Recognizing Youth Efforts with the CYFI Youth Awards

This week Child and Youth Finance International is launching the CYFI Youth Awards. The award is focused on recognizing and rewarding youth in the ages of 18 to 25 that are involved in projects focused on financial education, youth employment and entrepreneurship. The winner of the award will receive tickets to visit the Global Youth Summit 2014. 

Watch our video about the CYFI Youth Awards below

 

 

Visit the Finance & Me website to apply and to find more details about the contest.

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List of Children's Books on Financial Literacy

List of Children's Books on Financial Literacy

 

Approaching the topic of financial literacy with children and youth might sometimes be a challenge as it can be difficult to translate the financial systems and terms into a language children and youth can relate to. But what if there already were ready made translations to use?

In fact, there are a lot of books written on the topic of financial literacy for children, which can help the relate to and understand the importance of financial literacy. CYFI partner Jump$tart has presented a list put together by the Common Wealth Libraries (Bureau of Library Development) with children's books focusing on the issue of financial literacy

With titles such as 'Big Buck Adventure' and 'What is Money' the books on the list range from story books for the very youngest to more informative books for children who can read by themselves, all aimed at giving children an understanding of financial literacy. The list also includes books for parents to help give them the tools to raise financially responsible children.

You can find the list as a PDF here (via the Jump$tart website). Save it or print it and take it to your nearest library. 

Jump$tarts is an CYFI partner organization located in Washington DC. Jump$tart is a national coalition of organizations dedicated to improving the financial literacy of pre-kindergarten through college-age youth by providing advocacy, research, standards and educational resources. Follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook for updates.

 


Photo courtesy of StockFreeImages.com

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CYFI Partner MelJol Enters GlobalGiving Fund Raising Challenge

CYFI  Partner MelJol Enters GlobalGiving Fund Raising Challenge

 

 

On Thursday, September 12 the start of the 'September Fund Raising Challenge' by GlobalGiving Challenge took place. CYFI Partner MelJol has entered their program to the challenge in order to raise funds for next year. 

The GlobalGiving Challenge is a charity fundraising web site that gives social entrepreneurs and non-profits from anywhere in the world a chance to raise the money that they need to improve their communities. On Thursday, September 12, their 'September Fund Raising Challenge' took off. One of the entrants of the challenge was CYFI partner MelJol who is aiming to support children from India's most impoverished areas to get educated and stay in school.

MelJol is currently undertaking a project to support the social and financial education of 20,000 underprivileged children from one of the most impoverished areas of India, in the districts of Amravati, Maharashtra and Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh. The children go to government-aided schools and get small allowances about every other months. Under the MelJol Social and Financial literacy program, a part of their allowance is saved for their educational needs.

Through the GlobalGiving 'September Fund Raising Challenge', MelJol aim to raise money to keep encouraging the MelJol children to get education and stay in school. The minimum amount to donate is $25 and maximum is $250, and with this challenge MelJol hope to raise $ 25,000 for their cause.

In order to donate and to find out more about the MelJol project, their organization and their fund raising target, click here

Follow MelJol on Twitter and visit them on Facebook

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CYFI attending Historic Asian Banking Association Conference in Mongolia

CYFI attending Historic Asian Banking Association Conference in Mongolia

Yesterday was the first day of the Asian Banking Association (ABA) 30th General Meeting and Conference. The meeting takes place in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in collaboration with the Mongolian Bankers Association (MBA), making history as the first time the ABA holds a conference in Mongolia. Asian Bankers Association (ABA) Chairman Lorenzo Tan hopes that holding the annual gathering in Ulaanbaatar this year will increase the knowledge of the members about Mongolia, its economy, trade and investment potentials, banking and financial sector, and manpower resources.

        “Following the success of our annual gathering in Manila in November last year, I would like to once again count on all our members to extend the same spirited enthusiasm and strong support to the upcoming meeting in Mongolia,” says ABA Chairman Mr. Tan. 

The 30th ABA conference is gathering high level banking executives from Asia’s top banks and research centers to share their insights on various issues facing the banking and financial industry, in connection to the theme “Asia: Growth engine of the global economy”. CYFI is represented by Mike Fawcett, Director of Partnership, who is speaking today during the CEO’s Forum. Mike will be introducing Asian Bankers to the Child Finance Movement, focusing on child friendly banking and economic citizenship education. 

Both the ABA and the MBA have expressed their hopes that discussions will not only be of commercial interest to the participants, but will also be useful to both associations in their efforts to help shape policies that affect the region’s development. By attending this conference Child and Youth Finance also hopes to be able to inspire the region to further focus on the issue of economic citizenship and child friendly banking.  

