016. The workshop took place at the Institute of Educational Science of Moldova and saw the participation of more than 25 teachers and representatives of the civil society organizations interested in implementing financial education and inclusion projects in the Republic of Moldova.

The current training focused on empowering teachers on delivering financial education using active learning methods. It provided the participants with a standard 14-hour educational module which can be used by the project partners involved in the implementation of the SchoolBank project. The training was delivered by CYFI staff and international consultant Paul Moclair on behalf of partner organization Aflatoun, as well as local experts from the Institute of Educational Sciences. They discussed the possibility of implementing financial education in the Moldovan national curricula as cross-curricular subject.

The workshop had the following objectives:

  • To present the concept of an integrated approach to financial education to local stakeholders;
  • To introduce the concept of Schoolbank and its various implementation options;
  • Discuss the existing financial education programs for children and youth in Moldova and the three ways to integrated financial education in the Moldovan schools: as cross-curricular subject, as a stand-alone subject under the social and financial education course, as an extra-curricular activity;
  • Discuss collaboration and further action plans for the implementation of financial inclusion and financial education programs for youth in Moldova.

Following the training, it is expected that more than five schools in the country will implement the educational materials provided. The workshop was conducted as part of the implementation of the Schoolbank pilot in the Republic of Moldova. It was supported by the European Fund for South East Europe, and in the framework of the project CYFI is implementing with its project partners from 9 countries within the ‘Visegrad 4 Eastern Partnership (V4EaP) Program - Flagship Projects’- "Transferring the experience of the Visegrad countries in the Eastern Partnership countries and the development of capacity and technical expertise in the field of financial education for children and youth", supported by International Visegrad Fund.

CYFI would like to thank the project partner the Institute of Educational Science of Moldova for its continuous support and collaboration in the implementation of projects aimed at enhancing the financial literacy of children and youth in the country.

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Workshop on active learning methods and product development workshop for child and youth friendly banking products in Azerbaijan

CYFI, together with its project partner Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Reliable Youth Future NGO, held a seminar in Baku on 29 – 31 August on active learning methods for financial education and access to basic financial services for young people in Azerbaijan.

The workshop took place at the Training Center of Access Bank and saw the participation of 20 representatives of the banking sector, financial regulatory and educational authorities and civil society sector representatives.

The workshop had the following objectives:

  • To train trainers engaged in the delivery of financial education programs on active learning methods for financial education;
  • To present the concept of an integrated approach to financial education to local stakeholders in Azerbaijan;
  • To introduce the concept of SchoolBank and its various implementation options;
  • Discuss the existing financial education programs for children and youth in Azerbaijan and the project partner presentation of updates on their program (Reliable Youth Future NGO);

The first two days of the seminar focused on active learning methods. Participants enjoyed learning how financial education can be delivered in an innovative and fun manner. These methods can be applied not only to children and youth programs but also to adults in any contexts. During the third day of the seminar, CYFI presented parts of its Product Development Workshop module, including business and CSR case for financial institutions, and discussed various technological and innovative solutions for Azerbaijani FSPs to start investing in savings programs for youth. The workshop was conducted by CYFI Head of Network Advisory Services Bianca Isaincu.

The workshop was conducted as part of the project CYFI is implementing with its project partners from 9 countries within the ‘Visegrad 4 Eastern Partnership (V4EaP) Program - Flagship Projects’- "Transferring the experience of the Visegrad countries in the Eastern Partnership countries and the development of capacity and technical expertise in the field of financial education for children and youth", supported by International Visegrad Fund.

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KIESA, ICK and Ye! Join Hands in Boosting Young Entrepreneurs

On September 9, 2016 eight emerging young Kosovo entrepreneur stars pitched their business ideas to policy makers, angel investors, financial sector representatives and successful entrepreneurs during a high-level pitching event hosted by the Kosovo Investment and Enterprise Support Agency (KIESA). At the event, Mrina Godanca from “Architecture for Humans”, won the “Ye! Young Entrepreneur of the Year” Prize. The 2nd place goes to Mendim Avdyli (Sumthesun) and 3rd place to Lum Kryeziu (Spartments). The two entrepreneurs received interest-free loans provided by TEB Bank to further develop their business ideas.

