CYFI joins Canadians in Celebrating Financial Literacy Month

November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada with activities for people of all ages happening across the country to promote financial responsibility and financial well-being. Each week has a dedicated theme related to budgeting, saving, living within your means and knowing your financial rights and responsibilities.

Initiated by Canada’s Financial Literacy Action Group in 2011, Financial Literacy Month has now been established as an annual event by the Canadian Government. Last year, Financial Literacy Month involved hundreds of organizations by holding nearly 1500 seminars, workshops and other promotional events. Information about all of the events that are taking place, as well as the leading financial education resources available to all Canadians, can be found on the Canadian Financial Literacy Database. Many events are taking place over the month, including the Financial Literacy Research Symposium in Moncton

Supporting Financial Literacy

CYFI supports national initiatives to promote financial literacy and intergenerational dialogue on money matters, sustainable livelihoods and economic citizenship. This is done through Global Money Week our international conferences, workshops and publications. We are pleased to see the momentum that is building each year in Canada around Financial Literacy Month, involving many participants from the public sector, private sector and civil society. The themes that are promoted throughout the month are very much in line with CYFI’s thematic priorities in Economic Citizenship Education: planning and budgeting, understanding financial services, prioritizing spending needs and consumer protection.

Since 2012, CYFI has maintained strong relationships with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) and the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE), both members of Canada’s Financial Literacy Steering Committee. CYFI was honoured to take part in the Financial Literacy Conference in 2014 in Vancouver where Canada’s new Financial Literacy Strategy “Count me in, Canada” was officially launched, including a specific focus on tending to the financial needs of young Canadians.

Canada will also be well represented at the upcoming Global Inclusion Awards 2016, with FCAC nominated as a finalist for the CYFI Country Award – America’s & The Caribbean and CFEE and Care Canada each nominated as finalists for the CYFI Civil Society Achievement Award.

CYFI wishes Canadians much success during Financial Literacy Month and looks forward to continuing to support and document the exciting initiatives that are happening in the country to bolster financial literacy and further development the next generation of economic citizens.

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

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

CYFI's sister organization, Aflatoun International, offers a globally tested and proven model of social and financial education, empowering children and young people in over 100 countries, allowing them to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and inequality. Aflatoun’s method provides them with local solutions to ensure economic revival and a sense of self-reliance, turning dependence into independence.

Following the announcement of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, Aflatoun International’s strategy for the next five years has been aligned to support the delivery of their ambitious vision. As part of Aflatoun International’s commitment to fully implementing these far-reaching goals, we are delighted to announce a three-day International Meeting dedicated to exploring further how Social and Financial Education can effectively contribute towards achieving the SDGs. The meeting will take place from 2-4 November at the World Trade Center in The Hague, the Netherlands

Over 150 participants from across our global network will be attending, including UN agencies, government ministries, central banks and multilateral organisations, exploring key themes including:

  • Academic and experiences from the field engaging in meaningful and critical debates on key issues relating to the SDGs.
  • Aflatoun International and its partners demonstrating to key actors in the sector how SFE can be utilised to create a more equitable and sustainable future for children and young people.
  • Developing strategies for future methodologies and deliverables under relevant SDGs.
  • Sharing experiences throughout the Aflatoun partner network that will be required for supporting the development and successful implementation of the SDGs.

Go to for more information and to register.

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Economic citizenship and the global effort to reduce child poverty

Reducing child poverty remains an important challenge facing national governments and international organizations. Through our effort to enhance the financial capabilities of young people throughout the world, Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) is proud to endorse the recent Practical Action publication The Global Child Poverty Challenge: In Search of Solutions, which tackles the root causes of child poverty while providing fresh insights on innovative solutions to enhancing the social and economic lives of young people.

CYFI has always believed that the pathway to poverty reduction begins through collective action, allowing children to acquire foundational skills, develop their confidence as change-makers, build a solid asset base and secure future livelihoods as full economic citizens. For this reason, both this publication, and the Global Coalition to End Child Poverty, are in line with CYFI’s effort to empower all children and youth around the world by increasing their financial capability, enhancing their awareness of social and economic rights and improving their access to quality education and Child and Youth Friendly banking products.

