Workshop on youth empowerment at the Annual MFC Conference 2016

Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) was once again leading the discussion on the youth segment at the annual conference of its strategic partner – at the 19th Microfinance Centre Conference that took place 23-24 June 2016 in Tirana, Albania.

CYFI Regional Advisor Karina Avakyan moderated an interactive panel “Empowering youth with access to finance, knowledge and skills” that aimed to present and discuss different approaches and experiences on how to strengthen the link between youth and the financial sector and enable thereby youth entrepreneurship, business creation and expansion.

The discussion was underpinned by presentation of the results of a recent study on the level of financial literacy and financial behaviour and attitudes of youth in 7 countries of the Balkan region, conducted by the European Fund for South-Eastern Europe - Development Facility (EFSE DF) and CYFI. The panellists included representatives of EFSE-DF, Mozaik Foundation (Bosnia & Herzegovina), ADIE (France) and a member of Ye! community – a young entrepreneur that has started a social enterprise in Albania Pezana Rexha.

The panelists shared various barriers that young entrepreneurs face in Europe, both in terms of access to finance as well as non-financial challenges such as lack of relevant skills, knowkedge, networks etc. The panel shared their unique experiences and expertise of their organizations in supporting the creation of youth enterprises, and Pezana has enriched the discussion by sharing the perspective of the persons who has faced many of those challenges personally. The lively discussion has drawn several solutions and ways to mitigate those challenges, and introduced several ways for microfinance institutions to get involved and start new programs in this field.

The annual MFC conference “Microfinance in the cloud” was a great success, and it brought together participants from all over ECA region to discuss the challenges and opportunities that microfinance sector is facing in the region. CYFI would like to thank EFSE DF and MFC for inviting to participate in this discussion, and is looking forward to continue the collaboration on stronger putting youth on the radar of the sector in the region.

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CYFI consultation on guidelines for making payment products safer for children and youth

CYFI have developed a set of guidelines for Financial Service Providers on how to make their payment products safer for children and youth and wants to hear your opinion!

The guidelines determine 10 good practices for Financial Service Providers to make their payment products for minors safer. Although not exhaustive, these guidelines introduce FSPs to some important aspects unique to payment products designed for minors. These guidelines should not only be used as a checklist, but also as a guiding tool providing the foundation to build secure, thoughtful child and youth friendly products. After presenting the guidelines during the International CYFI Summit in Romania, we are now publicly consulting you, our partner in the Youth Movement, and would be happy to receive your feedback before the 15th of August 2016. Find the guidelines in the link to the PDF and the feedback form in the link to the word document.

Please give your feedback through the form, which can be found here, or you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.
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CYFI collaborates on workshop on financial inclusion for young people in Ukraine

CYFI together with its project partner University of Banking and the National Bank of Ukraine held a seminar in Kyiv on July 8th on the role of public-private partnerships and the role of the private and civil society sectors in improving financial literacy and access to basic financial services for young people in Ukraine.

The workshop took place at the Training Center of the National Bank of Ukraine, and saw the participation of more than 30 representatives of the banking sector, financial regulatory and educational authorities, ministries and civil society sector representatives.

The workshop had the following objectives:

  • To present the concept of an integrated approach to financial education to local stakeholders in Ukraine;
  • To introduce the concept of Schoolbank and its various implementation options;
  • Discuss the existing financial education programs for children and youth in Ukraine;
  • Presentation of the best practices of foreign private sector involvement in financial education and access to programs for children and youth;
  • Discuss potential collaboration and further action plans for the development of financial inclusion and financial education programs for youth in Ukraine.

During the seminar, CYFI presented parts of its Product Development Workshop module, including business and CSR case for financial institutions, and discussed various technological and innovative solutions for Ukrainian FSPs to start investing in savings programs for youth. The guest speaker Eduard Schmitt from Savings Banks’ Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC) presented the approach of German Savings Banks to improving financial capability of youth, as well as various ways to educate youth to save.

The seminar ended with a panel that discussed the state of the field in Ukraine that featured presentations of the hosts of the event – the National Bank of Ukraine, as well as Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, University of Banking, and the Privat Bank. The workshop offered a platform for an open discussion on various possibilities for collaboration and cross-sector cooperation in this field for institutions from different industries.

