CYFI News & Blog

Latest news and articles from Child & Youth Finance and the CYF Movement Network

CYFI took part in FINFIN 2017 in Moscow in February 2017

Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) took part in FINFIN 2017 Conference in Moscow, Russia on 16 February 2017. FINFIN is an annual international symposium, aiming to bring together financial institutions, governmental bodies, and expert community to exchange and share best practices and latest trends in the area of financial literacy and financial inclusion.

The Conference fosters an open dialog between market practitioners, government officials and researchers. It also provides an ideal environment to develop new initiatives that would ensure sustainable development of the industry, increase the availability and quality of financial services for the population, and promote financial literacy programs in order to improve the well-being of Russian citizens. 

The conference is traditionally organized by Russian Microfinance Centre and Citi Foundation, with the participation of representatives of the Bank of Russia and Ministry of Finance of Russian Federation, as well as international experts. The 2017 edition of FINFIN saw participation of many global stakeholders in the field, such as OECD, Central Bank of Portugal, UK Consumer Panel, CYFI and other representatives from CIS region and beyond. 

In 2017 CYFI contributed to the panel on the ways to improve financial literacy of Russian population, alongside the speakers from the Central Bank of Russia, Moscow State University, and various private sector initiatives. The wide consensus was reached that starting teaching children the basics of financial behaviour, such as saving, budgeting and spending, is essential from the first years of school. The role of the Ministry of Education in this process was defined as crucial by all participants of the panel. CYFI Regional Advisor Karina Avakyan shared the recent findings of financial education landscape for young people, emphasized the importance of active practicing of savings from the young age, and presented the recent publication by CYFI and World Savings Bank Institute (WSBI) on various Schoolbanking models.

On 15 February 2015 CYFI was also invited to take part in the informal roundtable, organized by the Russian Microfinance Centre (RMC) and Bank of Russia on the financial literacy programmes for SMMes and entrepreneurs, and their role in the overall financial literacy strategies and policies. CYFI representative shared some examples and best practices from CYFI network members and other countries in Europe.


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Queen Máxima joins Global Money Week celebration for youth

Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) will collaborate with leading partners in the Netherlands on an event taking place on 30 March 2017 to highlight the importance of financial inclusion for youth.

The 6th edition of "Global Money Week", celebrated in 135 countries worldwide, takes place from 27 March - 2 April 2017. The Dutch Money Week, "Week van het geld", is organized during the same period. Both events provide an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of financial education and financial inclusion by connecting children and youth from around the world.

This special joint Global Money Week celebration is organized by CYFI in collaboration with the Money Wise Platform (platform Wijzer in geldzaken), Aflatoun International and partners. Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, honorary chair of the Money Wise Platform, will join the celebration.

Linking with the important issue of providing child and youth-friendly services, Queen Máxima will receive the pioneering document "Safer Payment Products for Minors – guiding minors towards financial autonomy," co-authored by CYFI and Mastercard in collaboration with partners. As the UN Secretary General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development and honorary patron of the G20's Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, Queen Máxima is a leading global voice advancing universal access to affordable, effective and safe financial services in order to strengthen human development, especially among the poor. In The Netherlands she supports financial inclusion particularly in the areas of financial literacy and financial education.


Moderated by renowned Dutch TV presenter and global traveler Floortje Dessing, the event includes an interactive "Trip Around the World" connecting Dutch and international children and youth to share insights on what the Global Money Week theme "Learn. Save. Earn" means to young people in their country, and addressing the issue: does money make you happy? During various interactive workshops, school students will focus on key themes such as saving and borrowing, digital payments, tools for entrepreneurs, and social and financial education.

In the afternoon, international stakeholders will join a round table discussion on "Digital Finance and Consumer Protection Implications for Youth (digital natives)." Panelists will discuss opportunities, challenges, risks and solutions related to digital financial inclusion of the young generation.


Official press release from the Royal House of the Netherlands can be found (in Dutch) here.

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Scaling and Sustaining Youth Financial Services within the Microfinance Sector

​There continue to be challenges in convincing financial institutions that there is a viable business case to be made for significantly investing in Child and Youth Friendly Banking Products the provision of services for young clients around the world.

CYFI presented on this topic at the European Microfinance Summit in Barcelona, Jan 26-27th, along with the Mastercard Foundation and other leading European microfinance institutions and associations. The purpose of the conference was to share innovations in digital finance, social protection , environmental stewardship, financial literacy and client outreach in the microfinance sector. 

