CYFI’s 3rd Annual Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Regional Meeting 2014 brought together policy makers and financial service providers to discuss innovative ways to responsibly and sustainably include children and youth in the economy.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands – This year Guatemala hosted the Third CYFI Regional meeting for the Americas and the Caribbean. Framed by the IX Regional Congress on Remittances, Microfinance and Financial Inclusion, this event took financial education and financial inclusion to the top of the regional agenda.
“We are very pleased to welcome you all to this space for exchange and learning.” Dr. Roberto Ortega Herrera, President of the Guatemalan Banking Association.
The Central American sub-region had an unprecedented participation in this event in which financial intuitions, Ministries of Finance and Education, NGO’s, foundations and leading researchers gathered to network, collaborated and shared innovations and ideas on the topics of financial inclusion, financial education as well as employability and entrepreneurship.
Undoubtedly, this event contributed to Child and Youth Finance International’s goal 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.
Increasing Sustainable Growth by Financially Including Youth
“Remittances have the potential to change the life of youth in Latin America. We have to make sure that it is for the better.” Lic. Oscar Avalle, Resident Representative, World Bank Group
During the event a great focus was put on financial inclusion as a tool to diminish social exclusion and facilitate growth in the region. Speakers recognized that there a variety of ways to increase financial inclusion and the proof of the opportunities which financial inclusion generates is too abundant to be ignored. Emphasis was given to the family structure and the need for specific policies to improve social conditions, especially for youth.
Panelists highlighted one of the problems which the sub-region is facing: often financial inclusion is increasing as an unintended consequence of rapid growth in the financial market. They highlighted the importance of encouraging structured growth that is accompanied by youth and family specific policies.
Innovation and Education: Tools for Building a Financially Inclusive Society
“Innovations have changed the way we think about finances, now they have to change the way we do finances” Lic. Gabriela Zapata, Consultant, MetLife Foundation.
Financial institutions and government institutions were the sectors primarily represented in this event. Participants were pleased to hear from both sides a pledge for greater contribution and coordination amongst all sectors involved in increasing Economic Citizenship Education. Panelist emphasized the importance of using innovative channels to increase financial inclusion while providing financial education to the young population.
Participants acknowledged that the road to providing financial services and products to children and youth is still long and bumpy, even with the increase in technology. However, they enthusiastically welcomed the idea of SchoolBank, and there was great interest shown in the development of pilot projects in the region.
Participants highlighted the importance of tailoring SchoolBank projects to specific national and community contexts.
SchoolBank focuses on the creation of low cost, secure and scalable banking products for children and young people between 6 and 25 years of age. The project seeks to combine the use of state-of-the-art banking technologies and innovative distribution channels beyond the conventional distribution networks of financial products and services.
Global Money Week 2015
“Global Money Week is a great opportunity to show the world what is being done in Guatemala for the financial education of children and youth, and also to learn how we can do better.” Lic. Antonieta Gutierrez, Executive Director, Central Bank of Guatemala.
The event served as a platform to launch Global Money Week 2015 in the Americas and the Caribbean. Participants were excited to hear from different institutions about their participation in past editions of this initiative.
The Central Bank of Guatemala and the Superintendence of Banks of Guatemala invited all present institutions to join their efforts in 2015 and to reflect deeply on the theme of GMW 2015: Save today. Safe tomorrow. and the importance of savings for ensuring Guatemala’s sustainable growth.
Changing Policy at a National Level
Prior to the Regional Meeting for the Americas and the Caribbean the Central Bank of Guatemala highlighted their commitment to the CYFI Movement, while hosting a National Stakeholder’s Meeting to discuss the development of financial education and financial inclusion programs in the country.
The Ministry of Education, the Superintendence for Tributary Administration and the Superintendence of Banks, joined the Central Bank of Guatemala and CYFI in this event which served as a space to exchange information about the programs that these institutions are implementing as well their outreach to children and youth.
Agreements included the utilization of CYFI’s National Mapping Tools to identify gaps in their financial regulation, existing programs on financial education, and existing financial services for children and youth in the country.
Download the Global Money Week 2015 Toolkit to find out everything that you need to know about organizing an activity in your country!
The IX Congress of Remittances, Microfinance and Financial Inclusion (COREMIF) aims to promote the exchange of ideas, information and experiences in national and international financial inclusion, financial literacy, microfinance and remittances. This is to promote and raise business strategies and alliances that result in increased economic citizenship in Guatemala and the region.
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.
For further information about any of the mentioned events and/or Child & Youth Finance International, please contact:
Caitlin Watson, Communications Coordinator
+31 (0) 20 520 3900
Robin Willing, Director of Communications & Operations
+31 (0) 20 520 3900