Young Luca Berardi may only be 10 years old, but it has not stopped him from taking action to make his change in the world. Living in Nairobi, Kenya Luca has already started an animal and wildlife preserve organization, recorded a music album about saving the world, and even written a book.
We checked in with him and his mom in Nairobi to learn more about this little hero and his biggest passion in life – saving animals and making the world a better place.
Luca has loved animals since as long as he can remember, and his passion truly shines from his eyes when asked about his favorite animals. He quickly put three fingers up in the air proudly stating: “I actually have three favorite animals!”. He continue by eagerly telling about the Peregrine Falcon (the fastest animal in the world), the Tiger (the largest cat in the world), and the Cheetah (the third fastest animal in the world). After thinking for a while he added: “I actually like any animal in the world… Except maybe slug and snail.”
Luca started his organization Young Animal Rescue Heroes – YARH – one year ago.
“I was reading a book at the library about endangered animals and I thought ‘I could do something’”
When he got home that day he started thinking about ways he could get involved to help the endangered species he had read about. And he came up with the idea to start his own wildlife rescue organization: YARH.
Shortly after the idea for his organization was born he went to an environmental camp and held a speech about his newly founded idea and organization. Afterwards a man from the Giraffe Centre in Kenya, came up to show his support, and encouraged Luca to keep up his great and important work. After the camp and the encouraging words Lucas idea grew stronger and he started doing his first YARH project: recycling paper. “We go to different offices and gather the waste paper, my dad helps me pick it up. After this we sort out the paper and Chandaria Industries come and pick up the paper and recycle it. This way we can save trees.”
Luca is not only busy with his organization. Along side YARH he is also making a music record with songs he wrote himself called ‘The World We Wished For’. He has been singing since the age of three, and when he got asked about making a music record it was clear to him what it should be about: how to make the world a better place. “I dream about a world that is a beautiful place without war, deforestation, the animals and the people are living equally.” His first song ‘A Better Place’ sends the message to start caring about each other, and even though times might seem though there is still an opportunity for all of us to make the world a better place. “I saw so much suffering in the world, and I really wanted to make a song to show that there is hope in the world too.” When talking to Luca about recording in a real music studio and making a professional music video, he would rather talk about the song and the meaning he hopes it will have to others:
“It felt great to record the song, I was finally going to be able to tell people that there is still hope and try to make the world a better place.”
We thank Luca and his mother for taking the time to talk with us and we are looking forward to see what steps this young little entrepreneur will take next.
FLM 2013 is the perfect time to raise public awareness and promote the importance of greater financial literacy in Canada.
No matter how old you are, talking about money can be difficult. But many Canadians are accepting the challenge and participating in one of the many events taking place across Canada this November. This wide range of activities will allow them to build the knowledge, skills, and self-confidence they need to make smart financial decisions when making a budget, managing or paying back debts, planning for retirement, and investing.
The theme of this third annual FLM is “Financial Literacy across Generations.” The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has once again partnered with different organizations to raise awareness about FLM and to encourage all ages to participate.
On its website, FCAC is offering Canadians a calendar of events where, in just a few clicks, organizations can promote the seminars, workshops or any other activity they are planning during FLM 2013, and where Canadians can see what’s going on in their own city and province.
To highlight young Canadian talent and raise youth awareness of the importance of financial literacy, FCAC is organizing another video contest this year. Canadians aged 13 to 19 are invited to produce a short video explaining how talking with someone about money helped them achieve a financial goal. Participants have until November 30 to submit a 30-second to 2-minute long video and to be entered to win an iPod Touch, an iPad or a MacBook Pro.
To learn more about the contest rules and regulations, or to find more information about Canada’s Financial Literacy Month, visit itpaystoknow.gc.ca/flm
The last day of the Second Annual CYFI Regional Meeting for Europe and Central Asia truly went in the sign of celebration and was closed with great excitement, as European Central Bank President Mr. Mario Draghi gave a closing speech about the importance of financial inclusion and education for the health of the society and the region and got awarded by the youth of the region as the ‘Financial Inclusion Champion’ in Europe and Central Asia.
