CYFI facilitates Product Development Workshop in Madagascar

CYFI's Managing Director, Wessel Van Kampen, and Regional Coordinator for Africa, Anne Reynaud, recently visited Madagascar to meet with various key national stakeholders in Madagascar's capital Antananarivo.

As part of this, CYFI facilitated a product development workshop, co-organized and co-hosted with our local partners the Coordination Nationale de la Finance Inclusive.

More than 50 participants attended the Product Development Workshop, which focused on discussing the creation of a SchoolBank pilot and the adoption of the concept to align to the local circumstances. Participants shared their views and ideas on the best strategy to successfully implement a SchoolBank in Madagascar starting the new school year.

One of the goals of the workshop was to emphasize the importance of Financial Products adapted to Children and Youth. The workshop aimed at underlining the importance of having both Financial Education and Financial Inclusion. The workshop presentation pointed out the positive outcomes for a country population to have financial education and financial inclusion such as better academic achievement for example. The importance of a good consumer protection framework to develop financial inclusion and education was also stressed during the workshop presentation.

The workshop also highlighted the fact that the financial inclusion of children and youth represents a great opportunity for financial service providers. The goal of the workshop presentation was also to highlight that children and youth represent an opportunity for financial service because children are easy to reach and use low cost self-serve channels for example.

The main outcome of the workshop was the implementation of the SchoolBank program in Madagascar. SchoolBank aims to increase financial inclusion of children and young people through the school system. Through an innovative multi-stakeholder approach, the goal is to create systems change by providing children and youth with a Child & Youth Friendly bank account that they can use to save money, while at the same time imparting the appropriate education to teach them why and how to save and what their economic rights are.

The workshop in Madagascar brought together all national key stakeholders essential for a successful implementation of the SchoolBank program. All participants of the workshop expressed their willingness to collaborate to implement the program. All local financial service providers already have financial products adapted to children and youth. Next steps will build upon the various existing contacts between local banks and schools in the capital of Antananarivo, but will also expand to the more rural Southern part of the country.

The Coordination Nationale de la Finance Inclusive is also currently working on the draft of a National Strategy of Financial Inclusion with a strong emphasis on Children and Youth and are leading the organisation of GMW in Madagascar since 2016.

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National Bank of Georgia Hosts CYFI Child & Youth Friendly Product Development Workshop

The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) hosted Child and Youth- friendly Product Development Workshop in Tbilisi on 13 and 14 of July 2017. The workshop was facilitated by experts from Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI), and was part of the broader NBG-CYFI cooperation on promotion of financial education and savings culture for children and youth in Georgia.

Governor of the National Bank of Georgia Koba Gvenetadze opened the workshop and encouraged commercial banks to invest in developing financial capabilities of children and youth. During the workshop participants from 7 commercial banks in Georgia discussed the importance of the youth financial literacy and financial inclusion, product design, needs and wants of the young generation, as well as the business case for developing child and youth-friendly banking products. CYFI experts shared international experience and best practices in the field, while NBG specialists discussed the regulatory framework, consumer protection principles and NBG's planned activities in the direction of financial education for children and youth. CYFI partner, Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC) also shared with the participants the German experience in developing financial products for children and youth. The workshop was also attended by the representatives from the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, who stressed the importance of financial education at schools and perspectives on integration of financial education into the school curriculum, and discussed the Ministry's cooperation framework with NBG.

Children and youth are one of the main priority target groups within the frames of the National Strategy for Financial Education that Georgia adopted in 2016. As part of these efforts, NBG and CYFI have been working on implementing the SchoolBank project in Georgia since 2015. The project aims to provide school children with financial education classes, as well as the real opportunity to practice savings and easy transactions by providing them with safe banking products, such as depositing small savings on the bank account or paying for lunches with a debit card.

"In today's world, the young generations have to make important financial decisions at increasingly earlier stages of their lives. For this purpose, children and youth not only need theoretical financial knowledge, but also the ability to apply financial literacy to practical situations. Thus, it is crucial for the young generation to have access to appropriate financial products and services, in order to develop healthy financial attitudes, save money, set financial goals, and expand their opportunities. In this process, it is imperative to protect children's rights and interests. In a long-term perspective, these initiatives will help the youth become economically active and financially responsible citizens, reinforcing their financial well-being" - stated Koba Gvenetadze, Governor of the National Bank of Georgia during the opening ceremony of the event.