The workshop was conducted as part of the project CYFI is implementing with its project partners from 9 countries within the ‘Visegrad 4 Eastern Partnership (V4EaP) Program - Flagship Projects’- "Transferring the experience of the Visegrad countries in the Eastern Partnership countries and the development of capacity and technical expertise in the field of financial education for children and youth", supported by International Visegrad Fund.

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CYFI ranked among top NGOs in the World

The fourth edition of Top 500 NGOs World has ranked CYFI in the top 50 of the world’s top charitable organizations. Recognizing the Child and Youth Finance Network’s collaborative approach, Jean Christophe Nothias, Editor of NGO Advisor, noted that CYFI’s ranking ‘reflects not only immense efforts from CYFI’s team and partners but the organization’s deep commitment to create a more inclusive world’.

CYFI sister organization, Aflatoun ranked 29th on the list, and Child Helpline International, also founded by CYFI Managing Director Jeroo Billimoria, ranked 99th.

Working together for youth

Our partners and supporters enable CYFI to continue our work around the economic empowerment of youth, and collaboration within the Child and Youth Finance Movement is responsible for progress in reshaping financial systems to benefit children and youth worldwide.

CYFI’s place in the world’s top 50 NGOs wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of our global network. Working with partners in 132 countries, the network is instrumental in national, regional and global efforts to create the next generation of economically empowered youth. The organization also received funding support from MasterCard Foundation, MasterCard Corporation, and Players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, amongst others.

CYFI would like to take this opportunity to thank NGO Advisor for their recognition of the Network’s work to achieve financial inclusion for young people, and to all of our partners and endorsers for their continued support!

About NGO Advisor

NGO ADVISOR is a Geneva-based independent media organization that produces the Top 500 NGOs, a series of reviews of the best nonprofit organizations from around the world. To date NGO Advisor is publishing the unique such ranking. The organization combines sound journalism with comprehensive research to highlight innovation, impact, and governance in the nonprofit sector.

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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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YES Cameroon launches financial education training for 6000 micro-entrepreneurs

6000 microfinance entrepreneurs are expected to benefit from a financial literacy project launched on June 14, 2016 by the Youth Employment Services (YES) Cameroon and the Association of Entrepreneurs in Cameroon (AEC). The project beneficiaries will be selected from all 10 regions of Cameroon and will undergo a five-day intensive training on topics including, budgeting, debt management, savings, negotiations, insurance and micro-credit. They will also receive training on effective entrepreneurship.

In a press release issued by YES Cameroon, Mr. Gilbert Ewehmeh, the Project Director noted that the project, which is the first of its kind in Cameroon and the Central Africa sub-region, is aimed at building the capacity of entrepreneurs in the country and to also boost the business sector. Implementing partners for this initiative will include Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI), the International Labour Office (ILO), SAGE Cameroon and the Anzisha Prize.

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CYFI joins ParentPay to launch financial awareness solution for youth

On 14 June, Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) joined Network partner, ParentPay, the market-leading online payment service for schools and families, for their launch of nimbl, a new financial platform aimed at encouraging financial awareness and independence amongst young people via the use of a prepaid MasterCard® debit card and smartphone app.

nimbl allows 8 - 18 year olds to keep track of how much they have spent and where, on their prepaid MasterCard® debit card, whilst allowing parents to top-up, monitor and control their children’s spending via the nimbl app.

Clint Wilson, CEO of ParentPay said:

“The youth banking market in the UK is chronically underserviced and as we move towards an increasingly ‘invisible economy’ and a reduced use of physical currency, young people struggle to comprehend the value of money. Following the move in September 2013 to include financial education within the National Curriculum, there is a need to take young people’s understanding of money beyond the school gates.

ParentPay’s school online payment and communication system helps 6,000 schools save administration time and reduce costs, enabling over 2 million parents to pay schools quickly and securely, keeping children safer.

Developing quality services for children and youth

The event also presented findings of the UK’s largest parental survey on children’s attitudes to finance and include talks by MasterCard and CYFI on financial inclusion and financial education for young people

CYFI has collaborated with ParentPay and MasterCard as part of a working group to develop child and youth-friendly banking products for young people. nimbl is currently undergoing assessment by CYFI which assesses the design and implementation of financial products for children and young people. This forms part of the working group’s overall mission to identify issues arising from the provision of financial services for children and young people, to identify the solution space and relevant stakeholders and to establish product-specific output to provide guidance and best practices.