Mr. Draghi opened his speech by commending the youth representatives on their great efforts and stated the importance of child and youth financial education and inclusion saying:
” While education in general is critical for the health and wealth of society, so is financial education. In the modern world, wherever you live, it is essential to have the skills and knowledge to manage your money and to know at least something about how the economy works. If you have that knowledge, you are more likely to have your own bank account and can then make savings or even borrow money and set up a small business. You are connected to the world around you.”
The speech by Mr. Draghi followed the presentation by the youth representatives with proposals on how they think the ECB can help in fostering financial education and inclusion for children and youth. The youth also invited Mr. Draghi to take part of the celebrations of Global Money Week 2014. A smiling Mr. Draghi thanked the youth for the extent of invitation and said that he would be glad to try to join the celebrations.
The presentation of proposals hade been prepared by the 25 youth delegates form the 12 different countries during the course of the meeting, but represented the voices of 100 000 youth from all over the world, that had participated in giving input for the proposals presented via social media. The issues presented upon were Employment and Entrepreneurship, Financial Inclusion and Economic Citizenship Education. The calls for action were clear:
In response to these calls for action Mr. Draghi stated that youth are calling for action on the same points that Europe is calling for: transparency and access to financial services and bank accounts. He further stated his support of the issues that the youth addressed, and that he goal of the ECB; a truly European banking sector with a European banking union, could be a platform to implement youth financial inclusion.
We sincerely thank Mr. Draghi for his support and congratulate him on being awarded by the youth as ‘Financial Inclusion Champion’ in Europe and Central Asia.
© ECB/A. Böttcher
Earlier on Tuesday European and Central Asian leaders cold also engage with the youth on their ideas for their future as financially included, educated and entrepreneurial citizens of their countries. The discussions on three core matters: financial inclusion, financial education and youth entrepreneurship.
“We believe in ourselves, we want you to believe in us too. We want to be financially empowered, so please listen to our suggestions.”
They youth on the stage representing the young people of their countries told the audience that many of their peers still do not know that the subject of financial education exists, and that we need to change this.
“We need to know in order to be passionate, and we need to be passionate in order to be good at what we are doing.”
They also addressed that many children and youth have a lack of self-confidence and independent thinking, and that we need to empower them and build their confidence to make sure that they will believe in themselves and in their own decisions. One representative stated: “School have been made easy to go through without learning about real life skills”.
This was a point that they wanted to change. One suggestion to do this was to introduce internship to the school curriculum to make sure that the young people build their confidence and get to experience real life situations.
Another point that was made during the sessions was the fact that current financial education is focusing too much on macroeconomics, but is missing the private financial issues.
An issue that was raised is that there is currently little access to information about entrepreneurship and how to become an entrepreneur. There is also insufficient access to start up funds. One possible solution for this that was suggested by the youngsters was to engage more crowd funding to raise funds for young entrepreneurs and their endeavors. Another call for action form the youth was that the subject of entrepreneurship needs to be introduced to the school curriculum. This subject should focus on developing entrepreneurial skills and connect traditional subjects like math to an entrepreneurship setting.
The third topic of financial inclusion, that the youth had named ‘Re-shaping for inclusion’ focused on how to make youth more financially included and what they found necessary in order to make this happen. They stated that increasing financial inclusion for children is essential for them to be empowered. A point that was made by the youth presenting was that if they are able to spend at a certain age – why not be able to save at the same age?
Mr. Panagiotis Strouzas, Head of the Financial Services Policy Division at the Directorate General Financial Stability of the ECB chaired this session, which brought together several themes and discussions from the past two days, including key themes during the Youth/policy-maker dialogue during the morning. Mr. Stouzas started by emphasizing the seminal role of financial literacy and inclusion for children and youth towards financial stability.
Mr. Bram Stoffele, Partnership and Certification Manager at CYFI, and youth representatives Mr. Kirill Akhmetov and Mr. Bogdan Baciu reflected on the state of child and youth financial inclusion in Europe and Central Asia. Observing that financial access levels differ greatly throughout the region and statistics for child and youth access are scarcely available, they argued that financial access needs to be complemented by independent financial capability training and quality standards for child and youth friendly banking products to ensure real financial inclusion.
They finished by presenting preliminary results of a CYFI survey of banking products and educational programs for children and youth which seems to corroborate the view that most child and youth banking accounts currently don’t fulfill these requirements, and financial education programs offered currently by financial institutions often lack a holistic perspective or sufficient safeguards for independence.