July 12th marked another milestone in the advancement of the SchoolBank project in Georgia. National Bank of Georgia and National Youth and Children Palace of Georgia (NYCP) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on implementation of 15-hour SchoolBank educational programme as an extra-curriculum class for secondary school students in Tbilisi, that was developed by CYFI and Aflatoun, and further adapted by NBG in 2016. CYFI supported NYCP with its financial education programme since 2015, and supported teacher trainings of NBG, NYCP and Ministry of Education staff. NBG and CYFI signed an MoU covering these areas of cooperation earlier this year.

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CYFI holds Product Development Workshops in Chile and Peru

​ Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) recently hosted two Product Development Workshops with Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP) in Lima, Peru and Santiago, Chile. 

The purpose of the workshops was two-fold; CYFI and IEP intended to bring together the dominant organizations in the financial inclusion and education sectors in both countries to talk about the achievements in the field so far and look ahead at the progress still to be made. In addition to this, workshops focused on on the development of child and youth friendly banking products in both countries. 

As part of the worshops, multiple banks and other financial institutions looked at the opportunities and challenges to increase financial inclusion rates and financial capabilities of young people by discussing regulatory frameworks, financial education material, need and wants of children and youth, and marketing of banking products. These discussions were fueled by presentations from CYFI, IEP and various expert speakers from the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), Banco Caja Social from Colombia and ADOPEM from the Dominican Republic. 

One of the principle outcomes of both events is commitment to the dedicated effort of improving existing and developing new banking products for children and youth and the implementation of SchoolBank in Chile and Peru.

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OECD PISA Results 2015: Outcomes and new insights support CYFI’s vision

Author: Wessel van Kampen, Managing Director CYFI​ 

The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) recently released the results on financial literacy from 2015. CYFI attended the results launch event in Paris.

In addition to testing students' skills in mathematics, science and reading, the 2012 and 2015 editions of PISA also explored students' experience with, and knowledge about, money, providing an overall picture of 15-year-olds' ability to apply financial knowledge and skills to real-life situations. In 2015, around 48 000 students participated in the financial literacy test, representing about 12 million 15-year-olds in 15 participating OECD and non-OECD countries. 

Supporting CYFI's vision

CYFI has been advocating for an integrated approach of financial education and financial inclusion for the past five years, but until now little empirical evidence seamed to support such claims. The 2015 PISA results, alongside with other research and experiments recently led by the CYFI Secretariat (such as the implementation of SchoolBank projects around the world and the research led in seven East European countries on the attitude of youth towards the financial system) supports CYFI's claim and call for more attention to programs which integrate the two components.

The inclusion of a financial literacy assessment in PISA is the result of the unique collaboration between the Education Division and the International Network for Financial Education (INFE) of the OECD. It is based on the profound understanding of the fact that young people in both OECD and non-OECD countries are already involved in financial systems, are taking part in increasingly complex financial transactions, and are going to enter a financial work environment in their adulthood that is far more complex than that of their parents or teachers. Children are also already deeply engaged with money from a young age – more than 60 percent of 15-year-olds in participating OECD countries earn money from some type of work activity, 56 percent already have a bank account, and 19 percent have a prepaid debit card. At the same time, the results reveal that less than one in three students have the necessary skills to manage a bank account!

When compared to the results from 2012, only Russia and Italy have made any progress in increasing the financial literacy of students. This is of course a distressing result, considering the ever increasing engagement of youth with money, and the amount of work that has been done in the field over the past years. However, positive outcomes reveal that across all countries and economies, very few gender differences were detected in the levels of financial literacy among the 15-year olds surveyed. This finding is in contrast with the results of many adult financial literacy surveys, where women in most countries consistently score lower on financial literacy indicators than men. While the nature of this difference in financial literacy between adult males and females is not yet fully understood, it will be interesting to see whether this gender gap will continue when this next generation reaches adulthood or if we are on a path to closing the gender gap both in terms of financial inclusion and financial literacy.

Furthering youth financial literacy

The 2015 PISA results also confirmed that practical applications of financial knowledge and behaviours have a strong impact on financial literacy levels. Evidence shows that there is a positive relationship between performance in financial literacy and holding a bank account or receiving gifts of money. Moreover, students who are more financially literate are more motivated to use financial products, and perhaps more confident in doing so.