Bringing awareness to the young rising stars of entrepreneurship

The pitching event is a feature event which marks the closing of the week-long Ye! BoostCamp in Kosovo, an entrepreneurship training event for 17 young entrepreneurs from Kosovo. Held at the Innovations Centre Kosovo the event was attended by key stakeholders in the entrepreneurship ecosystem– policy makers, international development organizations, angel investors and successful entrepreneurs. The event provided a platform for the young entrepreneur participants to showcase their business ideas, receive feedback and seek seed capital.

Mr. Besian Mustafa, General Director of KIESA, opened the final pitching event with a welcome speech on behalf of the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Kosovo. Ms. Venera Hoxha, Senior Investment Officer from Finance in Motion, also shared a message to the participants and guests on behalf of the European Fund for Southeast Europe, the funder of the Ye! Boost Programs. Ms. Hoxha expressed that the European Fund for Southeast Europe Development Facility will continue to expand its support of youth employment and entrepreneurship in the EFSE countries and the development of quality financial support via the financial sectors.

Eight young entrepreneurs selected from the youth participants of the BoostCamp pitched their ideas at the event. These vibrant youths are all working on ideas addressing critical issues faced by their community. Among them are Besart Kunushevci (Platforma Akademia), Armend Alshiqi (Dekorime nga Dora Ime), Lum Kryeziu (Spartments), Trëndelinë Gërguri (Login Texas), Mendim Avdyli (Sumthesun), Vesa Broqi (Gjurmet), Mrina Godanca (Architecture for Humans), Drilon Balaj. Their ideas were evaluated and challenged by a panel of jury members that are represented by policy makers, angel investors, financiers and successful entrepreneurs: Mr. Besian Mustafa (General Director, KIESA), Leutrim Blakaj (Executive Chairman & Founder, Highlight Ventures), Besian Demiri (Manager of Small Business Department, TEB Bank) and Dardan Gërguri (Banka për Biznes).

The jury selected Mrina Godanca from “Architecture for Humans”, a startup that makes custom-designed furniture for people with disabilities, to receive the “Ye! Young Entrepreneur of the Year” Prize awarded by KIESA and the Ye! Community. Mrina also received a cash prize of 1,500 Euro sponsored by TEB Bank. Mendim Avdyli, the entrepreneur behind Sumthesun – a startup with the ambition to help US households adopt solar energy received the 2nd place and the “Best Pitch” award. He received an interest-free loans of 5,000 Euro from TEB Bank and a cash reward from Banka për Biznes. The entrepreneur of a student housing online platform, Lum Kryeziu won the 3rd place and an interest-free loan of 3,000 Euro from TEB Bank.

All participants will receive six-month mentoring provided by experienced professionals both from Kosovo and Ye!’s international network.

About Ye! Boost Program

The Ye! Boost Program is an entrepreneurship capacity building program targeting early-stage young entrepreneurs. The program provides training, networking and coaching opportunities for entrepreneurs (16~30 years old). In 2016, the Ye! Boost Programs are implemented in Turkey, Kosovo and Ukraine, with the sponsorship and support of the European Fund for Southeast Europe. In Kosovo, the Boost Program is partnered with Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK), Kosovo Investment and Enterprise Support Agency (KIESA), TEB Bank and Banka për Biznes (BPB).

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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.

CYFI Regional Advisor Karina Avakyan moderated an interactive panel “Empowering youth with access to finance, knowledge and skills” that aimed to present and discuss different approaches and experiences on how to strengthen the link between youth and the financial sector and enable thereby youth entrepreneurship, business creation and expansion.

The discussion was underpinned by presentation of the results of a recent study on the level of financial literacy and financial behaviour and attitudes of youth in 7 countries of the Balkan region, conducted by the European Fund for South-Eastern Europe - Development Facility (EFSE DF) and CYFI. The panellists included representatives of EFSE-DF, Mozaik Foundation (Bosnia & Herzegovina), ADIE (France) and a member of Ye! community – a young entrepreneur that has started a social enterprise in Albania Pezana Rexha.

