Training and Experience sharing between Central and Eastern European partners

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

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

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

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

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

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Potential partnership opportunity for distribution of financial literacy materials!

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

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

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

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

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

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Mobile Banking Is Calling for Youth!

Global Money Week allows us to shine a spotlight on the importance of financial inclusion for children and youth. The YouthSave consortium recently released a synthesis report on its large scale research experiment into formal savings among youth in the developing world. Youth take up an increasingly greater portion of the total population in the global South, but largely remain financially excluded. The report provides a much-needed evidence base to further the thinking on the benefits of providing youth with savings. However, many financial institutions will discover that setting up a savings product for youth in the developing world is extremely costly.

For reasons such as low or unstable account balances, frequent transactions, and an affordable and incentivizing fees and rewards scheme, operational expenses are high for youth savings accounts in developing countries. The uncertain nature of youth savings makes these deposits ill-suited for on-lending and therefore deprives financial institutions of a primary source of revenues. For youth savings to be viable, financial institutions must take different approaches to scaling up youth savings products in a sustainable manner.

The potential of mobile banking

Mobile technology has been heralded as the future for financial inclusion of the poor. Indeed, mobile banking can particularly offer microfinance institutions (MFIs) some significant cost reductions. Personnel and travel are important cost drivers for an MFI, due to its relatively strong client interaction. However, one example from a mobile banking MFI pilot by PlaNet Finance in South-East Asia shows how the MFI managed to reduce its travel costs for connecting with its savings clients by 79 per cent. Another MFI in Kenya has almost doubled its field staff caseload levels as customers do not need to be visited as often. Also education expenses may be reduced if mobile technology is used as a complementary channel for providing youth financial education.

The costs of setting up a mobile banking system are becoming increasingly within reach for MFIs. In a new research paper from Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) we demonstrate how the design and implementation costs are approximately equal to the annual running costs of one single bank branch.

Continued challenges and developing solutions

However, mobile banking cannot be viewed as a magic solution for financial inclusion and the enhancement of financial capability. A mobile banking pilot evaluation by BRAC in Bangladesh illustrates some of the challenges ahead. Clients found mobile banking sometimes difficult to use and not in line with their financial needs. Others did not always have trust in the agent, system infrastructure or network coverage. Then there were those who simply did not feel comfortable with technology. What is the use of setting up a cost-reducing mobile banking system if people are reluctant to use it?

This is where youth savings products come into the picture. Mobile phone penetration rates in developing countries among youth aged 15-24 are generally higher than among the 25+. Youth are usually keen to test new innovations and are still receptive to - and quick to take up - substantial education in financial literacy and product usage. Youth fully familiarized with mobile banking can act as a gateway to educating and building trust among the less tech-savvy generations.

However, there are a few caveats that could limit a large-scale uptake among youth. Regulatory SIM registration requirements are in some countries increasingly limiting the scope for those below the age of majority to legally acquire a SIM card. This adds another layer to the often already stringent regulatory environments that exists concerning youth access to financial services.

Yet even under a favourable regulatory environment, the uptake of youth savings products cannot be guaranteed and will instead largely depend on their perceived relevance and how comfortable and satisfied youth are with using them. As new consumer financial protection concerns emerge, MFIs will need to gain great awareness of the distinct needs and vulnerabilities youth face depending on factors such as age, gender, socio-economic status, level of education, patterns of income and expenditure, financial and household responsibility and phone ownership. Particularly the poorest and most vulnerable youth may, for instance, share one phone with several relatives or friends, which raises important digital privacy issues. CYFI has defined general Child and Youth-Friendly Banking Principles to guide financial institutions in a youth-centered product design, including mobile services.

Providing youth savings through mobile phones will remain expensive. Previous business case analyses have argued that – through cross-selling other, profitable financial products to the family members and peers of youth clients – MFIs could somehow manage to keep youth savings products financially sustainable. However, the true value of youth clients may lie elsewhere. If properly executed, youth can become champions of a revolutionary mobile banking system. It would be a triple win for youth, MFIs and adult customers. Mobile banking starts with youth and Global Money Week provides an excellent opportunity to promote this cause.