There is a growing perception in the field that students develop better financial understanding, skills and habits not only through talking to parents and observing their behaviour, or simply by receiving financial education lessons in class, but especially via personal experiences and learning by doing. This is also an essential element of the SchoolBanks implemented by CYFI and its network partners.

Another interesting result of PISA is linked to the socio-economic background of the student. Socio-economically advantaged students score 89 points higher than disadvantaged students, on average across the OECD, which is an equivalent to more than one PISA proficiency level. Even after looking at students with similar math and reading scores, disadvantaged students from poorer families are about twice as likely as advantaged students to be low performers in financial literacy. These findings support once again CYFI's focus to integrate financial education in the formal school curriculum across the board, in order to tackle those socio-economic differences early on.

The results of the 2015 PISA assessments could have implications on a series of initiatives to be led in the following years:

-The importance of impact evaluations of financial education initiatives in and outside of school
-The need of providing young people with safe opportunities to learn by experience and by using basic financial products;
-The need to target parents with financial education initiatives at the same time as young people;
-The necessity of addressing the needs of low-performing and economically disadvantaged students;
-The importance of providing equal opportunities for learning to boys and girls;
-And finally, the imperative of integrating financial education into the school curriculum and providing effective and scalable teacher training.

Detailed results, country overviews and more data can be found in PISA 2015 Results (Volume IV): Students' Financial Literacy.

We encourage our network partners from various sectors to look into these results, to learn from the experience of other countries as well in the design and implementation of financial education programs for children in their countries. CYFI can provide support and guidance in this effort. You can follow the conversation on Twitter: #OECDPISA, and INFE-OECD

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Policy Pledge for a Generation of Financially Capable Young People

Today is the last day of the 3rd Annual Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) Regional Meeting for Africa. Held at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the meeting brought together Africa’s finest policy makers, educators, research and academic institutions, financial service providers, as well as representatives from various government ministries. The main objective of the meeting is to develop a common African position on the advancement of a unified financial education and inclusion plan of action for children and youth across the continent.

During a variety of workshops and plenary sessions it was concluded that a great deal of innovation and action is needed to create an economically active and responsible youth population by addressing the various barriers to youth financial inclusion in Africa. The development and prosperity throughout Africa must be framed around the large, and very dynamic, youth population. The growing youth population is a unique resource for several African countries; youth must be given the attention they deserve as they are essential for social and economic stability and growth.

Integrated African Policy for Child and Youth Financial Inclusion

At the close of the meeting a policy paper pledging for an integrated African Policy for Child and Youth Financial Inclusion to be part of Agenda 2063 was announced. This policy paper details the recommendations needed for “a global strategy to optimize use of Africa’s resources for the benefit of all Africans” for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.

African leaders must develop and pursue national financial programs and strategies for children and youth with the objectives of ensuring that every child and youth in Africa has access to safe financial services, quality Economic Citizenship Education, and the opportunity to attain a sustainable livelihood.

Providing young people with financial services, which include an educational component, enhances a young person’s ability to make their own economic decisions and escape the cycle of poverty. Such access to appropriate financial services allows young people in increase their awareness of their social and economic rights and their ability to build assets and invest in their own future.

CYFI 3rd Annual Regional Meeting for Africa Key Recommendations

Outlined below are the 4 main recommendations highlighted throughout the meeting. Please read the Recommendations and Action Points document for a full overview of the concrete and necessary action plans that African policymakers should lead and implement at national level while engaging the various stakeholders and practitioners, and, of course, children and youth.

By focusing on and taking the necessary steps to turn these recommendations into a reality, the region at large will benefit from such interventions, as a new generation of financially capable young people grows up to be responsible economic citizens.

Key Recommendations for every African State/Country

  1. To celebrate nationally and integrate Global Money Week in the public national activities’ calendar
  2. Global Money Week (GMW) is a worldwide celebration intended to empower the next generation of financial actors to be confident, responsible and skilled economic citizens. During this week various worldwide activities will be held to engage children, youth and their communities to learn about how to save, gaining employment, and creating livelihoods.

    The participation of each African country brings the world one step closer to ensuring that every child will have access to financial services, basic financial awareness, a reliable source of income and the will to save. In order for children and youth to have a safe tomorrow, they should begin to save today.