Together with leading academics and experts in the field, CYFI has developed a model for economic citizenship for children and youth. The building blocks of empowerment and financial capability, that underpin the model of economic citizenship, are financial inclusion, along with financial, social and livelihoods education. From this model, CYFI has established the Child and Youth Friendly Banking Principles and the Economic Citizenship Education Learning Framework, providing a benchmark for curriculum and financial product developers throughout the world.

CYFI agrees with the publication’s premise that the elimination of child poverty cannot be left to the forces of economic growth alone. CYFI supports the publication’s emphasis on holistic solutions that combine efforts from policymakers and practitioners, ensuring that children are equipped with relevant skills at an early age, that they are given sufficient freedom to make social and financial choices, that their rights are recognized and upheld and that their economic potential is fulfilled.

Developing sustainable livelihoods

Karen Moore’s chapter in the publication reflects on the evolving approach of the MasterCard Foundation’s youth livelihoods programs in sub-Saharan Africa. It suggests that the combination of trainings on a range of market-relevant skills, along with access to economic opportunities and appropriate financial services, can foster secure economic futures for youth. CYFI supports this position and promotes the expansion of financial and livelihoods education at primary and secondary school levels in order for young people to familiarize themselves with financial institutions and develop entrepreneurial competencies that can sustain them and their families later in life.

Likewise, Mr. Richard Carothers’ chapter demonstrates how the microfinance sector can provide a safer and more beneficial learning experience for young workers employed in the businesses of their clients. CYFI supports the development of financial and employability skills in the teenage years, ensuring that young people understand the rights and responsibilities of both employers and employees and how they can secure a sustainable livelihoods through entrepreneurship and decent work.

Financial inclusion for empowerment

Regarding the value of financial inclusion and financial literacy, recent studies have shown that youth want to save and do so when given the opportunity. However, for most young people, the chances are still limited that they will actually receive the opportunity to save in a formal institution. According to the World Bank Global Findex, children aged 15 to 24 are between 10 to 50 percent less likely to have an account at a formal institution than adults.

The YouthSave project, described by Ms. Rani Deschpande chapter in the publication, not only shows that children (mostly aged 12-18) want to save in formal savings accounts but also that younger youth (under the age of 13) actually save more often than older youth. The results of this project showed that account uptake is influenced by a number of factors, such as the minimum age at which children can independently open a bank account, terms and conditions of the account, and sales incentives provided by financial institutions.

Financial institutions seem reluctant to offer financial products to children and youth because they believe youth are more difficult and expensive to bank. YouthSave implementing partners have found that the benefits of financially including youth include economic and financial well-being, financial knowledge and skills, health, and educational achievement. This has also been reinforced through CYFI’s own Research Landscape document which provides an overview of key academic findings related to financial inclusion and education for children and youth.

Creating youth-friendly products and services

Much progress has been made in recent years to expanding the reach of Child and Youth Friendly banking products for young people around the world. Practitioners should work together with policymakers to ensure any legal or regulatory barriers, such as age or identification requirements, are reduced to provide an environment more conducive to financial access for young people. At the same time, they should cooperate to ensure that consumer protection policies are in place that are tailored towards children and youth.

Likewise, civil society organizations, community centers and schools are uniquely positioned to reach young learners with innovative and captivating educational content that builds foundational skills for financial capability, active citizenship, and sustainable livelihoods. These practitioners should work actively with policymakers to ensure that financial, social and livelihoods educational content is integrated into national curricula so that a greater number of young people can be reached in a systematic and sustainable manner.

CYFI believes that the Global Poverty Challenge publication provides a valuable resource for both practitioners and policy makers eager to solve the issue of child poverty through financial inclusion and education that enhances financial capability and economic empowerment.

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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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G20 High-level principles for digital financial inclusion have been endorsed!

Under the leadership of the Chinese G20 Presidency, the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) developed a new set of High-Level Principles (HLPs) that encourage governments to promote a digital approach to financial inclusion.

