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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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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3 events - 1 platform for young entrepreneurs!

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

Ukraine Ye! Boost Training & Hackathon, sponsored by the Development Facility of the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE DF), took place in Kiev over the course of three weeks.Over 60 young entrepreneurs attended lectures and practical trainings on business-creation. 20 chosen entrepreneurs took part in a weekend Hackathon in which they teamed up with some developers in order to produce the first prototypes of their ideas.

The event ended on 31st October with a pitching event where twelve business ideas were judged by an expert panel. Andrew Pavlovsky was named Ye! Entrepreneur Ukraine for his idea ‘Department Action’, a start up dedicated to create collaborations between investigative journalists and lawyers to fight corruption.

The ‘Road to Nairobi 2016 Multi-stakeholders forum’ was run in partnership with Building Bridges andtook place on 26th October in Nairobi, Kenya, at which over than 100 young entrepreneurs were present. The theme was ‘Youth Entrepreneurship as tool for economic development and youth empowerment in Kenya’.

The event featured a training for young entrepreneurs on investor-readiness. The event also provided a platform for young entrepreneurs to dialogue with key national stakeholder. Notable participants included Ms. Sicily Kariuki - Minister of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs and Mr. Frank Makken, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kenya.

On 26th October 2016, Ye! Community ran its first initiative in India: The Ye! Startup Pitching Event & Award Ceremony.

The aim was to celebrate the work and achievements of inspiring young Indian entrepreneurs. 20 of them attended the event, while 14 start-ups pitched their projects to an expert committee, after a first video selection.

Vennela Krishna won the competition with her Law School 101 startup, receiving the first Ye! Youth Entrepreneur Award for India and an invitation for the Global Inclusion Awards 2016 held in Stockholm.

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CYFI Network Stars: Thea Handumon

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

Of her involvement in the CYF Movement, Thea said:

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

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

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

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National strategies of financial education – The way forward with youth

Creating national strategies to develop financial literacy amongst children and youth is key to the financial inclusion of young people. By listening to the experiences and needs of young people, decision-makers can develop strategies which are child and youth-friendly and support young people in shaping a positive future for themselves.

One example of this is the work of Mr. Prakash Koirala, an active youth representative within the CYFI network, who has recently had an article on Financial Education published in Rising Nepal, the national newspaper of Nepal!

In his article, Prakash states 'While giving training and workshops, many young people said that they were worried about the future financial plan and financial crunch and their impact on their lives, now and in the future. Many of them expressed concern about start up business, education loans, family dependency and so on.'

CYFI believes that, in Nepal and worldwide, financial and social education and financial inclusion are the building blocks of empowerment and financial capability that underpin economic citizenship for young people. This involves giving all children and youth the knowledge to make wise financial decisions, the opportunity to accumulate savings, and the skills to find employment, start a business and ultimately break the cycle of poverty.

Highlighting the need for an integrated approach in order to create economically empowered citizens, Prakash noted that in Nepal 'A national strategy of financial education is fundamental for financial inclusion'.

You can read the full article here and find out more about Prakash's great work here.
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GSRD Foundation supports Systems Change in Asia

CYFI is delighted to announce a generous grant from GSRD Foundation (G-Star RAW Denim) to support the Child & Youth Finance Movement’s work around systems change in Asia.

Through the GSRD Foundation, G-Star RAW works towards positively impacting the people and communities in the countries where G-Star products are manufactured.

As a company founded on the entrepreneurial spirit, G-Star believes that knowledge and business opportunities are the way to economic independence and development. To facilitate this, the GSRD Foundation supports projects that focus on:

  • Education: Vocational training for children and adolescents, concentrated on both knowledge and skills, to improve their chances of going on to learn a profession and having a better future.
  • Entrepreneurship: Grants, loans and training for entrepreneurs, to bring about more small businesses in communities and to develop local economies.
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