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Network Collaboration: Reflecting on working with CYFI

A key part of CYFI and the Child and Youth Finance Network’s approach to ensuring young people worldwide can become economically empowered citizens is through collaboration with our global Network.

In order to facilitate Economic Citizenship Education components and develop child and youth-friendly banking products, we work closely with partners within the Network, continuously sharing experiences, best practices and resources in order to accelerate financial literacy and financial inclusion for youth across the 132 countries in which we work.

The CYFI Team was very lucky to have recently had the opportunity to work directly alongside a representative from our partner institution, the Central Bank of Brazil! Moisés Aluizio Ferreira Barbosa Coelho, Financial Education Analyst for the Central Bank of Brazil, joined the CYFI at the Secretariat in Amsterdam for three months.

Of his experience, Moisés said ‘I knew about CYFI mainly from Global Money Week, the Global Youth Summit and their amazing work on creating a worldwide network aimed at improving financial education and inclusion for children and youth. I looked for more information on the organization and when I had to choose one place in which to spend my developmental leave, it was one of my first choices.

My three months at CYFI were great. Firstly, there were many learning opportunities, especially about their expertize on putting stakeholders in touch for the common benefit; their amazing skills at event organization, most obviously represented in the incredible numbers for Global Money Week 2016; and the very interesting SchoolBank program, integrating financial education and financial inclusion, the private and public sectors, the financial market and the educational sector. This is something that I’m taking back to my institution and may help us in the future.’

During his time with CYFI, Moisés worked on developing a business case for Central Banks and government institution on investing in financial inclusion and education for youth, revising the CYFI National Strategy for Financial Education training, researching consumer protection frameworks that relate to youth financial services. As a representative of a partner organization, he was able to provide a different take on documents and initiatives supported by the Child and Youth Finance Movement. Having the opportunity to work with Moisés enabled the CYFI Team to gain deeper insight in to the perspective of the Central Bank of Brasil both as a partner, financial regulator and governmental body.

Incorporating the valuable knowledge and experiences of our Network partners offers CYFI the chance to strengthen our position as the leader, connector and facilitator of the global Movement to financially empower youth.

The CYFI Team thoroughly enjoyed having Moisés work with us – his efforts, knowledge and work ethic made him a brilliant colleague, and we look forward to having the chance to work together again soon. Many thanks to both Moisés and the Central Bank of Brazil for such a great experience!

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CYFI SchoolBank workshop success in Zimbabwe

On 23 and 24 May Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI), in collaboration with the People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB) Zimbabwe, organized a SchoolBank Workshop in Harare, Zimbabwe. The two-day event was attended 25 participants, including branch managers of POSB Zimbabwe and employees of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Education. It was aimed at providing the participating institutions, who will be engaged in a SchoolBank Zimbabwe pilot, an understanding of the principles and operational modules for a SchoolBank project.

The workshop content was facilitate by the CYFI Secretariat and consisted of six modules and three practical sessions. The models were interspersed with practical examples from expert speakers from Junior Achievement Zimbabwe and Oratec Uganda. There following are the models and practical sessions:


    1. The business case for children and youth financial services
    2. SchoolBank: An integrated approach to financial capability
    3. Product development strategies for a SchoolBank project
    4. Stakeholder Management and Roles in SchoolBank implementation
    5. Funding, Monitoring and Evaluating a SchoolBank project

Practical sessions

    1. Value proposition for children and youth financial services
    2. Localizing SchoolBank model
    3. Developing a road map for SchoolBank Zimbabwe
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Developing child and youth-friendly financial services in Zambia

Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) in collaboration with the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) organised a two-day product development workshop on May 9 and 10, 2016, at Protea Hotel Lusaka. The objective of the workshop was to train Zambia´s financial services providers (FSPs) on how to develop innovative, appropriate, and cost effective savings accounts for children and youth. It also aimed at training participants on how to link product portfolios for children and youth to financial education.

Twenty-six participants, including representatives from 12 commercial banks, attended this workshop. There were also participants from the banking and insurers associations of Zambia, the Bank of Zambia, and FINCA Zambia. The resource persons were from the CYFI Secretariat, PostBank Kenya and the Private Education Development Network (PEDN) Uganda.

