Inside Aflateen+: Why Aflatoun Developed Education on Financial Literacy and Gender Inclusion
Posted in Blogs on May 23, 2019
Posted in Blogs on May 23, 2019
Aflateen+ is the latest curriculum by Aflatoun International that provides social and financial education with a focus on gender for adolescent girls and boys.
At its core, the curriculum addresses topics on gender inequality and the life chances of adolescent girls who disproportionately have limited access to formal education, health care, and financial capital.
Girls and boys are encouraged to participate in activities that address gender-specific attitudes towards rights and responsibilities, sexual reproductive health, violence, and complex life choices surrounding education, careers, and finance. This is accomplished through gender-inclusive content that takes on a student-centered approach in helping participants explore their own ideas, values, and beliefs.
Philomena Darku was appointed as the Project Officer for Aflateen+ at the Secretariat headquarters in 2019. She works with partner organisations around the world that are implementing Aflateen+ programmes or are incorporating it into existing projects. With her knowledge and experience in development, she assists partners in contextualising Aflateen+ to the local needs of adolescents.
Read along as Philomena provides more insight into the value of Aflateen+ for today’s youth:
Working on Aflateen+
Aflateen+ is a tool and programme for bridging gaps in development initiatives. The hallmark of Aflatoun International is Social and Financial Education, but we needed to add the X-factor, which is being more gender sensitive. My day-to-day activities is putting Aflateen+ out there and getting partners to understand that it isn’t enough anymore to have only Social and Financial Education. Think of gender and empowering more girls. In that sense, it doesn’t also mean you should discriminate against boys but also help boys to understand their relative advantage over girls in some contexts. Adolescents, especially girls, need to be encouraged, empowered, and given the space to innovate and grow. I’m showcasing its added value to development initiatives through program and project implementations that aim to reach as many adolescents, especially girls, as possible.
Social and Financial Education
Every part of Aflateen+ is equally important. I wouldn’t say financial education is more important than gender norms, neither is social education – they go hand in hand. As much as we try to make gender the focus, we do not underplay the other parts of social and financial education. We want people, whether male or female, to come to the understanding that we all do not have the same starting point, resources, and opportunities. Therefore, we need to empower and encourage the less privileged and we also need to give everybody as many chances as they need to put them on the same level at the end of the day.
Our local partners know the people, culture, and context in which they work better. We always advise our partners to contextualise materials to suit the current real-life events and circumstance of their country or communities. It’s important because when programmes reflect the realities of adolescents, it is relatable, better assimilated, and practiced. Contextualization allows identifying the right medium to assist and empower adolescents within the framework of the Aflateen+ curriculum.
Aflateen+ conveys the message that your career paths are not limited by your gender. Our goal is to raise a generation of independent citizens who are equipped to break the cycle of poverty in their family and communities. Therefore, we encourage both entrepreneurship and employability skills. Aflateen+ has a section on enterprise, which makes adolescents aware of both options and provides them with tools to follow either path.
“Adolescents, especially girls, need to be encouraged, empowered, and given the space to innovate and grow.”
Outcomes for Aflateen+
People are becoming more aware of gender issues and knowing that, in the long run, if we go back into communities ten or five years from now people can say, “After I went through the Aflateen+ training or programme, I was empowered to speak to somebody about my sexual reproductive health. After going through this course, I knew I could become a doctor and still like cooking. I’m not limited by what society thinks a woman should be”. I know we are going to get people who would come out to us and say, “I was empowered through your sessions and now I am a farmer, an entrepreneur, a teacher or counselor”. That is what I am envisioning. It keeps me motivated in whatever I do.
Should you or your organization want to know more about Aflateen+, please do not hesitate to contact Philomena Kafui Darku at firstname.lastname@example.org.