Participants were introduced to the components of Child and Youth Friendly Banking and the insights gathered from CYFI's advocacy and youth product development work around the world. CYFI was the only organization presenting on financial products for under 18s and participants were interested in hearing about how they could better serve this important demographic. Using the CGAP Business Case Framework for youth financial services, participants explored many of the aspects that contribute to the business case for Child and Youth Friendly Products:

  • Market Level Levers (government regulation, market competition)
  • Institutional Levers (opportunity costs, institutional commitment/resilience, time frame)
  • Segment Specific Levers (urban vs. rural youth, in school vs. out of school, online vs. offline)
  • Profitability Drivers (marketing, product design, product delivery model and operational support)

Drawing on the 2015 European Microfinance Platform Publication, CYFI was able to show the results of a case study analysis demonstrating how youth financial services have a greater probability for scale and sustainability when they are offered to older youth in urban areas, within a strong, facilitative macroeconomic environment and with the dedicated support of the institution's Management Team and Board. 

Innovation solutions to mobile banking or e-learning, and adopting a critical minimum approach to tailored financial literacy, can also help boost scale and sustainability of these products and services.




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First phase of SchoolBank pilot conducted in Georgia


The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) and CYFI have collaboratited on promoting SchoolBank in Georgia since late 2015, when NBG presented the concept to all commercial banks in the country. Since then CYFI and NBG have developed a standard 14-hour financial education module, monitoring and evaluation system and conducted a teacher training on active learning methodologies. Currently NBG is working with educational authorities in Georgia to get SchoolBank module as an extra-curriculum class in Georgian schools.

The first commercial bank to join the SchoolBank pilot, with their own educational module as well as innovative financial product for children was Bank of Georgia. Bank of Georgia has launched a sCool card in September 2016. sCool Card is a socio-educational program for students, aimed to improve financial literacy of the younger generation and to instill financial culture among children.


Schooling on financial literacy

The Bank has developed a comprehensive training module - sCool Card Business School – the school of financial literacy. The module covers lots of information  from social, financial and essential livelihoods education. The training program includes 5-6 training courses on various topics, which are held in schools every two weeks. The University of Bank of Georgia developed the training program, together with child psychologists, and it was approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia. Pilot trainings were held from October to December 2016 in 10 schools in the capital city, Tbilisi. Recently, at the end of January 2017, the first 175 graduates of the Business sCool Card were awarded certificates and souvenirs by the Bank.


Moreover, the Bank has distributed more than 100 000 debit sCool cards in Tbilisi, which also provide students with free public transportation. For 2017, the Bank is looking at further developing the educational module, strengthening the savings component of the programme, and expand the programme to other regions of the country.

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CYFI joins workshop and meeting of G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion

The G20 Global Partnership for Financial inclusion (GPFI) held its first workshop and meeting under the German Presidency of the G20 from the 23 to 24 January 2017 in Wiesbaden. Among the topics discussed were:

  • Alignment between GPFI priorities and other G20 work stream, including the German office of the Sherpa, the Finance Track and the Development Working Group
  • The G20 Financial Inclusion Action Plan, revised and updated to ensure alignment with the 2030 Development Agenda-Financial inclusion of forcibly displaced people
  • Implementation of the High Level Principles for Digital Financial Inclusion
  • Implementation of G20 Action plan on SME Finance


Concrete steps were taken to finalize the GPFI Subgroup Work Plans for 2017. Along with Germany, China and Argentina are 2017 GPFI Co-Chairs.

CYFI is actively participating as affiliated member of the GPFI platform in two of its working group: SME Finance Subgroup and Financial Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy Subgroup.

Find out more information about the workshop and meeting here.


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SchoolBanking: unleashing the youth financial service market

SchoolBank: Best practices from public private partnerships in advancing financial inclusion of young people

Authors: World Savings and Retail Banking Institute and Child and Youth Finance International


The informal intake of information related to money matters which shape a young person's perception of finance, and how that information is utilized and put into practice, is crucial to the development of one's personal finances. However, even more critical is the affirmation that the developed financial habits are healthy and have resulted in the ability to make wise and informed financial decisions. 