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“Children & Finance” project in Russia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please read the full report here and the Russian summary of the report here.
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People's Postcode Lottery supports CYFI!

Child and Youth Finance Internatioal (CYFI) is delighted to announce that players of People’s Postcode Lottery have awarded an extra £1.425 million to long-term supported charities - CYFI is one of 57 charities that will receive the extra £25,000 award from players of the charity lottery.

CYFI received the news of the additional funding at the 2016 People’s Postcode Lottery Charity Gala. The event, which took place on Thursday 28 January at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh, was a celebration of the hard work achieved by charities supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Support from the People's Postcode Lottery has helped CYFI to expand its Network and projects, and will continue to help the organisation go further in working to acheive financial inclusion for young people worldwide.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “As People’s Postcode Lottery continues to grow the amount that our players award to good causes continues to increase. We are very proud that our players can continue to support the development of these fantastic causes.”

This additional funding comes at a very exciting time for the charity lottery as they mark 10 years since the first ever draw. The last 10 years have created thousands of lucky winners but also have provided vital funding for numerous charities across Great Britain and internationally. A minimum of 27.5% is awarded to charities and good causes with over £99.6 million awarded to date.

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Launch of UpUp app – pocketing a pocket money solution!

Getting and managing pocket money from their parents can be a problem for many youngsters. One of CYFI network partners, the UpUp app, with the support of MasterCard, has produced an easy and fun solution for this problem.

Launched on March 1st, the UpUp app will be available in both App Store and Google Play as a free app that can help children ask their parents for pocket money with pictures and comments, discuss the purchases and financial affairs in the interactive chat and instantly make cashless transfers from parent’s card to the child’s card. The app is aimed for both children and parents with the vision to solve translaction issues and increase financial literacy of children, using “learning by doing” method.

The UpUp app, together with the Social Card of Muscovite, were awarded CYFI Banking product endorsement in 2015, that is given to banking products by institutions from CYFI network that comply with the necessary set of Child & Youth Friendly Banking Products Principles, applicable to current and savings banking products. The Social Card of Muscovite is a multifunctional card offered by Bank of Moscow and the Department of Information and Technologies of Moscow city in Russian Federation.

From 2016 the Social Card of Muscovite will also include the UpUp app as additional functionality. The Card targets pupils and students of public and private state-accredited institutions of primary vocational education, secondary, secondary specialized educational institutions and full-time students of higher educational establishments of the city of Moscow.

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CYFI Network Stars: Jhose Adolfo Quinsocala Condori

CYFI are very lucky to have an active Network, and one of our youngest members of the CYFI Youth Network, Jhose Adolofo Quisocala Condori, is a great example of the role young people play in bringing about change!

At just 10 years old, Jhose has been very active throughout previous GMW celebrations and was Awarded a special recognition for his work in promoting financial inclusion for youth in his native country of Peru.


What Jhose says about himself:

'Despite my young age, I am very happy to be a part of the CYFI Youth Network. I grew up with CYFI, my first participation as a finalist for the Financial Inclusion category of the CYFI Youth Awards competition in 2013, which instilled in me the interest in developing activities for children and youth. Having won the "Financial Youth Landscape" Youth Awards Prize in 2014 in NYC at the United Nations, I have committed myself to continue working for the development of Financial Inclusion of children and young people in Peru.

"Ser miembro del Comité de Jóvenes, es uno "Honor" para mi, y una gran responsabilidad para con los jóvenes de la región de las Américas y el Caribe. asumo este reto con mucha humildad y responsabilidad." (“It is an honor for me to be a member of the Youth Committee, and a great responsibility for the young people of the Americas and the Caribbean. I take on this role with humbleness and responsibility.")

Jhose's plans for GMW 2016

Jhose will be hosting a Youth Talk at 9:00am (Peruvian time) on Saturday 19th March, to discuss the following topics
  • Importance of financial education for children and youth
  • Importance of savings
  • The role of authorities in the development of children and youth
  • The education and experience of financial inclusion for children and youth in Peru

Officials from the SBS, La Caje Arequipa, as well as the Mayor of Arequipa will be joining Jhose in his talk. If you are interested to join, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Financial Literacy Working Group and Curriculum Integration in Bulgaria

Over 40 institutions and organizations from all sectors of the public life – government, business, NGO, media, academia – have joined a Financial Literacy Working Group organized in Bulgaria in 2015.