The workshop was designed to foster in-class interaction between the resource persons and participants and among the participants themselves. This ensured collaborative learning experience and greater participant satisfaction. The workshop covered seven theoretical topic and provide practical examples from PostBank Kenya and PEDN Uganda. A key component of the workshop was group exercises. The topics threated were the following:


    1. Financial inclusion and education landscape of Zambia
    2. Why child and youth friendly products are important.
    3. The business case for child and youth friendly products.
    4. What makes a ´child and youth friendly´ product
    5. How to develop child and youth friendly products.
    6. Marketing child and youth friendly products
    7. Combing access with education: SchoolBank

A key component of the training was the break-outs and group exercise that gave participants hand-on experience on the product development process, and new perspective on the value proposition for youth financial services. The break-out/group sessions were organised around the following themes:

    1. Motivation for child and youth friendly product
    2. Value proposition towards child and youth financial services.
    3. Product development and assessment
    4. Marketing-communication strategy
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International seminar on curriculum integration & teacher training in Minsk – Visegrad project

Within the framework of the project supported by Visegrad 4 Eastern Partnership Program – Flagship projects of the International Visegrad Fund, CYFI together with the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, hosted a seminar on 25 May 2016, in Minsk devoted to the integration of Financial and Economic Citizenship Education content in the school curriculum in Belarus, presenting internationally accepted models and experiences from other countries.

Attending the event were around 40 important stakeholders for the dissemination of Financial Education in the country, such as representatives of the National Bank, the Ministry of Education, the National Association of Banks and the National Association of Insurance Providers. The event was also inagurated by Mr. S. Kalechits, Deputy Governor of the National Bank.

CYFI presented the overview of the various models of curriculum integration, Economic Citizenship Education Framework, as well as shared the examples of national financial literacy standards and its contents and formulation process in the countries of Visegrad Group like Slovakia and Czech Republic.

Moreover, other speakers, including the experience of the the Institute of Educational Sciences of Moldova, about the country’s case on cross-curriculum integration of social and financial education; from the Central Bank of Brazil, about the country’s case on cross-curriculum integration of financial education; and from Ukraine’s University of Banking, about the country’s experience on integrating financial education as a separate subject in high schools in Ukraine. Participants also had a chance to take part in the interactive discussion, share their experience with innovative financial literacy projects in schools that they are piloting in different regions of the country, and discuss various methods and models and the way forward for the curriculum integration process.

The seminar received a very positive response from the National Bank and the Ministry of Education of Belarus, and by the end of the seminar two institutions defined the next steps for continuing the intensive process of integration of core elements of economic citizenship education in the school curriculum. The seminar was covered in the media and more information can be found on the national financial literacy portal.

On the next day, May 26th Youth Entrepreneurship Support and Development Centre (YESDC), CYFI partner in the Flagship project, together with CYFI and Aflatoun organized a seminar for teachers and civil society organizations’ representatives at the National Youth Palace in Minsk. The seminar was aimed to disseminate information about the project and the possible models for delivering financial education in Belorussian schools, using the international experience of other countries. The intensive training on using Aflateen program as one of the methods to deliver financial and social education to children was conducted for more than 25 participants.

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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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Towards the national approach to financial literacy of young people in Bulgaria

CYFI network partner Financial Literacy Initiative Foundation in Bulgaria has been keeping busy, organizing activities and widening its network in order to increase financial literacy for young people in Bulgaria.

‘There is no better present for our children than to help them become happy and successful people. One of the most important skills for success is good financial literacy.’

The Financial Literacy Network now consists of 44 institutions and organizations, made up of public institution, business, academic and media representatives. There is a shared believe in the importance of stakeholder involvement and the move towards a national strategy for financial literacy. Earlier this year, the ‘White Paper on financial literacy in Bulgaria’ was published outlining the best practices in the European Union and other countries, which may serve as a guide for institutions responsible for policy formation and even as a basis for national strategies.