The panelists shared various barriers that young entrepreneurs face in Europe, both in terms of access to finance as well as non-financial challenges such as lack of relevant skills, knowkedge, networks etc. The panel shared their unique experiences and expertise of their organizations in supporting the creation of youth enterprises, and Pezana has enriched the discussion by sharing the perspective of the persons who has faced many of those challenges personally. The lively discussion has drawn several solutions and ways to mitigate those challenges, and introduced several ways for microfinance institutions to get involved and start new programs in this field.

The annual MFC conference “Microfinance in the cloud” was a great success, and it brought together participants from all over ECA region to discuss the challenges and opportunities that microfinance sector is facing in the region. CYFI would like to thank EFSE DF and MFC for inviting to participate in this discussion, and is looking forward to continue the collaboration on stronger putting youth on the radar of the sector in the region.

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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.

The workshop took place at the Training Center of the National Bank of Ukraine, and saw the participation of more than 30 representatives of the banking sector, financial regulatory and educational authorities, ministries and civil society sector representatives.

The workshop had the following objectives:

  • To present the concept of an integrated approach to financial education to local stakeholders in Ukraine;
  • To introduce the concept of Schoolbank and its various implementation options;
  • Discuss the existing financial education programs for children and youth in Ukraine;
  • Presentation of the best practices of foreign private sector involvement in financial education and access to programs for children and youth;
  • Discuss potential collaboration and further action plans for the development of financial inclusion and financial education programs for youth in Ukraine.

During the seminar, CYFI presented parts of its Product Development Workshop module, including business and CSR case for financial institutions, and discussed various technological and innovative solutions for Ukrainian FSPs to start investing in savings programs for youth. The guest speaker Eduard Schmitt from Savings Banks’ Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC) presented the approach of German Savings Banks to improving financial capability of youth, as well as various ways to educate youth to save.

The seminar ended with a panel that discussed the state of the field in Ukraine that featured presentations of the hosts of the event – the National Bank of Ukraine, as well as Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, University of Banking, and the Privat Bank. The workshop offered a platform for an open discussion on various possibilities for collaboration and cross-sector cooperation in this field for institutions from different industries.

The workshop was conducted as part of the project CYFI is implementing with its project partners from 9 countries within the ‘Visegrad 4 Eastern Partnership (V4EaP) Program - Flagship Projects’- "Transferring the experience of the Visegrad countries in the Eastern Partnership countries and the development of capacity and technical expertise in the field of financial education for children and youth", supported by International Visegrad Fund.

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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.

nimbl allows 8 - 18 year olds to keep track of how much they have spent and where, on their prepaid MasterCard® debit card, whilst allowing parents to top-up, monitor and control their children’s spending via the nimbl app.

Clint Wilson, CEO of ParentPay said:

“The youth banking market in the UK is chronically underserviced and as we move towards an increasingly ‘invisible economy’ and a reduced use of physical currency, young people struggle to comprehend the value of money. Following the move in September 2013 to include financial education within the National Curriculum, there is a need to take young people’s understanding of money beyond the school gates.

ParentPay’s school online payment and communication system helps 6,000 schools save administration time and reduce costs, enabling over 2 million parents to pay schools quickly and securely, keeping children safer.

Developing quality services for children and youth

The event also presented findings of the UK’s largest parental survey on children’s attitudes to finance and include talks by MasterCard and CYFI on financial inclusion and financial education for young people

CYFI has collaborated with ParentPay and MasterCard as part of a working group to develop child and youth-friendly banking products for young people. nimbl is currently undergoing assessment by CYFI which assesses the design and implementation of financial products for children and young people. This forms part of the working group’s overall mission to identify issues arising from the provision of financial services for children and young people, to identify the solution space and relevant stakeholders and to establish product-specific output to provide guidance and best practices.

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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.

Attending the event were around 40 important stakeholders for the dissemination of Financial Education in the country, such as representatives of the National Bank, the Ministry of Education, the National Association of Banks and the National Association of Insurance Providers. The event was also inagurated by Mr. S. Kalechits, Deputy Governor of the National Bank.