The establishment of the working group aims to facilitate dialogue, coordination and information exchange among different stakeholders in the area of financial literacy. One of the main objectives of the group is to develop proposals on how to address the main issues related to the further development of financial literacy policy in Bulgaria, and present them to the relevant authorities. The group includes representatives from Ministry of Finance, National Revenue Agency, National Social Insurance Institute, Economic Institute of Bulgarian Academy of Science, and number of other state institutions. It is coordinated by CYFI network partner Financial Literacy Initiative Foundation (FLI), the only Bulgarian NGO that exclusively focuses its activity on financial literacy.

The group has been created as part of the activities within the project “BG Financial Literacy Map” implemented by Financial Literacy Initiative Foundation (FLI) and funded under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. One of the main goals of the project is to map the financial literacy field in Bulgaria: the “players” and the “available financial education resources”. Youth was identified as the key target group for the Working Group. The findings of the mapping exercise show that only about 4% of financial businesses in the country are somehow involved in financial education activities.

Moreover, from the next school year Bulgarian students will be studying entrepreneurship as obligatory part of the school curriculum. The next school year a new subject– “Technology and Entrepreneurship” – will be introduced, staring with the first grade. The financial education is part of the new subject, and the students will learn the basics of personal finance management. This will be achieved mainly through practical activities in engaging and stimulating way. The new subject was included as an obligatory subject in the school curriculum due to the efforts of NGOs promoting entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and career development like Junior Achievement Bulgaria and Financial Literacy Initiative Foundation.

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People's Postocde Lottery supports CYFI!

Child and Youth Finance Internatioal (CYFI) is delighted to announce that players of People’s Postcode Lottery have awarded an extra £1.425 million to long-term supported charities - CYFI is one of 57 charities that will receive the extra £25,000 award from players of the charity lottery.

CYFI received the news of the additional funding at the 2016 People’s Postcode Lottery Charity Gala. The event, which took place on Thursday 28 January at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh, was a celebration of the hard work achieved by charities supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Support from the People's Postcode Lottery has helped CYFI to expand its Network and projects, and will continue to help the organisation go further in working to acheive financial inclusion for young people worldwide.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “As People’s Postcode Lottery continues to grow the amount that our players award to good causes continues to increase. We are very proud that our players can continue to support the development of these fantastic causes.”

This additional funding comes at a very exciting time for the charity lottery as they mark 10 years since the first ever draw. The last 10 years have created thousands of lucky winners but also have provided vital funding for numerous charities across Great Britain and internationally. A minimum of 27.5% is awarded to charities and good causes with over £99.6 million awarded to date.

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Global Innovation Fund announces first investments of over £3million

On Tuesday 9th February, members of the CYFI Team joined the Global Innovation Fund in London for their launch event and announcement of its inaugural investees. At the launch, CYFI had the opportunity to view presentations and link with other organisations and institutions working to achieve social and financial inclusion for vulnerable communities, including children and youth, worldwide. The Fund has invested in a range of social enterprises: for-profit firms, non-profit organisations, researchers and government agencies working to improve the lives and opportunities of millions of people in the developing world.

The introduction of a range of new investees demonstrate the Fund’s bold mission and the broad range of social innovations they support across multiple sectors, including health, technology, energy and education. These include Educate, a skills-based educational programme in Uganda and Rwanda, and Segovia, a software technology platform that makes it faster, cheaper, and more secure to transfer funds directly to vulnerable populations.

On the announcement of its first investees, Global Innovation Fund CEO Alix Zwane said: “Through these inaugural investments, The Global Innovation Fund is demonstrating our audacious mission to back ambitious social innovations that scale to reach millions of the world’s poor. We look to support groundbreaking new ways to lift people out of poverty, improve the quality of their public services, and help them live healthy, productive lives. Our unique approach, supporting the best social innovators across all sectors and geographies, is responding to the demand for increased effectiveness and delivering impact right across the developing world.”