With the Financial Workshops ‘About the money and other important things in life’, the Foundation was able to engage young people by challenging them to play games in which they discussed real life experiences, worked in teams and surfed the net. The manual for this project, designed for 9 – 12 graders, contains 25 financial workshops on ten topics. Pupils learn about personal finance, such as budget, borrowing, investment, risk management and pensions through subjects they enjoy talking about (e.g. love, friendship and travel). The next step to extent the impact of the method is the teachers training in September 2016.

The BG Map of Financial Literacy, containing a database with all Bulgarian financial literacy resources, was created by FLI and its partners to simplify the process or getting access the relevant financial literacy resources. The enhanced usability can increase the scale of the impact. The database can be found at:
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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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CYFI Network Star: Araceli González Rolón

As part of GMW 2016 Araceli develop a workshop with Fundación Paraguaya and Special Olympics in San Miguel, a special educational needs school in Guarambaré City, Paraguay.

‘During the workshop we discussed saving money and other resources in order to help the community to become more sustainable and more importantly help their parents to improve their economy in their own homes. While developing activities during the session, the kids considered that people with disabilities are also capable of finding solutions for all the challenges that society faces nowadays.

We wanted this kids to become change agents in their families and the community. In other to "take part and save smart" first we have to create that spark that we need to be motivated. Surprisingly, these kids were the ones who gave myself and the other workshop facilitators the spark to keep doing what we do and keep working for a more inclusive society through financial education.

I am very thankful that CYFI, Special Olympics and Fundación Paraguaya have given me thousands of opportunities to work for the development of financial education tools, for people with and without disabilities.

GMW throughout these years have joined teams, countries and continents in order to spread our voices and achieve the empowerment of youth through financial education. Thank you very much for letting us grow as individuals and more importantly as agents of change’.

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Keeping an EYE on the financial future of youth!

CYFI was delighted to be taking part in the second European Youth Event (EYE)! The EYE took place at the European Parliament in Strasbourg from 20-21 May 2016 and offered a unique opportunity for thousands of young Europeans to make their voices heard.

During the event, young people exchanged ideas and perspectives on youth-related issues, developed innovative solutions to crucial questions for the future and met with European decision-makers and speakers with a wide range of professional experience.

The EYE 2016 included a large variety of activities run under the motto "Together we can make a change" from a political, social and cultural perspective. Activities focused on five main themes:

  • War and Peace: Perspectives for a Peaceful Planet
  • Apathy or Participation: Agenda for a Vibrant Democracy
  • Exclusion or Access: Crackdown on Youth Unemployment
  • Stagnation or Innovation: Tomorrow's World of Work
  • Collapse or Success: New Ways for a Sustainable Europe

CYFI was one of several organizations facilitating workshops in the Innovation Hub, focusing on youth unemployment, financial inclusion and entrepreneurship. During the "SWOT or Not?" workshop, CYFI spoke with youth from various European countries about their dream jobs, the skills youth need in order to become employed and best practices of NGOs, corporates and public institutions, in order to decrease the rate of youth unemployment. During the “Pitch Perfect” workshop, CYFI worked with a group of young people to give tips and tricks to help strengthen their presentation skills and to perfect their business pitches.

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Conference on public-private partnership in financial education in Moscow

The international conference on the potential and opportunities for public-private partnership in financial education, organized by the Ministry of Finance of Russian Federation, took place in Moscow, Russia on May 19th.

The conference saw the participation of international and Russian experts, regional coordinators of the national financial education program, financial and other private institutions, and other stakeholders.

There was also an award ceremony for the most active partners of the Russian Global Money Week, led by the famous actors and supporters of financial literacy Elisaveta Arsamasova and Artem Korolev.

CYFI Regional Advisor for Eastern Europe spoke at the conference about the international experience of public-private partnerships during Global Money Week in different countries, and the panel discussed various opportunities for broader involvement of Russian private companies and financial institutions in the week and beyond, and the guidelines they need to follow when engaging with children and youth.

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CYFI supports supports financial literacy in Colombia with YouthSave

Child & Youth Finance International was invited by the YouthSave consortium to present on SchoolBank during the official presentation of the YouthSave Colombia results.

CYFI’s Network Advisory Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, Doran Oirbons, presented ways forward for Colombia to financially educate and include young people in the country. The YouthSave offers an outstanding occasion to engage the total financial sector in Colombia. The presentation and SchoolBank were well-recevied during the YouthSave event and CYFI are delighted to work with YouthSave on such a great opportunity.

