Aflatoun International – Child Social and Financial Education

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Freedom as Financial Literacy

Posted in Blogs on May 5, 2023

In the words of economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, social progress ultimately envisions “development as freedom”. But how do we achieve freedom?  

One of the faces of freedom is empowerment. Empowerment is the ability to take charge of one’s life.  

Empowering children and youth allows future generations to make informed decisions for a better future. However, enabling youth empowerment in diverse local contexts, requires the contextualisation of initiatives. Given global inequity and the financial exclusion of marginalised communities, empowerment requires a broadening of accessibility to Financial Literacy. As Financial Education becomes the missing link in nurturing local livelihoods, the mission of Aflatoun International is to empower children and youth through high quality Social and Financial Education curricula, contextualised to specific needs and circumstances of communities, countries and regions, in order to reach millions of children and encourage them to be agents of change in their own lives. 

The scope of financial education has evolved across time and space but as part of the Transforming Education agenda, Aflatoun highlights the value of educating children on key 21st century skills, such as financial inclusion, responsible resource management, understanding the value of saving and spending, and entrepreneurial skills so that this aggregated knowledge can mobilise sound or feasible choices for sustainable livelihoods. 

In light of Financial Literacy Month, we share our continued efforts to empower children and vulnerable social groups with the adoption of social and financial education curricula in educational centres where it is most needed. Distinctively, Aflatoun’s network-based presence allows us to engage with local facilitators and educational centres to enhance financial education expertise and capacity building in the face of ever-growing global interdependencies. As financial inclusion and financial literacy become key assets to bridge socio-economic divides and empower local livelihoods, Aflatoun’s long-term solution based and child-centred programmes and contextualise material, offer the necessary tools to empower children and youth, reaching the most vulnerable.  

In our most recent work, Aflatoun continues to highlight the added value of reinforcing financial education curricula to bridge the knowledge gap with early learning programmes, interactive education, parenting programmes or even novel digital financial services to provide cutting edge financial education to all, especially to the those acutely targeted by structural exclusion. 

In terms of digital financial services, Aflatoun is proud to have launched alongside Solve Education! Ed the Learning Bot; the Financial Literacy Programme. Aflatoun’s literacy curricula was added to the already existing AI-powered Chatbot. The newest addition of the Financial Literacy Programme allows children and youth to learn about financial literacy in a virtual, engaging, and fun way. Subsequently, Aflatoun also recently collaborated in designing the content of the Digital Financial Tool KIT UNCDF, a guide to designing gender-responsive digital financial literacy programmes for migrants and remittance recipients. Moreover, in tune with crypto and block chain technology, Aflatoun has been developing a cryptocurrency and block chain curriculum to provide the necessary knowledge for youth to make informed decisions about a safe use of these tools. Under the scope of this project, some partners have expressed their excitement to implement this cutting-edge curriculum.  

“Students will have the chance to acquire financial digital literacy and become trained citizens, people who know how to move in the different scenarios that technological development makes possible today” — Fundación Gloria de Kriete 

Additionally, Aflatoun is recently expanding the dynamic nature of our financial education materials through gamification, AflaGame. Through the collaboration with a consortium of partners, the gamification of financial literacy will be a novel and enriching tool to increment youth exposure to financial literacy and captivate the interest of the young people by involving interactive, playful features into the practice of financial education.  

Apart from these initiatives, we also celebrated the renounced Global Money Week, an annual global awareness-raising campaign on the importance of ensuring that young people, from an early age, are financially aware, and are gradually acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours necessary to make sound financial decisions and ultimately achieve financial well-being and financial resilience. At the same time, we celebrated Aflatoun Day with enthusiastic regional calls with students from Latin America, MENA, Europe and Central Asia, Anglophone, Asia and Francophone Africa, whereby students presented their local initiatives revolving around sustainability challenges and community building efforts focused on this year’s theme “Sowing the Seed of our Future”  

As of our latest efforts to bridge the gap in financial literacy programmes, Aflatoun participated in the Word Literacy Summit 2023 in which our CEO Roeland Monasch highlighted the significance of financial literacy as part of the United Nations Sustainability Goals on Transforming Education, by sharing the experience of ever-growing efforts to consolidate financial education through national integration initiatives and local NGOs in low and middle-income countries. Subsequently, our Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist also voiced the role of Aflatoun in implementing Randomized Controlled Trials as an impact evaluation method to assess financial education programmes in Mozambique, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe.  

Aflatoun’s efforts persist to ensure empowerment as Financial Literacy, and as the UNDP underlines the three major crises of education; one of equity and inclusion, quality and relevance, Aflatoun pushes to reimagine education to get learners ready to take the future into their own hands and face the global challenges that today’s ever evolving world presents.  

Transformative action calls for equitable education and it is crucial that during this Financial Literacy Month we encourage momentum to push forth the acceleration of quality financial learning for all children, especially to the most marginalised.