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The 18th Microcredit Summit in Abu Dhabi - leading discussions on financial services for youth

Over the past 30 years, microfinance has emerged as an important tool to economically empower low income families, allowing household members, especially women, to access necessary financial resources to develop and sustain various enterprise ventures.

Recently, increasing importance has been given by the microfinance industry, and the international donor community, on the provision of Child and Youth Friendly banking products linked with holistic educational services. CYFI has been at the forefront of this global Movement to advance integrated financial and educational services for young people, and sees microfinance institutions as integral to this effort.

The upcoming Microcredit Summit, being held March 15-17th in Abu Dhabi, is a leading forum for microfinance industry leaders to come together to review progress being made against the primary goals of the Microcredit Summit Campaign (MCS). CYFI is a member of the Leadership Council of the MCS and has joined forces with the Campaign to draw further attention to Child and Youth Friendly principles and practices in the design and delivery of youth financial services.

CYFI will be moderating a panel at the upcoming Summit on new frontiers in youth finance and will also lead a speaker’s corner to allow microfinance practitioners to share their commitments and ideas on their future service towards youth clients. This will be held within the frame of CYFI’s Global Money Week, allowing institutions to share the exciting programs they are running with integrated financial and educational services for youth and to demonstrate their commitment to expanding youth financial inclusion. CYFI is honoured to be a part of this illustrious event, which will feature Nobel laureate (and newly named UN SDG Advocate) Muhammad Yunus, Queen Sofia or Spain, Prince Talal of Saudi Arabia and H.E. Hussain J. Al Nowais, chairman of the Khalifa Fund.

CYFI encourages microfinance practitioners and other relevant stakeholders to register for this exciting event and consider applying for one of the Scholarships offered by MCS to bring microfinance representatives to the Summit.

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Advancing Entrepreneurship Education in Europe

In an effort to provide European youth with a better opportunity to secure a sustainable livelihood, policy makers and youth serving organizations are working together to ensure that education systems allow for the adequate development of entrepreneurship competencies for young people in the region.

The European Entrepreneurship Education Network (EE-HUB) provides a platform for government authorities, civil society organization, academics and private sector representatives to share good practices and work collectively to increase levels of entrepreneurship activity and entrepreneurial learning through all levels of schooling across Europe. CYFI takes an active role in the EE-Hub through our role in the Experts Network, working alongside the EE-Hub partners and Ambassadors from the European Parliament to develop good practice case studies, conduct roundtable discussions and webinars and put forward practical policy recommendations on Entrepreneurship Education to leading national and regional authorities in Europe.

CYFI took part in the Network’s Mid-Term Meeting in Brussels Jan 28-29th. The meeting allowed participants to further solidify the best practice case studies and success factors within the EE-Hub’s five thematic working groups on: National Policy, Teacher Training, Partnerships, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem and Impact Assessment. Case studies will be finalized by the end of the first quarter in 2016, at which point they will be promoted to relevant stakeholders throughout Europe to assist them in the design and implementation of programming related to entrepreneurship education. CYFI is primarily involved in the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem working group as it fits closely with our work in promoting collaborative systems change. Under CYFI’s Theory of Change, entrepreneurship education, alongside financial literacy, social education and financial inclusion, are the essential building blocks for sustainable livelihoods and economic citizenship for children and youth.

CYFI will continue to work with the other members of the EE-Hub in 2016 to promote these case studies and policy recommendations throughout 2016, with a number of webinars and roundtables to be scheduled in the latter half of the year. CYFI will aim to have these roundtables align with their own regional events in 2016, including national stakeholder meetings, product development workshops and Ye! Community Boost Camps.

Photo credit: EE-Hub

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CYFI Partners on European Youth Event

CYFI is very excited to be a partner for the YO! Fest at the European Youth Event 2016!

This year marks the 7th edition of YO!Fest, the political youth festival organised by the European Youth Forum in cooperation with the European Parliament. Unleashing young people’s creativity by combining politics, culture, education and fun in a multicultural festival atmosphere, YO!Fest aims once again at mobilising young people and youth organisations across Europe.