Ms. Tracey Bleakley, CEO of Pfeg (UK), shared the success story of child and youth financial education in the UK. Through the concerted efforts of the Personal Finance Education Group (Pfeg), schools and children, government, and the financial sector, financial education is now top on the political agenda. In February 2013 the government took the decision to integrate financial education in England’s national secondary education curriculum. Reflecting on next steps, Ms. Bleakley commented that ‘maybe we should get over ourselves’ and accept that children and youth already engage with the financial system in many ways (e.g. through prepaid mobile phones and internet transactions), and that their safe financial inclusion would be a logical step, provided parents can decide when their children can be given greater financial autonomy.
Mr. Hidde van der Veer, Aflatoun, concluded the session, emphasizing the importance of providing children and youth with a more holistic concept of economic citizenship education, moving beyond financial education only, including life skills and livelihoods education.
The final session of the day was devoted to Global Money Week, and how the countries of the region can join in on the celebrations of Global Money Week March 10-17 in 2014. The session started with an introduction by Mr. Dakic, Governor of the Central Bank of Montenegro. Mr. Dakic shared with the delegates how the Central Bank of Montenegro had celebrated Global Money Week of 2013 with activities of the ministry of education and the central bank such as visits to the money museum and workshops for students. He ended the introduction by stating:
“It is obvious that a lot of work is ahead of us, and there are still some steps to be taken to ensure financial inclusion – Global Money Week is one way of doing this. I strongly believe in its success.”
Luís Vas, Head of Financial Literacy Unit at the Bank of Portugal presented on the rationale for promoting both financial education and inclusion, and the importance of events such as Global Money Week in order to do this. He pointed out that Global Money Week and similar events is key for Bank of Portugal to help promote the importance of financial education and inclusion. Mr. Vas also shared what the Bank of Portugal had learned from arranging Global Money Week and similar events.
Philippe Racine, Founder and CSO, Ekomini Inc., was the second panelist to present, and addressed how technology can be used to engage children and youth to learn about money matters.
The Republic of Macedonia was the winner of the Global Money Week award for Europe and Central Asia of 2013. Ms. Kristina Nikolovska, Assistant to the Governor of the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia, shared the story of how they celebrated Global Money Week, which went under the slogan “Learning By Playing”. She expressed why it is important for countries to engage in Global Money Week by pointing out that it is a way to rise the level of financial literacy among youth, while at the same time rise awareness of the importance of being financially literate and included. She further stated that Macedonia are committed to take part of Global Money Week 2014 and make it even bigger than 2013.
© ECB/A. Böttcher
During the last part of the session three youth representatives presented the ideas that they had come up with together with the other youth at the meeting for how they wanted to celebrate Global Money Week 2014. The ideas presented included involving universities all over the world in TEDx Talks, involve social media channels, having a school week dedicated all the subject to finance and money matters, entrepreneurial contests and challenges as well as a Global Money Week song and having children teach their parents about financial inclusion and education.
The Youth who participated in the Second Child and Youth Finance International Regional Meeting for Europe and Central Asia presented the European Central Bank President Mr. Draghi with an award as Champion for Financial Inclusion of Europe and Central Asia.
The youth chose to award Mr. Draghi as Champion for Financial Inclusion due to his commitment to listen to their proposals and to try to participate in Global Money Week 2014.
The proposals youth presented were the result of an online consultation the youth had with 100 000 young people from all over the world, and an intense dialogue between policymakers and youth over two days at the ECB. Based on this the youth presented their proposals on the three topics of Employment and Entrepreneurship, Financial Inclusion and Economic Citizenship Education: Introduce tax reduction and entrepreneurial training for youth
The Second Annual CYFI Regional Meeting for Europe and Central Asia brought together 135 participants from 39 countries, including three central bank governors, one central bank deputy governor, one central bank board member and one capital markets board chairman as well as delegates from ministries of education and finance.
Become a Partner ! Join the Child and YouthFinance Movement and gain access to materials and events !
Just a few days ago we celebrated the World Savings Day. But there are still many people who are excluded from the formal financial services and bank accounts. According to a newly made study by MasterCard, the population of unbanked and underbanked totals 93 million people in Western Europe alone.