HLPs are a catalyst for country-level action by G20 Leaders and their governments to drive financial inclusion using digital technologies. Youth are recognized as one of the under-served groups for which efforts should be step up in order to increase their access to appropriate digital financial services.

The new Principles complement the 2010 G20 Principles for Innovative Financial Inclusion, which were critical in drawing global attention to the issue of financial inclusion and spurring initial policy actions. These 2016 Principles build on that success and reflect significant developments that have occurred over the past six years in terms of:
    1.technological innovations in digital financial services,
    2. availability of new G20-blessed and international standard-setting bodies’ standards and guidance,
    3. enhanced electronic data quality and availability,
    4. growing awareness of the critical importance of infrastructure, standards, and conducive regulations beyond the financial sector for financial inclusion.
Under the leadership of the Chinese G20 Presidency, the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) developed a new set of High-Level Principles (HLPs) that encourage governments to promote a digital approach to financial inclusion. HLPs are a catalyst for country-level action by G20 Leaders and their governments to drive financial inclusion using digital technologies. Youth are recognized as one of the under-served groups for which efforts should be step up in order to increase their access to appropriate digital financial services.

CYFI, as affiliated partner of the GPFI, has been part of the technical team and is proud to see that the youth segment is more and more recognized as an essential one to serve and keep in mind for the stakeholders!

Learn more about the HLPs for digital financial inclusion.

CYFI is looking forward to continue this important stream of work and its implementation at country level under the German G20 Presidency and would like to congratulate the G20 Chinese presidency for the great achievements.

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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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CYFI Network Stars: Tom Okot

This month's CYFI Network Star is Tom Okot, a young entrepreneur who has created positive social impact as part of his work around farming reform!

Tom Okot was born in Uganda during a time of political turmoil and instability. He fled to Kampala, the capital, as a refugee, but remained positive and optimistic and refused to lose sight of his dreams. He is currently living and studying in Costa Rica. His passions include adventure, traveling, and storytelling through art, design and humor, and he studied civil engineering, construction management.

Tom is currently a young Ugandan's Costa Rica mission and advocator for the United Nations sustainable development goals agenda for 2030. He is also active member of the United Nations Academic Impact.

Tom is a co-founder of the UNEGA integrated farm with a vision to be a model integrated farm that is a leading supplier of quality agricultural products in East Africa, and is committed to innovation and implementation of sustainable modern farming practices.

Having lived in Costa Rica for the past 2 years, Tom has had the opportunity to learn about different cultures and languages, in addition to developing alternative approaches in developing countries and exchanging and sharing cultural differences.

Read more about Tom's work here!
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Fiji releases their 2016-2020 National Financial Inclusion Strategic Plan

The Reserve Bank of Fiji and the country’s National Financial Inclusion Taskforce has unveiled their 2016-2020 National Financial Inclusion Strategic Plan. This plan is a follow-up to their first national strategy 2010-2014, wherein the country has been able to successfully integrate Financial Education (FinEd) into the national curriculum for primary and secondary students.

The new strategy has a total of seven priorities that it aims to address, one of which is the empowerment of women, youth and those living with disabilities. Other priorities identified in the strategy are: financial Infrastructure; digital finance; services and products; financial literacy and consumer protection; public/private sector partnership; and data measurement.

In addition to identifying youth as a key priority, one of the concrete targets in the strategy’s overall national goals is to increase the percentage of youth accounts with formal financial institutions from 51% to 80% by the year 2020.

View the online version of Fiji’s 2016-2020 National Financial Inclusion Strategic Plan.
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Advancing Economic Citizenship for Youth alongside Trade and Development

Financial inclusion, financial capability and sustainable livelihoods are essential components of full economic citizenship, contributing to economic development within and between nations. CYFI works with key UN agencies, such as UNCTAD and UNCDF, to promote full economic citizenship for children and youth through government agencies, private enterprise and civil society.