CYFI presented the overview of the various models of curriculum integration, Economic Citizenship Education Framework, as well as shared the examples of national financial literacy standards and its contents and formulation process in the countries of Visegrad Group like Slovakia and Czech Republic.

Moreover, other speakers, including the experience of the the Institute of Educational Sciences of Moldova, about the country’s case on cross-curriculum integration of social and financial education; from the Central Bank of Brazil, about the country’s case on cross-curriculum integration of financial education; and from Ukraine’s University of Banking, about the country’s experience on integrating financial education as a separate subject in high schools in Ukraine. Participants also had a chance to take part in the interactive discussion, share their experience with innovative financial literacy projects in schools that they are piloting in different regions of the country, and discuss various methods and models and the way forward for the curriculum integration process.

The seminar received a very positive response from the National Bank and the Ministry of Education of Belarus, and by the end of the seminar two institutions defined the next steps for continuing the intensive process of integration of core elements of economic citizenship education in the school curriculum. The seminar was covered in the media and more information can be found on the national financial literacy portal.

On the next day, May 26th Youth Entrepreneurship Support and Development Centre (YESDC), CYFI partner in the Flagship project, together with CYFI and Aflatoun organized a seminar for teachers and civil society organizations’ representatives at the National Youth Palace in Minsk. The seminar was aimed to disseminate information about the project and the possible models for delivering financial education in Belorussian schools, using the international experience of other countries. The intensive training on using Aflateen program as one of the methods to deliver financial and social education to children was conducted for more than 25 participants.

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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.

‘There is no better present for our children than to help them become happy and successful people. One of the most important skills for success is good financial literacy.’

The Financial Literacy Network now consists of 44 institutions and organizations, made up of public institution, business, academic and media representatives. There is a shared believe in the importance of stakeholder involvement and the move towards a national strategy for financial literacy. Earlier this year, the ‘White Paper on financial literacy in Bulgaria’ was published outlining the best practices in the European Union and other countries, which may serve as a guide for institutions responsible for policy formation and even as a basis for national strategies.

With the Financial Workshops ‘About the money and other important things in life’, the Foundation was able to engage young people by challenging them to play games in which they discussed real life experiences, worked in teams and surfed the net. The manual for this project, designed for 9 – 12 graders, contains 25 financial workshops on ten topics. Pupils learn about personal finance, such as budget, borrowing, investment, risk management and pensions through subjects they enjoy talking about (e.g. love, friendship and travel). The next step to extent the impact of the method is the teachers training in September 2016.

The BG Map of Financial Literacy, containing a database with all Bulgarian financial literacy resources, was created by FLI and its partners to simplify the process or getting access the relevant financial literacy resources. The enhanced usability can increase the scale of the impact. The database can be found at:
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Keeping an EYE on the financial future of youth!

CYFI was delighted to be taking part in the second European Youth Event (EYE)! The EYE took place at the European Parliament in Strasbourg from 20-21 May 2016 and offered a unique opportunity for thousands of young Europeans to make their voices heard.

During the event, young people exchanged ideas and perspectives on youth-related issues, developed innovative solutions to crucial questions for the future and met with European decision-makers and speakers with a wide range of professional experience.

The EYE 2016 included a large variety of activities run under the motto "Together we can make a change" from a political, social and cultural perspective. Activities focused on five main themes:

  • War and Peace: Perspectives for a Peaceful Planet
  • Apathy or Participation: Agenda for a Vibrant Democracy
  • Exclusion or Access: Crackdown on Youth Unemployment
  • Stagnation or Innovation: Tomorrow's World of Work
  • Collapse or Success: New Ways for a Sustainable Europe

CYFI was one of several organizations facilitating workshops in the Innovation Hub, focusing on youth unemployment, financial inclusion and entrepreneurship. During the "SWOT or Not?" workshop, CYFI spoke with youth from various European countries about their dream jobs, the skills youth need in order to become employed and best practices of NGOs, corporates and public institutions, in order to decrease the rate of youth unemployment. During the “Pitch Perfect” workshop, CYFI worked with a group of young people to give tips and tricks to help strengthen their presentation skills and to perfect their business pitches.