Follow on Twitter for updates about the conference:

ABA and MBA 

CYFI

Mike Fawcett 

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Coconut Spoons & Citrus Enterprises– Aflatoun Stakeholder Meeting in Sri Lanka

Coconut Spoons & Citrus Enterprises– Aflatoun Stakeholder Meeting in Sri Lanka

In a classroom in a Sri Lankan village 9 year old Kasun* sit together with the other children of the Aflatoun and NECY children club. He proudly wears the t-shirt that he got from the village cooperative bank when he and the other kids of the club were playing elle. He had played a great game that day and it had earned him one of the t-shirt he was now wearing. Although it is getting a bit washed out now, he stills wears it as often as he can as a memory of a great day (and of course to remind everyone in the club of what a good elle player he is!). 

Last week the whole group went out to collect the fallen tamarinds and lemons that were lying under the trees. After packaging them they could sell them and make good money for their club. They had all been very excited over their success and by the thrilling feeling of being able to earn their own money. The next day they all went together to the local bank to save the money at their own account for future club activities. Today that same excited atmosphere is in the air, as they are staring a new idea: making spoons out of coconut shells. Sashini* had learned how to do it from her grandmother, and last meeting they decided to try to repeat their last success by making and selling the spoons. 

Aflatoun and NECY

The foundation for stories like these were first created in February 2011 when The Network for Education, Children and Youth (NECY) took the first steps to implement the CYFI Partner Organization Aflatouns' social and financial education for children and youth in Sri Lanka. Together with NECY, government mandated children clubs were set up for children to learn about their social and financial rights and responsibilities, saving and starting group enterprises. The movement currently reaches over 17.000 children and youth. 

Stakeholder Meetings 10th & 12th of September

In order to further ensure the success of social and financial education in Sri Lanka Aflatoun is arranging half-day meetings in Kandy and Colombo on September 10 and September 12. The purpose is to connect the organizations that are working with financial education and inclusion for children and youth in Sri Lanka for sharing best practices and work towards building a country-level network. Read more about the meeting here

 *In order to protect the privacy of the children, Kasun and Sashini are fictional characters. The stories are based on the progress and real events of Aflatoun and NECY children clubs.

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Does age make us financially stupid? Financial literacy at the other end of life

Does age make us financially stupid? Financial literacy at the other end of life

Professor Lewis Mandell publishes book on how to deal with financial literacy in our golden years.

Many of us want to go through life and never stop learning. But what if we at some point in our life actually start un-learning? According to the new book of Professor Lewis Mandell, CYFI Treasurer and Chair of its Academic Working Group, when it comes to financial literacy, this might be the case.

Professor Mandell´s newly published book What to Do When I Get Stupid deals with the problems of financial literacy at the other end of the life cycle. When fixed income and diminishing cognitive ability squeeze those near or at retirement.In his book Professor Mandell explains that our financial ability peaks around age 53. After this age a cognitive decline sets in that will inhibit our ability to make sound financial decisions. He argue that we need to acknowledge that this cognitive decline is something that will happen to all of us at a certain age, and should be an important part of the retirement planning process. Since our financial abilities might have an expire date, it is important to plan in good time in order to secure our financial efforts for the retirement days.

In conclusion, the issue of financial literacy is something that is important at both spectrum of life, and it is never too early, or too late, to address it!

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Innovations in Mobile Money – bKash

Remember the days when you had to go to the bank to transfer money or deposit a check? All the hassle of getting in your car, driving to the bank, waiting in line and filling out forms now seems like an antiquated routine. Now imagine the closest bank being 50 kilometers away and your transportation an overcrowded and unsafe bus, prone to onboard theft and unreliability. Chances are you wouldn’t keep your money in the bank, despite the security and perks it may offer—you’d rather take the risk of stashing your cash at home.

Millions living in rural Bangladesh—and billions around the world—face this dilemma. This was the impetus for the creation of bKash Limited, a mobile money service by BRAC Bank, a socially responsible financial institution founded by the nation’s anti-poverty giant BRAC.

Read more at YouthTech

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Youth, Mobile and Employment

Millions of youth in developing countries are out of employment, with some unemployment rates reaching up to 27%, for example in North Africa. The high rates of unemployment exclude underserved youth from productive social and economic life and keep them stuck in the cycle of poverty. Research has shown that some of the main reasons for youth unemployment include lack of appropriate skills and experience, communication barriers, lack of knowledge of jobs available, and inability to travel to work.

These challenges can be addressed via mobile technology, which is prevalent in developing countries and in the hands of youth. Research conducted by the GSMA in 2012 in Ghana, India, Morocco and Uganda found that 85% of youths had access to their own mobile phone and 92% had access to a household mobile phone.

Read More at YouthTech

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Romania to implement Financial Education nationally

Romania to implement Financial Education nationally

The National Bank of Romania, the Central Bank of the country, will support the implementing of Financial Education as an optional subject at a national level, as part of the alternative curricula for primary education approved by the Romanian Ministry of Education. It will be implemented in the academic year 2013 – 2014.

The main scope of the project consists of including the new discipline “Financial Education” as one of the alternative subjects in the optional curricula for grades III and/or IV, in 2013 – 2014, and gradually comprising all counties in Romania. This aims at setting up a thorough image of how money is perceived, spent, saved, borrowed and invested in today’s society, while developing abilities for money management and making financial decisions.