Across the globe, children and youth are exposed to the various facets of finance from a very early age, often times unaware of the fundamental knowledge they are taking in. The understanding of the everyday use of money ranging from spending, to budgeting, to saving it, is absorbed by simply observing the use of money from family members, from friends, from television shows and even from the internet.

While informal knowledge plays a large role in young person's understanding of finance, formal lessons on money management learned in the classroom is a prevailing method to ensure that children and youth are properly informed of financial matters and how to develop their own healthy habits.


SchoolBank: A global effort


Together with the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute and its partners, Child & Youth Finance International has highlighted examples of financial service providers from around the world who work together with schools to provide a holistic approach to financial education and financial inclusion of young people. This approach is referred to as SchoolBank, which promote the combined effort of formal financial education with access to appropriate products and services designed specifically for children and youth.

This publication provides insight on how the financial sector can work together with the school system utilizing the SchoolBank approach not only to provide children and youth with the knowledge they need to best understand today's financial landscape, but to provide them with the products and services they need people to be able to act as young economic systems in today's society.


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CYFI receives continued support from players of the People's Postcode Lottery!

CYFI is delighted to have attended the 2017 People's Postcode Lottery annual Charity Gala where it was announced that £66.3 million was awarded to charities and good causes in 2016 - thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery.

CYFI is one of 69 charities that benefitted from this incredible funding, with £225,000 amount received in 2016 alone.  The news of the funding total was shared at the annual event, on Tuesday 24 January, at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh. The Charity Gala celebrated the phenomenal achievements of charities working across Great Britain and internationally that are supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery.

The event was attended by HRH Prince Charles, Sir David Attenborough, with entertainment provided by stars from the UK music scene.

This amazing contribution enables CYFI to further our efforts in establishing pilots around initiatives such as SchoolBank and scaling programmes which support youth financial capabilities across the countries in which we work.


Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, said: "Our Gala is such a special time in People's Postcode Lottery's calendar where we come together and celebrate the incredible amount of money raised by our players and the fantastic work carried out by the supported charities as a result of the support. We continue to be overwhelmed by the incredible support of our players and thank them for their funding."



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School Bank Egypt Pilot Project News update

On 10 January 2017 the Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI) ​conducted the first savings collection process for students participating in a pilot School Bank project in Egypt, held in partnership with Banque Misr and Modern Education Schools.

The bank set up its branch inside the school, which includes a representative from the bank branch and a service counter. Following financial education sessions the students were able to deliver their saved amounts to be deposited in their School Bank Banking Product. The simulation introduced students to the experience of visiting a bank and conducting a transaction using their cards. This enriched the children's learning experience and further cemented the importance of managing their finances as well as encouraging them to save. Financial literacy is a key part of the child-friendly product provided by Banque Misr, which is supported by incentives for students and close monitoring by the school's administration.


The pilot School Bank project in Egypt, is the first of its kind in the MENA region, launched in December 2016. This project is a part of the EBI's efforts in enhancing financial literacy through quality financial education among the children and young people in Egypt. Through its "Shaping the Future" initiative, EBI is committed to working with the financial sector in Egypt in building sustainable public private partnerships in order to alleviate financial illiteracy and contribute towards building well educated young economic citizens. The SchoolBank project is a pioneering model that allows implementing bodies to combine financial education and financial inclusion through practical and participatory methods.

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CYFI and KGB partners to deliver SchoolBank to 50,000 kids

CYFI and the Kerala Gramin Bank (KGB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to pursue a SchoolBank program in Kerala, India through KGB's FI@School project. The project is set to begin in January 2017 and implemented in a span of 1 year.

The MOU outlines the FI@School project that aims to impart financial education and financial inclusion of about 50,000 students studying in 500 schools in Kerala. This will be achieved through the adoption of schools by 500 branches of the Bank over a period of six months, followed by the implementation of the project where kids learn financial education and open their own bank account. This project targets to cover students in class VI and VII. Additionally, KGB aims to actively participate and promote the program during Global Money Week. 

Together with KGB and Rajagiri Outreach (the local NGO partner in delivering child social and financial education training), two Social and Financial Inclusion Trainers trainings have already been concluded. The first training program was in Kannur, Pallikkunnu on the 11th of January, 2017. The training was attended by 32 participants from the districts of Kannur, Kasargoad and Waynad. A second training program has also already been conducted in Malappuram on the 13th of January, 2017, which was attended by 23 participants. 