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Conference on public-private partnership in financial education in Moscow

The international conference on the potential and opportunities for public-private partnership in financial education, organized by the Ministry of Finance of Russian Federation, took place in Moscow, Russia on May 19th.

The conference saw the participation of international and Russian experts, regional coordinators of the national financial education program, financial and other private institutions, and other stakeholders.

There was also an award ceremony for the most active partners of the Russian Global Money Week, led by the famous actors and supporters of financial literacy Elisaveta Arsamasova and Artem Korolev.

CYFI Regional Advisor for Eastern Europe spoke at the conference about the international experience of public-private partnerships during Global Money Week in different countries, and the panel discussed various opportunities for broader involvement of Russian private companies and financial institutions in the week and beyond, and the guidelines they need to follow when engaging with children and youth.

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National Financial Education Strategies Training for CYFI South-Eastern European Working Group

Another meeting of CYFI South-East European Working Group for Child and Youth Financial Education and Financial Inclusion took place in Podgorica, Montenegro, on 6-8 April 2016, hosted by the Central Bank of Montenegro. The intensive three-day training was conducted for the members of the Working Group specifically on the process of the development of national financial education strategies. More than 25 participants from central banks, financial regulatory authorities, ministries of education from 8 countries of the region (Albania, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia) took part in the training.

This comprehensive training module was developed by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the German Savings Banks’ Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC) in 2014, and is currently being disseminated by CYFI Secretariat within the framework of CYFI-GIZ collaboration. The training in Montenegro was delivered by CYFI staff and the international consultant Shaun Mundy.

The training received very good feedback from the participants, and provided countries with valuable insights on the important topics related to elaboration of the national financial education strategies, including stakeholders’ management, leadership and governance, monitoring and evaluation etc. The training included a substantial amount of time allocated to the development of the national work and action plans, and representatives of different institutions from the countries had a chance to sit together and plan concrete next steps to advance financial education in their countries.

The next Working Group meeting will take place during the international CYFI Summit in Bucharest, Romania, 28-29 June 2016. Thank you to the Central Bank of Montenegro for hosting the training!

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Training and Experience sharing between Central and Eastern European partners

Within the framework of the project supported by Visegrad 4 Eastern Partnership Program of International Visegrad Fund, CYFI together with the National Youth and Children’s Palace (Georgia) hosted a three-day Training of Trainers on 13-15 April 2016 in Tbilisi, Georgia.

The Training was a follow-up event of the kick-off meeting that was held in Bratislava in October 2016 within the framework of the project “Transfer of experience of Visegrad countries to Eastern Partnership countries and building capacity and technical expertise of civil society organizations in the field of financial education for children and youth”.

Project partners, independent consultants and experts from 10 countries took part in the event. The training covered the topics such as national standards for youth financial education programs based on the case of Slovakia, stakeholder management in financial education, teacher training and methodologies in financial education, and models for integration of financial education into the school curriculum (cross-curriculum and as a separate financial literacy subject). The training sessions were delivered by experts in the field, including representatives of ministries of education, teacher training institutes, independent consultants and CYFI and its network partners, and were conducted in an interactive manner with the emphasis on practical learning and experience by the training participants. The training was held in English and Russian languages.

CYFI project partners include financial regulators, financial organizations, educational institutions and civil society organizations from Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova. The Training gathered not only project partners, but also representatives of governmental bodies – central banks, ministries of finance and education, and international experts in the field of financial literacy.

The next steps of the project will include dissemination seminars in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, and publication of the Best Practices Guide, based on the experiences of partner countries of the project.

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Potential partnership opportunity for distribution of financial literacy materials!

Today, children and teenagers are exposed to financial informational noise in disproportionately larger volumes compared to just a few decades ago. The world is asking them to think quicker, learn quicker, make effective decisions on the go. Development of financial literacy is one of the main keys to obtaining vital life skills.

As a team of experts in teaching children and teenagers the basics of financial literacy and entrepreneurship, in 2013 CYFI network partner the Ukrainian Association of New Economic Education created an educational product – a book for parents called “How to tell your kids about money” for development of financial literacy of children aged 2 to 16. In essence, it is an edutainment instruction manual containing 100 home games and activities for family learning. The founder of the Ukrainian Association of New Economic Education was also a coordinator of the national financial literacy program of the National Bank of Ukraine, and the Association is an active contributor to the Global Money Week activities in Ukraine since 2013.