CYFI recently took part in the 14th UNCTAD Conference held July 17-22nd in Nairobi, Kenya. This was to ensure that full economic citizenship for children and youth, particularly through integrated financial and educational services, along with support to young entrepreneurs, were addressed during the Conference’s World Invest Forum and Youth Forum.

CYFI also presented on a Youth Forum panel chaired by UNCDF on the challenges and opportunities of youth financial services and youth friendly banking regulation. Interest was generated for CYFI’s model of SchoolBanking with a number of country opportunities emerging for CYFI to further integrated financial and educational services through a collaborative efforts between government authorities, financial institutions and education providers.

Supporting Young Entrepreneurs

As part of the Youth Forum, CYFI and UNCTAD co-hosted a workshop and pitching event for young entrepreneurs in the Empretec and Ye! Programs. This allowed may Empretec and Ye! Members to gain valuable experience in presenting their business plans to potential investors and communicating effectively about the value proposition of their enterprise.

CYFI’s Ye! Platform has been active in Kenya, establishing a local Ye! Ambassador and increasing the ranks of local Ye! members with exciting and innovative business ventures. CYFI will build on the momentum generated through this event to further expand the Ye! Community in Kenya while providing greater support to its members through training, information and professional networking.

UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Youth, Ahmed Alhendawi, presented Ye! Member Ifrah Mohammed with the Ye! Youth Entrepreneurship Award for Kenya. CYFI also used the event to kickstart the application process for the Global Youth Entrepreneur Award, which is now open to young entrepreneurs throughout the global Ye Community.

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Economic Citizenship: A step towards the Sustainable Development Goals

Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) has recently published a network brief with the aim to point out how Economic Citizenship for children and youth is crucial in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and sub-targets by 2030.

The main pillars of Economic Citizenship are Financial Inclusion, Financial Education and Social and Livelihoods Education. Financial inclusion is access to safe, appropriate, and affordable financial services. Financial education includes instruction and/or materials designed to increase financial knowledge and skills. Social education is the provision of knowledge and skills that improve an individual’s understanding and awareness of their rights and the rights of others. Livelihoods education builds one’s ability to secure a sustainable livelihood through skills assessment and a balance between developing entrepreneurial and employability skills.

Achieving the SDGs

CYFI believes that seven of the SDGs are particularly relevant to Economic Citizenship for children and youth: SDG1 (End Poverty), SDG2 (Good Health) SDG 4 (Quality Education) SDG 5 (Gender Equality) SDG 8 (Good Jobs and Economic Growth) SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) SDG 16 (Peace and Justice). The network brief shows how every pillar is contributing to the improvement of these goals and many of their sub-targets.

The network brief is characterized by a particular focus on children and youth: they represent the future economic actors that will influence the future of the world economies with their financial decisions. CYFI supports the idea that all children and youth must have the possibility to realize their full potential as economic citizens, which is fundamental not only to the well-being of young people of but also for the prosperity of families, communities and countries.

Public attention on the SDGs is gaining momentum and CYFI wants to be an active player this global discourse, especially as it relates to the economic opportunities and sustainable livelihoods of children and youth. Young people must be involved in the strategies to achieve the SDGs in order to influence society, raise awareness, promote active engagement and encourage new research.

It is critical that governments and policy makers take into account the importance of Economic Citizenship for this important age group in order to satisfy the 2030 Development Agenda and ensure that no one is left behind.

Author Letizia Binda is a master student of International Business and Economics at the University of Pavia and is completing a summer internship in the Thought Leadership and Consulting Department and CYFI in Amsterdam.

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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 Network Stars: Sarmad Ali

An active youth member of CYFI's network, Sarmad Ali is young trainer, human rights activist, researcher, community leader, freelance and student from Bangladesh.

Of his involvement in the CYF Movement, Sarmad said:

I have been working in the field of human rightst, gender equality, financial inclusion and financial empowerment since 2012. I am glad to see growth in my society - many new youth entrepreneurs and enthusiasm to contribute to society

Child Youth Committee Pakistan (CYCP) was founded in 2015, following a workshop on financial education and Sustainable Development. Child Youth Committee Pakistan has organized a series of sessions raising awareness about the importance of money for development and growth with various stakeholders, such as civil society organizations, human right activists, and businesses.