  3. To integrate Economic Citizenship Education into the national curricula starting from primary school; and non-formal economic citizenship education should be provided for out-of-school children and youth
  4. In the CYFI Global Youth Survey, nearly 85% of respondents felt Economic Citizenship Education (ECE) should be learned in school. This profound percentage should be taken forward to ensure that ECE is taken on in national curricula, and is not left as a “family item”. Children and youth must be given a standard learning format to ensure that they are provided with all of the necessary ECE knowledge to make wise financial decisions and act as economic citizens.

    Furthermore, empowering all children and youth, both in and out-of-school, must also be a priority for national policymakers. According to UNESCO in 2010, sub-Saharan Africa was the second region counting the highest number of out-of-school lower secondary school children (22 million). Research has shown that depriving children of opportunities at a young age, such as education, have been associated with a well-catalogued variety of negative outcomes, including social and mental well-being. Financial inclusion towards social and individual empowerment, need to be inclusive and be devoted to all children and youth.

  5. To ensure that all children and youth, starting from primary school, have access to appropriate child and youth-friendly banking products and services such as savings accounts.
  6. Africa has the lowest saving-account penetration rate for youth in the world, equal to 12% Cultural barriers, legal restrictions, inadequate child and youth friendly financial services, long distance to access points, low education, unemployment, high transaction costs and negative stereotypes about youth are among the main challenges for youth being financially included in Africa. Legal and regulatory barriers create also significant obstacles for the youth to access to financial services suiting their needs. Such barriers impact the prosperity of policies and practices for the economic and financial empowerment of young Africans.

  7. To support young entrepreneurs in Africa by providing connections, education and access to financial resources for developing their enterprises.
  8. Various research and studies have shown that unemployed persons – particularly young persons – are unhappier, more likely to experience a range of health issues, and face difficulties in integrating back into the labor market place . While the youth unemployment rate in Africa hovers around 20%, data collected from the 2014 CYFI Global Youth Survey points out that Africa is undoubtedly the leading region for numbers of young entrepreneurs.

    The promotion of youth entrepreneurship simultaneously supports the creation of job opportunities, economic growth and development within local, regional and global communities.

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Shaping Egypt's Future through Financial Education

Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI) has recently launched a series of radio talk shows on financial literacy awareness and education. The radio series is part EBI's financial inclusion initiative called "Shaping the Future." In addition, on October 28, in partnership with GIZ, EBI held a training workshop for the members of the "National Committee for Drafting Financial Literacy Strategy in Egypt". The workshop brought together international experts to discuss the current state of financial education in Egypt and to enhance the skills of the committee members in their development of a national financial education strategy which is in line with international best practices.
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Young Women Learn Money Management Skills

On October 12-13, the Baizat team ran a series of “My Money Skills” workshops with young women (aged 12-18) from Sajaya Girls Centers in Sharjah and Kalba. The workshop was initially developed by Visa and the Emirates Foundation. In each course, 25 young ladies participated in personal finance lectures and activities which covered topics such as budgeting, decision making and banking services. The final part of the course involved a field trip to a financial institution or a local supermarket, in order to teach the young women about the basics of decision making and the major areas of personal finance that young individuals will encounter both today and tomorrow, such as budgeting, banking services and the costs of living alone.

a1sx2_Baizat My Money Skills Workshop with young women_Baizat-My-Money-Skills-Workshop.jpg
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Press Release: Youth to Lead the World to an Inclusive Future




Youth to Lead the World to an Inclusive Future

Ensuring youth financial and social inclusion in the Post-2015 Agenda

Amsterdam, the NetherlandsChild and Youth Finance International (CYFI) and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) are co-hosting a High-level Stakeholder’s Meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on May 23, 2014. Preceding the meeting is a CYFI International Youth Meeting and the 2014 CYFI Awards’ Dinner on May 21-22, and 23 May, 2014, respectively.

Letting the Youth Lead: Youth to Present Youth Meeting Outcomes to Policy Makers

On the 21-22 May children and youth who are actively involved in the Child and Youth Finance Movement, will be attending CYFI’s Youth Meeting. The children and youth will take part in fun and interactive activities workshops where they will further their knowledge on finance, Economic Citizenship and entrepreneurship. The young people will also discuss how their financial and social wellbeing can and should be included in the UN’s Post-2015 Agenda.

Youth representatives will present the outcomes of this meeting to policy makers at A Chance for Change: Children and Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda – a High-level Stakeholder Meeting on the 23 May, 2014, co-hosted by UNCDF and CYFI at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Ms. Amina Mohammed, the Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning; Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth; and Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, President’s Special Envoy, World Bank, are three of the high-level representatives who will be speaking, along with the youth, at the meeting.