Other studies has shown that only 31.9% of youth in Europe between the ages of 15 – 25 hold an account at formal financial institutions. This means that almost two thirds of Europe’s youth are currently left out of the formal financial institution market.
As the financial services offered become increasingly complex, there is an even greater need to make sure that the people who will grow up to make the financial decisions, are educated and experienced enough to do so.
Coming up next week, 4-5 November, is the Second CYFI Regional Meeting for Europe & Central Asia. The meeting will take place at the European Central Bank and is a great opportunity to inspire and inform others of the great social and financial winnings attached to making sure that our next generation of adults are financially included and educated.
The recent financial crisis has shown us that the decisions made by the adults of today will affect the financial landscape of the future. It is our responsibility to make sure that our children, who will be the adults of tomorrow, are well prepared and educated to make sustainable and favorable decisions for themselves and their countries.
But how do we prepare them to make the ‘right’ decisions?
The Child and Youth Finance Movement promote two things to make this happen: education and inclusion. We need to make sure that young people have sufficient and proper education on financial matters. But the Child and Youth Finance Movement also believe that we need to make sure that the education is connected to inclusion, to create good habits at an early stage.
So what does it really mean, Financial Inclusion? It is about being included, not excluded. Being empowered. Having access. We need to make sure that our children and teens are a part of the financial services and system that will be the venue for some of the most important financial and life decisions they will ever make. We need to make sure that the habit of saving instead of lending, earning interest on savings instead of keeping your money at home, are things that will affect their lives and those of others in many ways.
This has been, and continues to be, one of our greatest challenges. Giving all children access to a bank savings account and safe financial services should be part of the fabric of our financial systems. Financial institutions should recognize this is their role in the financial system, their corporate social responsibility, and simply the right thing to do. Facing the issues of financial inclusion in Europe and Central Asia constitutes a challenge in itself.
Since the European and Central Asian region consists of such a diverse group of countries, there are specific challenges and opportunities within each country that needs to be approached in the local context. There is no ‘fix all’ solution that can be applied to all the countries of the region. Instead there is a need to move together as one, but keep the solutions and efforts on a local level to meet the local needs.
And this is what the Child & Youth Finance Movement is trying to do. Since we launched our Global Movement in 2012, we have already spread to 100 countries and reach 18 million children with financial inclusion and education. This great progress has been made possible through aligning the efforts of countries and organizations to work together toward the same goal: increase the economic citizenship and financial inclusion of children and youth all over the world.
The Child Finance Movement builds on the notion that by aligning and supporting the efforts being made by isolated actors we can achieve great change in a short amount of time.
One part of aligning these efforts is through our Regional Meetings were we bring together policymakers and leaders of the region with young people to discuss and take action for the future generation of their countries. With the current situation and all time high statistics in the European and Central Asian region, it seems as though this year’s meeting is as relevant as ever.
There is a need for nations to join together to build change within their local context, but also cross borders. In order to change the future of our youth we need to start working together. We need to start learning from each other, as well as support and inspire others to make changes that go beyond the actions themselves.
Like the rings that spread over the water, we can make great things happen if we only drop a stone big enough. It is our goal to make sure that every child and youngster in Europe and Central Asia are included, a part of, their own financial landscape and are educated to be so. Are your ready to help us pick up the stone and spread the rings?
Become a Partner ! Join the Child and YouthFinance Movement and gain access to materials and events !
We had so many great lessons and met a multitude of inspiring people and organizations during the Partnership Against Poverty Summit in Manila, Philippines, hosted by Microcredit Summit Campaign. One of the most rewarding things we took with us from the meeting was the fact that Child and Youth Finance has now made its way into the international microfinance agenda. A great sign of this is the recently announced partnership between CYFI and Microcredit Summit Campaign - partnering up to reach 100 million children, youth and their families with financial inclusion.
Prior to the actual Summit, Child and Youth Finance had the opportunity to take part in the pre-Summit Ending Poverty Action Retreat, which brought together some of the most prominent practitioners and thought leaders in the field of microfinance, as well as leading organizations in other fields working to end poverty in different, but often related ways. CYFI was invited specifically to bring the child and youth perspective – a reflection of CYFI’s hard work over the last few years to put child and youth finance on related policy and action agendas on financial inclusion and poverty alleviation.