The main focus of the trainers training is to teach teachers and bank staff how to interact with primary class students on matters related to financial education. In addition, the training also provided participants with various tools and mediums such as presentations, budgeting samples, role playing, chart presentations, and other learning methods. 

The project will have its official launch on the 23rd of January, and is expected to continue rolling-out throughout the year. 


About Kerala Gramin Bank

Kerala Gramin Bank is a major financial institution in Kerala with 600 branches spread across the whole state of Kerala, mostly in rural areas. It is the second largest network in the state among public sector banks. The Bank is owned by the Government of India, Canara Bank and State Government (Government of Kerala). It has a total deposit base of Rs. 148 billion with advances of Rs. 127 billion. It provides financial services to over 70 million persons in the State. Most of its clients are agriculturists and small & medium entrepreneurs. It is also the largest Regional Rural Bank (RRB) of the country in terms of total business – and it is a profit making entity since inception. Kerala Gramin Bank was formed in 2013 by amalgamating two RRBs (regional rural banks) of the state (South Malabar Gramin Bank and North Malabar Gramin Bank), both of which started in 1976. Thus, it has 40 years' legacy in rendering financial services.


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Three affiliated organizations for youth ranked in world’s Top 100 NGOs!

For the second year running, three organizations founded by Jeroo Billimoria have been ranked in the world's Top 100 NGOs!

The newest rankings of NGO Advisor's Top 500 NGOs list place Aflatoun International 29th, Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) 45th and Child Helpline International 95th on the list of the world's top charitable organizations.

Joining other leading NGOs working to better the lives of children and young people, all three organizations were founded by pioneering social entrepreneur, Jeroo Billimoria. Being the only individual in the world with three different organizations ranked in the top 100, Jeroo has worked to empower young people and has challenged the systems which perpetuate poverty for over 25 years.


One social entrepreneur, three leading organizations

Jeroo founded CYFI, Aflatoun International and Child Helpline International with the intention of improving the lives of young people worldwide.

From working with street children in her native Mumbai to challenging financial systems which continue to limit young people in reaching their potential, Skoll awardee and Ashoka and Schwab Fellow Jeroo's work has been recognized around the world.

Jeroo credits the success of her three Amsterdam-based NGOs to their collaborative work to create lasting change. Of the incredible rankings, she said:

'I am delighted that three of my organizations have been recognized in the world's Top 100 NGOs for their work in supporting children and young people. The power of children knowing about money, saving and believing in themselves is key to positive and sustainable impact.'

A network approach lies at the heart of the successes of all three organizations in supporting child rights globally, with each working with a range of institutions, governments and organizations at international, regional and local levels.

Together, these three organizations have helped more than half a billion young people worldwide and continue to positively impact the lives of young people across 139 countries.

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CYFI Stakeholders Meeting in Vietnam

CYFI has collaborated with the Vietnam Microfinance Working Group (VMFWG) last 12th of December to have a number of Stakeholders Meeting with Vietnamese stakeholders in the field of financial education in Vietnam for children, including the State Bank of Vietnam and the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam.

The Stakeholders Meeting in Vietnam has allowed CYFI to introduce the mission and goals of the Child & Youth Finance Movement, as well as the various tools and expertise that the network would be able to bring and contribute to the development of Vietnamese child financial education landscape.

In particular, the Stakeholders Meeting provided a platform to start discussions on the importance of financial education and financial inclusion of young people in Vietnam – an area that shows immense potential in development. Best practices and case studies that were achieved across the world were presented, as well as concrete actions that the country may take to be able to move forward. 

Included in the Stakeholders Meeting were the discussions for the launch of a national effort on Global Money Week for 2017. A portion of the meeting also provided an opportunity to present a portion of the National Strategy for Financial Education Workshop to potentially assist the country in developing a child-centred financial education strategy.

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Child-Friendly Banking Product Development Workshop in Bangladesh

CYFI provided a Child-friendly Banking Product Development Workshop from 6-8 December in Bangladesh, co-hosted by the Bangladesh Bank at the Bangladesh Bank Training Academy in Mirpur, Dhaka.

The workshop had attendance and delegates from 42 commercial banks working in the field of product development, product design, product marketing, and product strategy. In addition, the workshop was joined by 6 officials from the central bank to learn from the sessions and provide feedback from the viewpoint of the regulators.