A Chance for Change: Child and Youth Finance in the Post-2015 Agenda

The meeting, titled A Chance for Change: Child and Youth Finance in the Post-2015 Agenda, provides a platform for children and youth to present their ideas for the Post-2015 agenda – these ideas will then be taken forward during the country-level deliberations. It will be attended by high-level representatives from institutions such as Permanent Representatives to the UN, financial authorities, Ministries of Finance, Youth and Education, financial institutions (global and local); multilateral agencies; NGOs and, of course, youth. The main purpose of the meeting will be to ensure that youth financial andsocial inclusion becomes a topic within the development agenda and to ensure that every young person emerging into adulthood has a dignified livelihood either through employment orentrepreneurship.

CYFI and the UNCDF proudly announce the following speakers for the meeting:

  • Ms. Amina Mohammed, the Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning
  • Ms. Marta Santos Pais, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Violence against Children
  • H.E. Ms. Simona-Mirela Miculescu, the Ambassador of the Romanian Permanent Mission to the United Nations
  • Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth
  • Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, President’s Special Enjoy, World Bank
  • Ms. Kim Bolduc, UNCDF Executive Secretary ad interim
  • Hon. Major (Rtd) Jessica R. E. Alupo, Minister of Education and Sports, Ministry of Education and Sports of Uganda
  • Dr. Muhammad Baasiri, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Lebanon
  • Dr. Mona El Baradei, Executive Director, Egyptian Banking Institute – Central Bank of Egypt
  • Mrs. Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL)
  • Mr. Luiz Edson Feltrim, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Brazil
  • Mr. Ardian Fullani, Governor, Central Bank of Albania
  • Dr. Michael Gondwe, Governor, Bank of Zambia
  • Mr. Gilmore Hoefdraad, Governor, Central Bank of Suriname

Awarding Innovation, Commitment and Entrepreneurship

On the evening of May 22, 2014, CYFI will host the 2014 CYFI Awards at the Millennium UN Plaza Hotel. At this annual awards ceremony CYFI recognizes and honors individuals, organizations, and government agencies that demonstrate innovation and commitment to promoting financial inclusion and financial, social and livelihoods education for children and youth at the national, regional and international level.

Thompson Reuters’ Personal Finance Editor Lauren Young will be the anchor for the evening. Special addresses will be made from Ms Annemiek Hoogenboom, Founder and Director UK’s People Post Code Lottery; and, Silvia Singer Director of the Interactive Museum of Economy, Mexico.

The CYFI Award categories are: CYFI Pioneer Award, CYFI Country Award and CYFI “Global Money Week” Award. CYFI will award the achievements of young people in the following categories: Entrepreneurship, Financial Inclusion- the Youth Financial Landscape and DreamsBank Campaign.

Social Media

Event Hashtags:

#CYFI2014 | #UNforYouth | #ChanceforChange | #DreamsBank2014

Other related hashtags:

#MDG | #finlit |#entrepreneurship |#youth | #awards | #GMW2014 | #celebrate |#jointhefun

About Child and Youth Finance International

Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) aims to develop a generation that will be able to prevent future financial crises by increasing the financial education, financial access, employability, and entrepreneurship skills of children and youth.

Launched in April 2012, the Child and Youth Finance Network has already expanded to 125 countries and reached more than 18 million children. Our international and regional events result in policy changes, and are the only events in the world where children contribute to setting the global agenda.




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Partnering with Teacher Training Institutes to promote Child Social and Financial Education

A new report from Aflatoun describes how partnering with Teacher Training Institutes has been a better strategy to guarantee quality and scale of programming than traditional approaches using Regional Master Trainers.

link:  Aflatoun report

Through funding from the CITI Foundation, Aflatoun worked with local partners in Kenya (Bondo Teacher Training College) and Jordan (Jordan River Foundation) to promote active learning methods in the context of Child Social and Financial Enterprise, helping local teacher-educator staff to apply these methods to key subjects in the national curriculum. 8 key findings emerged from the project that were outline in the report.

Additional information on the project can be found at

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Bankaroo – A Virtual Banking App developed by an 11 year old

Danielle wanted to build a website and a mobile application that will help parents teach kids about the value of money, as well as help them manage their allowance, gift and chores money.

This was the inception of the bankaroo idea.