Reflecting on more than 20 years of microfinance, the Retreat participants emphasized the importance of bringing back the focus of microfinance on what it was originally designed for: ending extreme poverty. Some key recommendations coming forward from the Retreat which were presented at the final Summit day’s closing plenary were:
These and other recommendations were strenghtened in speeches by Nobel Peace Prize Awardee Prof. Yunus (Founder Grameen Bank) and Mr. John Hatch (Founder Finca USA).
A sign of the long-term commitment to including young people as an important part to the financial agenda, Child and Youth Finance International is invited to participate in the Summit of 2014 to share our progress and further inspire microfinance initiatives with child and youth as serious stakeholders.
And it is not only affecting the young people themselves - but also the society and community they live in. As the population grows younger and more young people are unemployed the burden on the tax payers of the country and community they are living in also increases. But, the core of the matter is that young people are now standing at risk from being left out of the job market. And with this being left with feelings of inadequacy, stress and alienation.
However, governments and experts alone cannot solve the problem of youth unemployment. We also need to include the persons who are facing the problem themselves - youth. Not only can they be a part of the solution, they will also likely come up with new and innovative ideas to solve the problem. There is a need for wide spread policy changes and global initiatives to tackle this problem.
The Child and Youth Finance Movement is trying to be a part of this and contribute to a long-term and positive solution. Through the extensive global network that make of the Child and Youth Finance Movement we want to promote solutions to the high youth unemployment rate and create new ways for youth to get employed - via entrepreneurship. We want to start sparking youth entrepreneurial spirits and empower them to be confident young adults that believe in their own abilities and are able to utilize these to create their own job opportunities.
The World Bank Group Youth Entrepreneurship Summit
In connection to this initiative CYFI is proud to be taking part of the World Bank Group (WBG) first Youth Summit on October 23rd, 2013 in Washington DC. The theme for the event is "Youth Entrepreneurship: Cultivating an innovative spirit to alleviate global youth unemployment". The summit featured notable panelists of the development community, and provided a forum for young people from around the globe to share innovative ideas and solutions to current development challenges to create opportunities for youth employment and job creation. In order to help youth become a part of their own solution we need to empower and inspire them to believe in themselves, even though times are difficult, and see the opportunities of the situation they are in. One way is through entrepreneurship.
Coming up with new innovative solutions to the problems they are facing, and generate their own business opportunities and work opportunities, can potentially be a great way for youth to be a part of creating employment. During the World Bank Group Summit the need for education and empowerment of youth to get the basic skills to manage their own business as well as believe in themselves and their skills could not be over emphasized.
We also strongly believe in the connection between education and inclusion and the need for empowerment and confidence to fuel both into successful outcomes for youth. The youth involvement of this Summit is also one of the core pillars of the Movement. We always want to keep the young people we are here to help involved. We want to hear what they have to say and what their opinion and thoughts are on solutions to the problems they are facing.
Listening to the Voice of Youth
Another part of the youth involvement in the Movement is the CYFI Global Youth Survey, where we ask youth all over the world for their opinions on three topics: My Education, My Money and My Future. The survey is based on the financial issues raised by the children and youth who attended our Youth Summit in May in Istanbul. The survey results are still in the process of being completed, and so far the results of the Africa region have been done. Despite alarmingly high rates of unemployment, 66.7% of the African youth taking part in the survey expressed interest in having their own business.
This high percentage alone represents the potential and desire children and youth have to improve their futures by creating their own work opportunities. The Child and Youth Finance Movement is ready to support this desire and make youth a part of their own solution through increasing the financial education, financial access, employability and entrepreneurship skills of children and youth.
After all, they are tomorrow's leaders, entrepreneurs and economic actors.
Right now CYFI is participating in the Skoll Social Entrepreneur Fundraising Challenge, and we need your support to advance in the challenge. Every contribution matters!
In a move to join hands to further youth financial education in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) it is today annoncued that Baizat will join the Child and Youth Finance Movement. The partnership with Baizat is an exciting development for both organizations as they work towards increasing financial literacy in the MENA region and focus on doing this through financial education for children and youth.