Following the great success of the 2014 edition, the YO!Fest will be once again organised in the framework of the 2nd edition of the European Youth Event – EYE2016 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. On 20th – 21st of May, 7000 young people will gather from all over Europe to meet with their peers, policy-makers and high- level speakers to exchange ideas on youth-related issues and debate under the motto “Together we can make a change”.

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CYFI Network Stars: Prakash Koirala

Although CYFI's global Network has over 1000 members across 125 countries, many of the individual efforts make a huge difference to the children and youth within each of the countries which we work.

Prakash Koirala is a great example of how youth can spark change in and contribute to the financial empowerment of youth in their communities. Prakash was one of our winners at the 2015 CYFI Awards Ceremony in London, and below he discusses his efforts around financial education in Nepal and his work with CYFI Youth. Keep up the great work, Prakesh!

'My projects provides youth with a technique to start up their own local businesses in their community. I have also made recommendations towards creating a national platform for empowered decision makers in order to encourage, support and facilitate the delivery of financial education in the country. In Bajhang, a very remote place of Nepal, the project conducts financial literacy drama, art and oratory competitions reaching more than 1000 youths. Furthermore, in September, Prakash distributed more than 120 Piggy Banks (Khutruke) for students to save excess money.I have also set short term, medium and long term goals for follow-up that can be prioritized by the needs of young people My main focus is to build the confidence of young people and ensuring that their role in decision-making processes gets full attention.

Growing up, I was taught that money management is the key aspect of life, not only in Nepal but also in many other countries. Yet, I also remember thinking that money was something for very smart and very wealthy people. My surrounding, however, continually told me that if I would be taught early in school about good saving habit in home, I would have saved money for college or would have helped for basic needs. These scenarios made me think a lot about money management. This resulted in some different strong commitment inside me to be aware of money management. I got a vision to aware my community about money management to cultivate their desire to live without financial burden.

The thoughts persistently occupied my mind with different ideas on money management which made me join this organization in 2014. Since then I have been working as a committee member to Nepal. Even though I was a youth activist in my nation, I was awarded an opportunity of collecting children and youth and teaching them about financial education and economic citizenship right.

I had no idea being CYFI Youth Committee Member could ever become a change agent for financially illiterate society. The resources I gained from CYFI, OECD, World Bank Blog, Master Card Foundation, and UNICEF made me capable to deliver Financial Literacy movement to almost 6000 child and youth. And those resources awarded me this achievement and opened doors that I did not even know existed.

Many of the children and youth I teach today are up against some of the very same challenges that I faced as a child. That's why I work hard every day to make a difference in their lives. I know their struggles. This inspires me to teach with enthusiasm and a desire to help others to achieve their dreams of financial well-being. I am eager to become a part of a national and international organization that is making the dream of financial literacy education available to everyone.

I welcome you to join me in igniting a passion of learning financial education within child and youth. I am in this path to eradicate financial illiteracy because, in small corners of the world, we each make a difference along with Child and Youth Finance International, You People and Your organization. '

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2016 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit

Save the date! Making Cents International’s 10th Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit is designed to increase the impact, scale, and sustainability of youth economic opportunity programming around the world.

Join 450+ leaders from 50 countries at this “go to” event. The program is designed for donors, implementers, researchers, youth leaders, and others to develop new partnerships, deepen technical capacity, and expand awareness of best in class approaches in Workforce Development, Enterprise Development, Financial Inclusion, Monitoring & Evaluation, and Gender.

Learn more at about the Summit at www.YouthEOSummit.org

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Promoting financial inclusion through financial literacy

CYFI Regional Advisor for Eastern Europe & Central Asia participated as one of key international speakers at the international conference on promoting financial inclusion through financial literacy that took place in Minsk, Belarus on December 10, 2015.

The conference was organized by CYFI partner National Bank of the Republic of Belarus and Republican Microfinance Center, with the support of USAID. The conference featured presentation of the best practices in advancing financial inclusion and financial education from many countries in Central and Eastern Europe, discussions of recent studies and the role of data in policy-making, and the role of microfinance networks in fostering financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

CYFI presented its research on available youth banking savings products in the region, as well as on its flagship programs and initiated campaigns like Global Money Week and SchoolBank.