She came up with bankaroo (, a free service that is a virtual bank for kids money, where they can save up for goals, use money for different things while their parents can add allowance, chore and gift money into their virtual account. The real money stays in the parents’ wallets, but the virtual representation of it is very real.

Read more

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Baizat Partner with the Movement to Further Financial Education in the UAE

Baizat Partner with the Movement to Further Financial Education in the UAE

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) - Amsterdam, The Netherlands

In a move to join hands to further youth financial education in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) it is today annoncued that Baizat will join the Child and Youth Finance Movement. The partnership with Baizat is an exciting development for both organizations as they work towards increasing financial literacy in the MENA region and focus on doing this through financial education for children and youth.

Baizat, based in the UAE, is an organization that believes in the need for financial empowerment. Founded by Emirati financial expert Salah Al-Halyan, Baizat works to ensure financial success for all citizens in the UAE, through providing the proper financial knowledge and tools. 

The partnership of CYFI and Baizat will facilitate the participation in regional conferences such as the CYFI Regional Meeting, as well as implementing processes for financial literacy through schools, workshops, and conferences throughout the region.

Jeroo Billimoria, Founder and Managing Director of CYFI, was quoted expressing her enthusiasm for the partnership:

“Baizat is a wonderful organization that CYFI is happy to partner with and I know together we will further financial inclusion and financial education for children and youth throughout the region.”

Baizat’s founder Salah Al-Halyan was pleased as well, stating:

“To be the first Non-Governmental Organization in the UAE to partner with CYFI is a great landmark for us; we hope to be the first of many.  We have been long term admirers of the tireless work of Jeroo and her team, having already attended their first two international summits we feel this is the next logical step in our relationship. We are looking forward to collaborating with CYFI and their partners to spread the word of financial empowerment for youth in the region and also to share with the rest of the world the progress we are making here in the Emirates alongside hard working Government organizations such as the Emirates Foundation and Dirhami.”

One of the elements of the partnership include increasing awareness in the region through Global Money Week activities. Last year Baizat already took part of the global celebration held every year, second week of March. The purpose of the celebration is to increase awareness of the importance financial literacy and inclusion for young people. The week aims to encourage children and youth to learn about money, saving, entrepreneurship and livelihood skills, through a range of activities arranged in the participating countries. 

Global Money Week Celebration with Baizat in 2013



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Gaming with a Purpose?

Gaming with a Purpose?

This is the second blog post in a series of post Child and Youth Finance will be doing at The Huffington Post. This privilege comes with the Skoll Social Entrepreneur Fundraising Challenge we are taking part of to raise fund for CYFI  to better further the progress of the Movement.

Okay, so one thing is clear: Youth are hooked on technology. Computers, smartphones, tablets, social media, video games... the list goes on.

Mostly this connection is talked about with concern. 'Should our children be spending so much time...?' or 'How does technology affect our youngsters?'. And this concern is of course something that always should be taken into account for this subject. We also want to raise a question from another angle: 'Could youth's hook on technology be used for a purpose?'

One of the goals of the Child and Youth Finance Movement is to ensure financial, social, and livelihood education for 100 million children and young people in 100 countries by 2015. And why do we want to do this, you might ask? Well, although the trend of education has been very positive (Girls and boys in developing countries are enrolling in secondary school in greater numbers than ever before), less than 1% of the worlds 2.2 billion children have access to financial education.

We believe that by that empowering and equipping young people with the knowledge and skills to make informed financial and life decisions will have great benefits - both in their own lives, and also for that of their families and communities. Or as one of the Youth Participants from our Africa Regional Meeting put it:

If we do not learn about money and what choices to make, then how can we learn to manage our future?

One step in reaching this goal is to collaborate and align the efforts of education providers all over the world. However, we have discovered various barriers that hinder financial education from achieving its maximum impacts. Among these barriers, the most important ones include:

  1. Shortage of trained local teachers in remote areas
  2. Lack of incentives of children to participate in the learning programs
  3. Failure of financial education curriculums in meeting the needs of children from different cultures and different age groups

Common for all of these barriers is one question, and one of the fundamental challenges in education: How do we make sure we truly engage and motivate the kids to learn in a way that will stay with them for the rest of their lives? We think that one way of doing this is to meet the youngsters where they are already engaging and committing. Yes, exactly, we are talking about technology. By harnessing the already present integration of technology in the life of child and youth, and adding the purpose of learning to it, we believe that some of the barriers to financial, social, and livelihood education could be lowered.