Baizat, based in the UAE, is an organization that believes in the need for financial empowerment. Founded by Emirati financial expert Salah Al-Halyan, Baizat works to ensure financial success for all citizens in the UAE, through providing the proper financial knowledge and tools.
The partnership of CYFI and Baizat will facilitate the participation in regional conferences such as the CYFI Regional Meeting, as well as implementing processes for financial literacy through schools, workshops, and conferences throughout the region.
Jeroo Billimoria, Founder and Managing Director of CYFI, was quoted expressing her enthusiasm for the partnership:
“Baizat is a wonderful organization that CYFI is happy to partner with and I know together we will further financial inclusion and financial education for children and youth throughout the region.”
Baizat’s founder Salah Al-Halyan was pleased as well, stating:
“To be the first Non-Governmental Organization in the UAE to partner with CYFI is a great landmark for us; we hope to be the first of many. We have been long term admirers of the tireless work of Jeroo and her team, having already attended their first two international summits we feel this is the next logical step in our relationship. We are looking forward to collaborating with CYFI and their partners to spread the word of financial empowerment for youth in the region and also to share with the rest of the world the progress we are making here in the Emirates alongside hard working Government organizations such as the Emirates Foundation and Dirhami.”
One of the elements of the partnership include increasing awareness in the region through Global Money Week activities. Last year Baizat already took part of the global celebration held every year, second week of March. The purpose of the celebration is to increase awareness of the importance financial literacy and inclusion for young people. The week aims to encourage children and youth to learn about money, saving, entrepreneurship and livelihood skills, through a range of activities arranged in the participating countries.
Global Money Week Celebration with Baizat in 2013
This is the second blog post in a series of post Child and Youth Finance will be doing at The Huffington Post. This privilege comes with the Skoll Social Entrepreneur Fundraising Challenge we are taking part of to raise fund for CYFI to better further the progress of the Movement.
Okay, so one thing is clear: Youth are hooked on technology. Computers, smartphones, tablets, social media, video games... the list goes on.
Mostly this connection is talked about with concern. 'Should our children be spending so much time...?' or 'How does technology affect our youngsters?'. And this concern is of course something that always should be taken into account for this subject. We also want to raise a question from another angle: 'Could youth's hook on technology be used for a purpose?'
One of the goals of the Child and Youth Finance Movement is to ensure financial, social, and livelihood education for 100 million children and young people in 100 countries by 2015. And why do we want to do this, you might ask? Well, although the trend of education has been very positive (Girls and boys in developing countries are enrolling in secondary school in greater numbers than ever before), less than 1% of the worlds 2.2 billion children have access to financial education.
We believe that by that empowering and equipping young people with the knowledge and skills to make informed financial and life decisions will have great benefits - both in their own lives, and also for that of their families and communities. Or as one of the Youth Participants from our Africa Regional Meeting put it:
If we do not learn about money and what choices to make, then how can we learn to manage our future?
One step in reaching this goal is to collaborate and align the efforts of education providers all over the world. However, we have discovered various barriers that hinder financial education from achieving its maximum impacts. Among these barriers, the most important ones include:
Common for all of these barriers is one question, and one of the fundamental challenges in education: How do we make sure we truly engage and motivate the kids to learn in a way that will stay with them for the rest of their lives? We think that one way of doing this is to meet the youngsters where they are already engaging and committing. Yes, exactly, we are talking about technology. By harnessing the already present integration of technology in the life of child and youth, and adding the purpose of learning to it, we believe that some of the barriers to financial, social, and livelihood education could be lowered.
Barrier 1: Difficulties for children and youth to access education in remote areas Technologies such as computers, mobile phones and Internet is spreading rapidly across the world. For instance global mobile penetration has witnessed an exponential growth in recent years, with an impressive penetration rate of 79% in the developing world by the end of 2011. A 2013 report from the United Nations explains that mobile broadband will expand greatly in the world during the coming years, particularly in developing countries. And the mobile phone penetration rates is 96%; 128% in developed countries; and 89% in developing countries. Globally, more and more education providers are applying digital tools in education programs. Mobile education is also emerging in many countries. And thus potentially provides a way of reaching children and youth in remote locations that do not have easy access to local teachers.