Ms. Ligia Golosoiu, advisor at the National bank is leading the project and has, through different activities organized in schools from across the country, reached over 10 000 children from primary school.

 

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More information:  

National Bank of Romania

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Raising awareness on saving is the CSR for the corporates in the region

Raising awareness on saving is the CSR for the corporates in the region

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Raising awareness on saving is the corporate social responsibility for corporates in the MENA region. This article published 14-August in Al Arabiya highlights three CYFI partners (Plan International, the Union of Arab Banks, and the Capital Markets Authority of Saudi Arabia), financial products, and economic rights of children and youth.

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Using Mobile Banking Services to Improve Financial Access for Mongolian Youth

In Ulaanbaatar, 14 year old Ganbold deposits his pocket money using his mobile phone. Ganbold represents the millions of teenagers now owning cell phones – a trend many financial institutions hope to become part of. Mobile banking presents the answer. 

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#BYND2015 – Inspiring young people to ensure a better future for everyone

The culmination of key findings from global young people on the #BYND2015 platform will be presented in the form of an unprecedented statement of crowd-sourced policy recommendations to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2013, by the President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla.

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mFinance Opportunities and Challenges for Youth in Rural Areas

Over five years ago, I was working at ING Bank in Amsterdam and I saw a documentary about the growing mobile telephony market in Africa. A thought sparked: why not use mobile technology to provide people with health information? I saw the huge potential of creating social change through reaching out to and connecting people in remote and “hard-to-reach” communities. 

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Getting voices heard with mobile technology

Getting voices heard with mobile technology

“Children around the globe are increasingly passionate users of mobile technology…. they are embracing the opportunities provided by mobile phones in ways that could not have been predicted a decade ago.”

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Beyond the Promotional Piggy Bank Featured in the Guardian

Beyond the Promotional Piggy Bank Featured in the Guardian

UNICEF and CYFI’s joint publication, “Beyond the Promotional Piggy Bank” was featured in an article on the Guardian’s website.

This a discussion paper calls on financial institutions to develop products and services for children in ways that respect and support their rights. You can read the article on the Guardian Website, UNICEF’s CSR page and the Youth Economic Opportunities blog.

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CYFI at African Youth Experts Meeting

CYFI at African Youth Experts Meeting

CYFI presented at the African Youth Experts Meeting on Youth Employment held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 20 - 21 May.

The Meeting was a pre-event for the African Union Youth Forum. It brought together youth experts and development experts to deliberate on policies and actions needed to address youth unemployment and underemployment in Africa. Other speakers at the panel were Mr Diego Rei, the ILO Africa Regional Coordinator for Youth Employment, and Mr Emmanuel Etim, Senior Programs and Partnerships Expert at the Youth Division of the African Union Commission. The Meeting was organized by the African Youth Panel.

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Newsletter June 2013

Let's take a look on CYFI's activities last month

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“Beyond the Promotional Piggybank” – Financial Institutions supporting children’s rights. Part II – Summit Break-Out Session “Children’s Rights and Business”

This blog post follows an earlier blogpost on the UNICEF/CYFI discussion paper “Beyond the Promotional Piggybank” by the same author.

On May 9th 2013 at the CYFI Summit, a panel discussion titled “Children’s Rights and Business” was Chaired by Ms. Eija Hietavuo (UNICEF CSR). Panelists in the session were Prof. Jaap Doek (former Chair of UNCRC and em. Professor at Vrije Universiteit), Deniz Özturk (UN Global Compact), and Jennifer Rademaker (MasterCard), and Mr. Hidde van der Veer (Aflatoun).

In the discussion, cross-sector partnership came forward as a key way to move the common agenda and practice on respecting and supporting children’s rights in retail financial services. It is important that NGOs and public entities focus not just on savings, but also on e.g. electronic payments, social media, and mobile money, as these form the natural intersection of business interest and children’s and youth’s active and transformative involvement.
Furthermore, brand strengthening, improved risk management, and client and employee retaining and motivation were seen as stronger incentives for financial institutions to embrace children’s rights than a return on investment of child and youth accounts.

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Newsletter May 2013

Let's take a look on CYFI's activities last month

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“Beyond the Promotional Piggybank” – Financial Institutions supporting children’s rights

How do financial services and children’s rights go together? How can financial institutions respect and support the rights of children and youth? How can the social sector contribute to this discussion and developments in this field?

Mr. Hatem Kotrane, Vice Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child emphasized the importance of financial inclusion and economic citizenship education in realizing children’s economic rights as implied in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in his keynote address at the 2nd CYFI Summit last week in Istanbul (7-9 May 2013). Throughout the event children’s rights organizations such as Aflatoun, Childfund International, Plan International, and Save the Children presented their work on financial capability of children and youth around the globe.

The Summit offered more than one opportunity for the discussion of the interrelation of financial services and children’s rights. Notably, the Summit saw the launch of a though-provoking new discussion paper on this topic by UNICEF and Child and Youth Finance International, and an exciting panel discussion on “Children’s Rights and Business” (part II, in next blog post)

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