Barrier 1: Difficulties for children and youth to access education in remote areas Technologies such as computers, mobile phones and Internet is spreading rapidly across the world. For instance global mobile penetration has witnessed an exponential growth in recent years, with an impressive penetration rate of 79% in the developing world by the end of 2011. A 2013 report from the United Nations explains that mobile broadband will expand greatly in the world during the coming years, particularly in developing countries. And the mobile phone penetration rates is 96%; 128% in developed countries; and 89% in developing countries. Globally, more and more education providers are applying digital tools in education programs. Mobile education is also emerging in many countries. And thus potentially provides a way of reaching children and youth in remote locations that do not have easy access to local teachers.

Barrier 2: Lack of incentive and motivation of the young people to participate Gaming is something that obviously can engage millions of youth and spread rapidly all across the world. Just take the example of Angry Birds - in 2012 the game hit 1 billion (!) downloads world wide. And this is where we raise the suggestion to combine this incredible power to engage youth, and combine it with a purpose - learning. Studies have shown that when games are used to educate it can potentially change the behavior of young people, as well as have positive impacts on intelligence, such as cognitive flexibility.

Barrier 3: Meeting the needs of children and youth in different ages from different cultures One of the great strengths of technology is its ability to be easily adaptable and updated from one source, and then spread to all of the connected sources. And without particularly high costs it can be altered and customized based on the needs of the user. So if a foundation for a financial learning game is created, this game can then be changed into various versions based on age and culture of the children and youth using the game.

So, if we want to look at the future and how we can reach the children and youth of today, as well as tomorrow, we need to start paying attention to what is actually engaging children and youth. Technology is moving away from being something exclusively for the children and youth of well-off industrialized countries, to being something that is expanding rapidly to all parts of the world. Combining all of these aspects we believe that mobile games with educational element could potentially become a great complement to traditional financial education. It can be a way to create a fun and interactive way to learn in addition to the financial education taught in schools.

Interested in how companies are designing innovative programs and technologies to raise awareness and skills among children and youth - particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds - on how to achieve financial security? There are still a chance to register for the CYFI & United Nations Global Compact Webinar, on November 7.


Over the coming weeks we have the privilege to blog on behalf of the Child and Youth Finance Movement, here at The Huffington Post. This amazing opportunity is a part of the Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneur Challenge, where we are participating with our own fundraiser. During the weeks we will talk about the issues we are trying to tackle, including youth unemployment, technology solutions for financial inclusions, the need for Child & Youth Finance in developing countries and more. Please follow our Facebook and Twitter to stay updated about the progress of the Movement.

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Summary of Day 1 of CYFI Regional Meeting for Africa

Summary of Day 1 of CYFI Regional Meeting for Africa


The first day of the Child and Youth Finance International Regional Meeting for Africa was concluded late yesterday. 150 participants from 14 countries are gathered in Livingstone, Zambia to share practices and opinions and strengthen alliances for Child and Youth finance initiatives in the region. The meeting focuses on bringing together African leaders and policymakers with youth participants to develop national and regional agendas and strategies for Child and Youth Finance issues, and how to bring the Child and Youth Finance Movement further to the goal of reaching 100 million children in 100 countries  with Economic Citizenship Education and access to safe financial services.

During the welcoming speech Dr. Michael Gondwe, Governor of Bank of Zambia stated that hosting this regional meeting is a sign of Zambia committing to placing child and youth finance at the center stage of its development agenda. Further, he said as half of the population of Zambia is below 15, it is a very important issue to be focusing on. The Zambian Minister of Finance, Mr. Alexander Chikwanda further stressed the importance of a Child and Youth Finance focus for Zambia and the region:

Youth are our most important resource. They are the leaders of today and they are our future. Therefore Child and Youth Finance education is essential for every Zambian youth – Mr. Alexander Chikwanda, Minister of Finance, Zambia

After the welcome speech the 'Access Africa' session was held, led by Mr. Chibamba Kanyama, Director General of the Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation. The session focused on ways on how regional bodies and governments can take the lead on Economic Citizenship Education and Financial Inclusion for children and youth.