Barrier 2: Lack of incentive and motivation of the young people to participate Gaming is something that obviously can engage millions of youth and spread rapidly all across the world. Just take the example of Angry Birds - in 2012 the game hit 1 billion (!) downloads world wide. And this is where we raise the suggestion to combine this incredible power to engage youth, and combine it with a purpose - learning. Studies have shown that when games are used to educate it can potentially change the behavior of young people, as well as have positive impacts on intelligence, such as cognitive flexibility.
Barrier 3: Meeting the needs of children and youth in different ages from different cultures One of the great strengths of technology is its ability to be easily adaptable and updated from one source, and then spread to all of the connected sources. And without particularly high costs it can be altered and customized based on the needs of the user. So if a foundation for a financial learning game is created, this game can then be changed into various versions based on age and culture of the children and youth using the game.
So, if we want to look at the future and how we can reach the children and youth of today, as well as tomorrow, we need to start paying attention to what is actually engaging children and youth. Technology is moving away from being something exclusively for the children and youth of well-off industrialized countries, to being something that is expanding rapidly to all parts of the world. Combining all of these aspects we believe that mobile games with educational element could potentially become a great complement to traditional financial education. It can be a way to create a fun and interactive way to learn in addition to the financial education taught in schools.
Interested in how companies are designing innovative programs and technologies to raise awareness and skills among children and youth - particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds - on how to achieve financial security? There are still a chance to register for the CYFI & United Nations Global Compact Webinar, on November 7.
Over the coming weeks we have the privilege to blog on behalf of the Child and Youth Finance Movement, here at The Huffington Post. This amazing opportunity is a part of the Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneur Challenge, where we are participating with our own fundraiser. During the weeks we will talk about the issues we are trying to tackle, including youth unemployment, technology solutions for financial inclusions, the need for Child & Youth Finance in developing countries and more. Please follow our Facebook and Twitter to stay updated about the progress of the Movement.
Over the coming weeks Child and Youth Finance will have the privilege to blog on behalf of the Child and Youth Finance Movement, at the Huffington Post. This amazing opportunity is a part of the Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneur Challenge, where we are participating with our own fundraiser. During the weeks we will talk about the issues we are trying to tackle, including youth unemployment, technology solutions for financial inclusions, the need for Child & Youth Finance in developing countries, and more. To reach as many as possible form the Movement all post from the Huffington Post will also be shared here on our own blog.
The Child and Youth Finance global Movement was launched in 2012 as a way to empower, include and educate children and youth all over the world to a life free from poverty and financial instability. We want to ensure that youngsters of today grow up to be confident and responsible adults that believe in themselves and in the world around them. Since the launch our partners around the world, have been able to reach 18 million children and youth in 125 countries -- a wonderful success! -- with this cause.
However, my work with children began much earlier than this. I started up my first organization to help children with math at age 16. After a few years I started working with Indian street children, this led to the start of ChildLine -- a 24/7 help line for children that eventually spread to 146 countries. In my work I started to see a pattern of the children and youth I worked to help.
They often came from families with financial troubles, be it poverty or debt. I realized that there is a need to educate children and make sure that they are financial literate in order to give them the opportunity for a bright future, and keep them out of the troubles that come along with a financially unstable life. This was the idea that gave life to the Child and Youth Finance Movement. And we started focusing on how we can give the adults of tomorrow the knowledge, but also the skills and self-confidence to inspire them to convert their knowledge into action, based on good and sustainable values.
One important aspect of this, we found, is financial inclusion and access to a savings account. When I started approaching banks and financial institutions about offering saving accounts for children and youth I was met with people showing me the door, or at best I was politely denied. During the short life of the Child and Youth Finance Movement, this has changed. We are making small steps towards making financial institutions realize the value to include children and youth in their services, in order to make sure that they know and realize the responsibilities and opportunities that come along with it. They are after all the people who will set the financial environment of the future.
These steps are being taken all over the world, and one way of keeping sure we keep on walking in the right direction is via the Movements Regional Meetings. The Second CYFI Regional Meeting for the Americas and the Caribbean in Bogotá, Colombia is a proof of such progress. The meeting was held together with the Fourth Latin American Congress of Financial Education by FELABAN, and ASOBANCARIA. With the collaboration between FELABAN, ASOBANCARIA and Child and Youth Finance, this unique meeting is 2013's biggest event dedicated to youth financial education in the region.