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BCGE helps Ye! to support young entrepreneurs!

Helping to pave the way for the next generation of young entrepreneurs, The Swiss Bank of Geneva (Banque Cantonale de Genève - BCGE) has offered to provide valuable pro-bono services to Ye! Community, to support youth in finding their feet in the business world.

Ye! Community is an initiative of Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI), to provide young entrepreneurs with the help they need the most. With a growing community of over 4500 young entrepreneurs from 70 countries, the Ye! Team supports young entrepreneurs so they can continue to address key global issues through their innovation and smart solutions.

A universal bank since 1816, the BCGE provides diversified and high-quality banking services to private and institutional customers: everyday banking facilities, private banking and asset management, pension planning, mortgages, lending to the private and public sectors, trading, financial engineering, corporate finance and global commodity finance services.

The BCGE Group operates a number of its services in Switzerland (Lausanne, Zurich) and representative offices abroad (Dubaï, Hong Kong). Its subsidiary, Banque Cantonale de Genève (France) SA, offers company finance and property services to companies and individuals, in addition to wealth management for private clients. With its headquarters in Lyon, BCGE (France) SA also has branches in Paris and Annecy.

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CYFI South-Eastern European Regional Working Group for Youth Financial Education and Financial Inclusion

First meeting of the SEE Working Group will take place in Sinaia, Romania, 2nd & 3rd of November 2015, kindly hosted by the National Bank of Romania!

South-Eastern European Regional Working Group for Youth Financial Education and Financial Inclusion will serve as the place for sharing best practices, exchanging experiences, identifying technical assistance opportunities to support action plans development and implementation by Child & Youth Finance International Secretariat and CYFI network members, and coordinate the regional initiatives and plans in the field of financial education and financial inclusion for children and youth.

The initial discussion on the formation of this Working Group on child and youth finance issues took place in October 2014 in Skopje during the Third CYFI Regional Meeting for Europe & Central Asia, organized by the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia, where representatives of the financial regulatory authorities and relevant ministries expressed a strong motivation for them to form a working committee to build a collaborative dynamic between institutions in the region.

The first meeting of the SEE Working Group will take place at the Training Center of the National Bank of Romania in Sinaia. The meeting will have the following objectives:

  • Defining the final structure of the Working Group;
  • Sharing experiences and best practices of countries and institutions of the region;
  • Identifying and discussing potential twinning arrangements between countries in the region;
  • Presenting CYFI tools and programmes to support financial education and inclusion initiatives in the countries;
  • Discussing challenges and opportunities in drafting and implementing a national strategy for financial education;
  • Identifying the annual work plan of the Working Group.

The meeting will feature representatives of financial regulatory authorities, ministries of education and ministries of finance from 7 countries of the region and external experts on national financial education and inclusion policies.

Member institutions of the Working Group are:

Albania

  • Ministry of Education and Sports of Albania

Croatia

Macedonia

  • The Regulatory Body for Financial Education for Macedonia

Moldova

Montenegro

Romania

Serbia

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Product Development Workshop great success for Nigerian banks

Together with the Central Bank of Nigeria and LYNX, Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) successfully organized a Product Development and Capacity Building Workshop for Financial Institutions in Nigeria.

In an interactive setting, Nigerian banks, international guest speakers and CYFI experts worked together on determining how and why banks should invest in child friendly banking products and financial education. One of the participating banks stated that “Children and youth are a serious opportunity, and we need to make sure that we combine access with education”.

Another unique feature of the workshop was the involvement of the Central Bank of Nigeria, providing insights into the regulatory framework, whilst also facilitating discussion with the Nigerian financial institutions, to see how they can reach the youth segment and therefore improve the economic future of the country.

One bank summarized the enthusiasm participants felt during the workshop, “Investing in children is not just important for them, but also for the financial institution, the financial system and the nation”. For CYFI it was a great opportunity to meet with financial institutions in Nigeria, share examples of best practice, and to support financial institutions in their mission to financial include Nigerian youth.

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