In particular, the Stakeholders Meeting provided a platform to start discussions on the importance of financial education and financial inclusion of young people in Vietnam – an area that shows immense potential in development. Best practices and case studies that were achieved across the world were presented, as well as concrete actions that the country may take to be able to move forward.

Included in the Stakeholders Meeting were the discussions for the launch of a national effort on Global Money Week for 2017. A portion of the meeting also provided an opportunity to present a portion of the National Strategy for Financial Education Workshop to potentially assist the country in developing a child-centred financial education strategy.

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Product development workshop in Ivory Coast

CYFI facilitated a product development workshop in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of November. This workshop had been organized in partnership with the Program of Financial Education of the Ministry of National Education. 

The Program of Financial Education (PFE) of the Ministry of National Education in Ivory Coast aims at enhancing the financial knowledge of the entire educational community hence, in particular focusing on children and youth in Ivory Coast. The program, established in 2013 with the intention of tackling the challenge of over indebtedness of teacher that had negative consequences on the teaching quality, has already reached 24.000 adults and 60.000 children. 

The PFE is also CYFI's partner in the country and leader of the Global Money Week campaign in the country. During the last edition of the Global Money Week, more than 15 events were organized at national level and around 21,700 children were reached. However, Ivory Coast is one of the countries of the region where financial inclusion of youth is amongst the lowest. In an attempt to  raise awareness of this matter and engage the private sector towards oriented action, the PFE organized the Product Development Workshop. The workshop aimed at making the case of the importance of youth financial inclusion and guide the local banks and financial institutions in the process of developing child and youth-friendly banking products.

A part of strengthening the collaboration between different key institutions in the country in financial education and inclusion, the workshop laid the ground for the implementation of the SchoolBank project in the country. It is expected that the project implementation will start in the first quarter of the year, in collaboration with local schools, the Ministry of Education, the Plan for Financial Education and GTBank.

For more details, information regarding the workshop, please follow this link to the report (in French).

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CYFI, CBK and KBA hold stakeholder workshop on financial education in Pristina

In collaboration with the Central Bank of Kosovo (CBK) and Kosovo Banking Association (KBA), Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) organized a stakeholder workshop on the national approach to financial education in the capital Pristina on 22-23 November 2016.

The workshop was hosted and held by the initiative of the Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo and became the first national-level event on financial education in the country. The workshop was aimed at increasing awareness on financial education among national stakeholders, the roles that different stakeholders and organizations from various sectors can play in promoting financial education in Kosovo, and at determining ways of cooperation between public, private and civil society institutions in this sphere.

The workshop covered various aspects that can assist countries in fostering the development of the nationally coordinated approach to financial education, stakeholders' management, integration of financial education in the school curriculum, piloting SchoolBank project, best practices examples of financial education programs for youth and adults and many more. Moreover, the workshop also featured sharing the experience by experts from Bank of Albania, one of the most successful institutions in the region in promoting financial education, as well as provided a platform for local government, private and civil society institutions to share their experiences in financial education in Kosovo so far.

At the end of the workshop CBK and other stakeholders expressed the readiness to form a national platform for financial education in Kosovo, and cooperate closely on developing new educational programmes and campaigns, including Global Money Week campaign 2017. The platform would have an objective to serve as a space to exchange best practices, experiences and streamline and coordinate financial education initiatives in the country.


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CYFI Network Star - Andrew Pavlovsky

This month's CYFI Network star is Andrew Pavlovsky, an inspiring young investigative journalist from Ukraine!

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CYFI joins Canadians in Celebrating Financial Literacy Month


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

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3 events - 1 platform for young entrepreneurs!

CYFI initiative, Ye! community, has been busy working with young entrepreneurs all over the world! With events in Ukraine, Kenya, and India, the sky's the limit for the fastest growing online platform for young entrepreneurs!

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Successful culmination of Flagship Visegrad project – Experience exchange between Central and Eastern Europe

In October 2016 CYFI and its 9 project partners have successfully concluded the project, supported by the V4EaP Program of International Visegrad Fund, aimed at experience exchange between Central European (Visegrad) countries and Eastern European (Visegrad Partnership) countries in financial education strategies and programmes for young people.

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

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

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Economic citizenship and the global effort to reduce child poverty

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

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