In the two years since the release of the book in print and electronic form, it was ordered by parents from 11 countries. In addition to parents, it is also ideally suited as a guide for kindergarten teachers, school teachers, tutors at various courses dealing with financial education for children.

In the momentum of Global Money Week 2016 the Ukrainian Association of New Economic Education and School of Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship ‘Detki-Monetki’ would like the book to gain maximum dissemination through translation to different languages. Thus, they are seeking for partnerships and cooperation opportunities to consider the possibility of joint distribution of these educational materials.

We encourage you to get acquainted with this partnership offer that contains the description of the book and the project, goals and objectives, and authors’ vision for the joint distribution of the book, as well as a profile of their experienced team. You can find the offer here in English and here in Russian language and for any questions please contact the authors Sergii Bidenko and Iryna Zolotarevychvia This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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“Children & Finance” project in Russia

A research has been conducted in Russia to access the level of financial knowledge among the country’s children and youth. This research was initiated by National Agency for Financial Studies (NAFI), under the project called ‘Children and Finance’.

Next to financial knowledge, the factors that exert most influence on the financial behaviour of children and youth were also assessed, as well as throughout desk research of best international practices was conducted. The project was sponsored by MasterCard and further supported by the Association of Russian Banks, Non-profit Partnership for the Development of Financial Market RTS, and Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI). The research was carried out between February and May of 2015 and involved both quantitative and qualitative methods like focus group discussions with children, online surveys, and interviews with parents throughout the country.

The results were published at the end of 2015 and exposed a quite drastic situation concerning financial knowledge of children and youth. Starting with parents, only 8% of them appeared to be keeping detailed financial records of family’s income and expenses. As there is no coherent program for financial education throughout the country, it is the task of parents to teach their children the basics of financial system. However, 77% of parents do not keep financial records and 73% do not involve their children in financial decisions. Further, only 16% of parents are interested in the opinions of their children about financial matters.

The overall conclusion of the report is that children and youth are under risk of being financially illiterate. They depend on their parents for guidance in financial matters, who often themselves lack the necessary knowledge and experience in the area.

The report also includes a very interesting review of international, as well as Russian banking products for children and youth available on the market at the moment.

You can find the research summary report of the project in English here. The full publication in Russian is available here.

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Mapping the Regional Landscape of Youth Bank Accounts in Central and Eastern Europe

CYFI are pleased to release the final version of the report “The Regional Financial Inclusion Landscape of Youth Bank Accounts: Selected country cases from Central and Eastern Europe”, written by Karina Avakyan, Bianca Isaincu and Floor Knoote.

The report presents and analyses the findings of the study conducted by CYFI Secretariat and its network partners in 2014-2015 on the availability and features of banking products for children and youth in five selected countries of Central and Eastern Europe – Armenia, Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic and Moldova. More than 60 financial service providers (FSPs) from these countries responded on a comprehensive survey on the existence, features, integration of financial education component and characteristics of current and savings accounts that they are offering for children and youth.

Findings indicate that more than 80% of FSPs do offer a bank account for young people, but a far less percentage of these products comply with Child and Youth Friendly Banking Principles, created by CYFI, Mastercard and CYFI network partners. The current report is the first attempt to collect and analyze this kind of data, and CYFI Secretariat aims to develop and deepen the analysis when replicating the study in other regions and countries in the future.

CYFI Network partners supported data collection from the banking institutions between September 2014 and May 2015 – Union of Banks of Armenia, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, Croatian National Bank, Ministry of Finance of Czech Republic and the National Bank of the Republic of Moldova. The report was also peer-reviewed by Ms. Olga Tomilova, Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia of CGAP (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), who also provided valuable advice and guidance on the structure, format and data analysis of the project.

A special thank you goes out to CYFI interns - Veronika Shevchenko, Alexandra Nabilskaya and Stanley Nosten for their invaluable help in analysis and design of this publication.

Please read the full report here and the Russian summary of the report here.
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