Financial Football in Bogotá, Colombia
The meeting also gave children and youth the opportunity to express their own opinions and needs to the attending high level policy makers and leaders. As the bankers and policymakers enjoyed a game of financial football with the youngsters at the meeting, the days of shut doors seems much further away. The Child and Youth Finance Movement is currently also represented at the Microcredit Summit Campaign Summit 'Partnerships Against Poverty' in Manila, Philippines.
It is a great opportunity for us to learn more about how Microfinance can be used to ensure financial inclusion for children and youth. You see, much like the savings accounts a couple of years back, this far microfinance has mainly focused on adults and the role of children and youth have often been missing in microfinance initiates and discussions. During the Summit, The Movement got the privilege to hold a workshop on how microfinance can be made more inclusive to children and youth, and be a part of enabling them to break out of cycles of poverty and indebtedness.
Workshop on Youth Inclusive Microfinance in Manila, Philippines
A big step to further such initiatives the Child and Youth Finance Movement is now entering a partnership with Microcredit Summit Campaign, that similarly to the Movement convenes a broad array of actors involved with microfinance to promote and share best practices and knowledge in the field and to work towards fight world poverty through microfinance. Together we hope to bring microfinance as well as confidence, knowledge and skills as a way for children, youth and their families to rise out poverty and towards a financially stable and secure future.
Child and Youth Finance International
BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIA – Financial Football was one of the items on the agenda as the first day of the Fourth Latin American Congress of Financial Education by FELABAN /Second CYFI Regional Meeting for the Americas and the Caribbean took off. Leaders and policymakers from a variety of sectors got together to share innovations, ideas and collaborate on financial education and inclusion for children and youth. Some of the topics discussed where how to promote responsible consumption and sustainability for the next generation.
It was with an electric atmosphere that the first day of the Fourth Latin American Congress of Financial Education by FELABAN and Second CYFI Regional Meeting for the Americas and the Caribbean came to an end. Participants from a wide arrange of sectors in the region, such as financial institutions, Ministries of Finance and Education, NGO’s, foundations as well as leading researchers got together in Bogotá, Colombia. Topics discussed during the day included Responsible Consumption and Sustainability, Behavioral Economics, the Landscape of Financial Education and the role Mass Media can play in this as well as experiences on Financial Education. The participants had gathered to network, collaborate and share innovations and opinions on the topics of financial education.
One of the most memorable sessions of the first day was the “Financial Football”; a game of questions between two countries, played in the atmosphere of a football game. Two teams squared off: Columbia (the host country) and Chile (who not coincidentally will be facing off again Columbia today for a World Cup qualifying match). After a succession of questions; “What is the role of the World Bank?” and “What is the difference between fixed and variable interest rates?” Chile was poised for a shot. After a quick response Chile’s shot was on target but a correct response to another difficult question about derivatives by the Columbian Goalkeeper kept the ball out of the net.
The Columbians started the second half with the ball and, after a series of correct answers were in the Chilean box. An excellent shot based on currency fluctuations was on goal, and while the shot appeared to be blocked by the Chilean goalkeeper, a controversial goal was nonetheless awarded. The game ended with a 1-0 Columbia win. There was much good natured taunting and ribbing by the winning team and the teams left to Plenary room together in smiles. It was a fantastic match.
The meeting serves as a true milestone for youth financial inclusion and economic citizenship in the region of the Americas and Caribbean. With the collaboration between FELABAN, ASOBANCARIA and CYFI, this unique meeting is 2013’s biggest event dedicated to youth financial education in the region. The meeting gives children and youth the opportunity to express their own opinions and needs to the attending high level policy makers and leaders.
About the FELABAN Latin American Congress on Financial Education
The Latin American Congress of Financial Education is an initiative of the Latin American Banking Federation (FELABAN), which in 2013 has the support of the Association of Banks of Colombia (ASOBANCARIA). In 2013 FELABAN, ASOBANCARIA and Child and Youth Finance International decided to join efforts to host a joint event which represents the largest regional gathering of its kind. The objective of the CLEF 2013 is to allow stakeholders to share knowledge on public-and private partnerships and multilateral organizations approach financial education and the challenges posed by technological innovations in financial products and services to deepen financial penetration and reduce informality.
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