Later during the day Mr. Reinier van der Lely, consultant at McKinsey & Company and Mr. Daniele Scauso, Regional Platforms Manager at Child & Youth Finance International launched the newly-developed Child and Youth Finance National Implementation plan. The Child and Youth Finance National Implementation plan provides a framework to implement a national platform and action plans for undertaking Child and Youth Finance activities at country level.

An important aspect during the whole meeting was the youth representatives that were taking part during the sessions, giving their own thoughts on Child and Youth Finance to the leaders and policymakers at the meeting. One of the youth representatives voiced his opinion on the importance of financial education and inclusion:

If we do not learn about money and what choices to make, then how can we learn to manage our future? – Youth Participant

The day ended with workshops that engaged the participants of the meeting to share their thoughts and practices on the topics of ´Establishing the National Platform and Roadmap for Implementation´, ´Developing Children and Youth Friendly Banking Products and Services´, as well as ´Monitoring and Evaluating Design for Children and Youth Finance Initiatives´. During the workshops participants were able to share innovation and thought leadership from across various sectors and countries, as well as establish new collaborations.

As the first day of the meeting was concluded and the participants headed out for a sightseeing of the nearby Victoria Falls, the preparations for the second and last day were made. The last day of the meeting is held today September 20, and will focus on the celebration of Global Money Week, workshops and a session dedicated for youth participants to voice their opinions on Economic Citizenship and Financial Issue to the leaders and policymakers. The meeting will be completed by a closing ceremony.

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

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

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

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

Aflatoun and NECY

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

Stakeholder Meetings 10th & 12th of September

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

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

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Romania to implement Financial Education nationally

Romania to implement Financial Education nationally

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

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

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






More information:  

National Bank of Romania

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Young people: access to finance using branchless banking

Walk down any street in Nairobi, Dar-Es-Salam, or Cairo or in a small African town it seems everyone, including teenagers, has a phone to their ear.  Indeed, for those 18 and under, few have known a world without mobiles. Not surprising school age boys and girls (5-14), teens (14-18), or young people entering the labor force or tertiary education (over 18), are seen as a potential new market for the provision of financial services.  While recent experimentation in this space has focused on savings, there is growing consensus that young people should be able to access a full range of financial services, with the priorities changing as they advance in their life cycle. Not only are youth savings and youth financial education hot topics in the financial services space but there is also a growing recognition that young people have money, and technology based financial services offer a gateway for their financial inclusion. 

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On Financial Knowledge and Financial Behaviour: Why we need the courage to walk the extra mile

Imagine you teach your child how to ride a bike. You will tell her or him what to do: Keep the balance, push the pedals, and steer into the right direction. If your kid has understood this information she will in theory know how to ride a bike, but it is very likely that she will try and fall a couple of times before finally making their first hundred meters safe and sound.


Learning how to deal with personal finances works in a similar way like learning how to ride a bike. The mere knowledge about how to handle money... 

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Learning How to Save Changed Abbo’s Life

Florence Abbo left her home village to start a new life inKampala, the capital city ofUganda. At the age of 18, she was a single mother who needed an income to take care of herself and her baby. Abbo started her new life by making and selling beads. For some time the business did not bring in any profits. Life was had for her since she hardly made any money for almost four years...

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The Romani People and School in Italy

A historical perspecive on the Roma minority in Italy. Insights upon their culture, educational problems of children and youth.

Around 160.000 Romanis live in Italy today, divided in two main groups, the Roma and the Sinti.

Romanis presence in Italy dates back to the Middle Ages, and has concerned the whole peninsula, even though since the 1960s they have been settling more and more around middle/large urban areas.

Around half of the Romanis have Italian citizenship, while the other half is composed, for one third, by migrants from ex-Yugoslavia, either coming directly from there, or who descend from second/third generation immigrants; the remaining two thirds are mainly Romanian Roma...

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Habits of Saving Build Future Financial Independence

This blog tells the importance of financial education among young people. Good example of how a saving account can provide a more stable financial future.

I have been deeply involved in CYFI activities since the establishment of Bright Generation Community Foundation of which I am a founding partner and current chief Executive. These activities span a period of nearly ten years.

Though the Ghana Bamboo Bicycle Initiative is the main project of BGCF, I have been able to make a series of judicious choices which have enabled me to combine the experience gained from that project with my role in CYFI. Thus there is a synergistic relationship between the two entities.

One of the cardinal objectives of the Ghana Bamboo Bicycle Initiative is poverty reduction. This can only be attained if people get jobs or are able to engage in profitable business ventures...

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