The role of YouthSave

YouthSave was a five-year initiative to design and test the impact of youth savings accounts in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal. Between 2012 and 2015, over 130,000 youth aged 12-18 opened tailored savings accounts at YouthSave’s four partner banks - accumulating almost $US 1 million in savings. In addition, over 44,000 youth received direct financial education and 48,000 individuals were reached through community-level events.

In Nepal, a radio drama on savings reached an estimated listenership of 660,000. The project was an initiative of the YouthSave Consortium, created in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, and led by Save the Children together with the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, New America, and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP).

Analysing youth savings behaviour

To understand how young people saved over time and what influenced their savings behavior, YouthSave assembled the largest known database of demographic and transactional data on youth savers. The project also implemented the largest longitudinal, experimental study of its kind, examining the impact of the opportunity to open an account on the financial capability, cognitive functioning, health, and educational outcomes of young people.

Additionally, YouthSave analyzed the results of its financial education work in terms of changes in participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to saving, and used qualitative methodologies to explore young account holders’ subjective experiences of saving in order to identify what facilitated savings or presented obstacles. Aside from the multiple benefits related to youth financial inclusion and development goals, YouthSave also examined the business case for youth savings accounts from the perspective of financial institutions.

Read the full event report and find out more about YoutSave here.
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Exploring New Frontiers in Youth Microfinance

CYFI had the pleasure of hosting the panel at the 18th Microcredit Summit in Abu Dhabi on Reshaping the Future of Youth Finance and Economic Citizenship. The panel was held during Global Money Week (GMW) 2016 with CYFI and the Microcredit Summit Campaign forming a strategic media partnership to promote both the Summit and GMW during the week of March 14-18th.

The panel consisted of Ms. Essma ben Hamida, Executive Director of Enda-Inter Arabe in Tunisia, Mr. Tim Nourse, President of Making Cents International and Dr. Khaled Algazawi, CEO of Ebdaa Microfinance Bank in Bahrain. Given the location of the Summit, and the background of the majority of the panelists and participants, the session focused on new frontiers in youth microfinance within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The panelists shared many of challenges they face in scaling their operations and reaching youth with a wider range of financial and non-financial services such as financial education, business management and career counselling. They also hi-lighted a need to more effectively serve young people aged 15-25, as this is recognized as a critical age cohort for economic and social stability in the region. Stories were shared of the countless unemployed and under employed MENA youth idling away their time in cafes, susceptible to the allure of criminal activity or risky migration channels to Europe.

Youth at the Center of Microfinance Innovation

In an effort to make a greater difference in the lives of youth, and to encourage them to seek sustainable livelihoods as engaged economic citizens, microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the region are taking more innovative approaches in reaching out to young clients. Harnessing technological advancements in mobile banking and e-learning was one way to bring financial and non-financial services into the hands of youth through a favourable digital medium. Forming creative partnerships with education providers and civil society organizations also helped MFIs offer integrated financial and educational services that were more relevant and tailored to the needs of their youth clientele. It also allowed them to more easily reach younger, poorer and more isolated segments of the youth population.

The panel also highlighted the important role of religious leaders and civil society organizations in collaborating with MFIs in building economic citizenship amongst young people by instilling a greater belief in themselves and identifying positive ways in which they can support themselves and make a difference in their community. Through the accumulation of financial and social assets, and with the development of essential financial and entrepreneurial skills, young people can take greater control of their futures and contribute more effectively to their families and to society at large. MFIs play an important role in this process, especially in a region affected by poverty, unemployment, conflict and insurgency.

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Jeroo Billimoria speaks about the power of Associations

CYFI’s Found and Executive Director, Jeroo Billimoria, joined Associations from across the globe to speak at the Associations World Congress in Berlin on April 11.

Titled ‘Engaging our future leaders to create long-lasting expertise, knowledge and ethical leadership’, Jeroo’s presentation focused on the many ways in which Associations can engage with young people to promote financial inclusion, development of livelihoods skills and job creation for youth.

Linking the influence of Associations to CYFI’s collaborative systems change approach, Jeroo noted that regardless of their field, all Associations can positively impact the lives of children and youth through collective action.

You can read more about the Associations World Congress here, and read Jeroo’s guest blog post here.

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