Child Youth Committee Pakistan raised peer to peer education about financing and the role of children and youth in creating new job as entrepreneurs.

I have also been working in the field of Young People Health, where I have identified gaps between laws and people. Policy making in the field of public health can improve the lives of less privileged individuals, doctors, civil society organizations, youth representatives, health care providers, parents, health worker, media persons and local's about their Reproductive Health. The overall experience was full of learning, sharing and caring to declare human rights in wider groups and communities ; Addressing advocacy and awareness on financial education, public health and so long vast field of human rights! It's time for mass awareness about financial inclusion and empowerment in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.

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

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

The guidelines determine 10 good practices for Financial Service Providers to make their payment products for minors safer. Although not exhaustive, these guidelines introduce FSPs to some important aspects unique to payment products designed for minors. These guidelines should not only be used as a checklist, but also as a guiding tool providing the foundation to build secure, thoughtful child and youth friendly products. After presenting the guidelines during the International CYFI Summit in Romania, we are now publicly consulting you, our partner in the Youth Movement, and would be happy to receive your feedback before the 15th of August 2016. Find the guidelines in the link to the PDF and the feedback form in the link to the word document.

Please give your feedback through the form, which can be found here, or you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.
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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 ranked among top NGOs in the World

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

CYFI sister organization, Aflatoun ranked 29th on the list, and Child Helpline International, also founded by CYFI Managing Director Jeroo Billimoria, ranked 99th.

Working together for youth

Our partners and supporters enable CYFI to continue our work around the economic empowerment of youth, and collaboration within the Child and Youth Finance Movement is responsible for progress in reshaping financial systems to benefit children and youth worldwide.

CYFI’s place in the world’s top 50 NGOs wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of our global network. Working with partners in 132 countries, the network is instrumental in national, regional and global efforts to create the next generation of economically empowered youth. The organization also received funding support from MasterCard Foundation, MasterCard Corporation, and Players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, amongst others.

CYFI would like to take this opportunity to thank NGO Advisor for their recognition of the Network’s work to achieve financial inclusion for young people, and to all of our partners and endorsers for their continued support!

About NGO Advisor

NGO ADVISOR is a Geneva-based independent media organization that produces the Top 500 NGOs, a series of reviews of the best nonprofit organizations from around the world. To date NGO Advisor is publishing the unique such ranking. The organization combines sound journalism with comprehensive research to highlight innovation, impact, and governance in the nonprofit sector.

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CYFI Network Stars: Thea Handumon

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

Of her involvement in the CYF Movement, Thea said:

It has been three years since I started working with CYFI to promote Financial Inclusion and Financial Literacy in the Philippines, especially in Mindanao. Having been exposed to CYFI through the CYFI Global Youth Summits in Istanbul and New York City, as well as by taking part in the CYFI Youth Committee projects, it strengthened my passion to help promote finance especially in the marginalized sector. Little by little, we made progress in promoting finance to Children and Youth and we managed to inculcate to them the importance of saving their money for their future.

In 2015, I finished my BS degree in Psychology in Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan. After several months, I decided to work for Paglaum Multi Purpose Cooperative as their Recruitment Officer and at the same time their Youth Coordinator. We adapted the Aflatoun Program for the schools situated near our area of operations and we also have a savings program for the children in our community. We strive to conduct Financial Literacy Seminars for Children and the Youth to help them realize the importance of money and to help them learn about savings and budgeting.

Aside from our savings programs, we have adapted the yearly implementation of the Global Money Week wherein students from several schools gather to celebrate the significance of the children and the youth in the finance sector. This is an avenue for us to interact with them and to create friendly competitions that teaches them about finance creatively. As PMPC’s Youth Coordinator and as an advocate of Child and Youth Financial International, I envision a future wherein children and youth are free to transact with financial institutions and that they will come to realize the impact of saving money for their future.

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