In the last month, together with the partners from Latin America, Aflatoun International held a series of online Facebook events ‘VOICES THAT COUNT: Experiences from our Americas’. The events served as an opportunity to chat live with children, youth, teachers and Aflatoun partners about initiatives that respond creatively to the critical situation of COVID-19.
Ana Yris Guzmán, Co-Founder and Executive President of Nuestra Escuela in Puerto Rico and and Regional Representative of the Americas partners in the Aflatoun Global Board, moderated the sessions. The audience firmly agreed that the dialogue with children was the most striking and inspiring. Ferlianne from Puerto Rico, Isrrael from Ecuador, Regina from Mexico, Isabella from Colombia, and Anthony from Honduras shared about their knowledge on savings and their outstanding entrepreneurship initiatives they took during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These children attend Aflatoun programmes where they acquire social and financial skills, such as how to save, spend responsibly, plan and budget, and how to start their own social enterprise.
Successful social enterprise
Regina, for example, together with her family, started a trading company to support her community. Her enterprise called “Comercializadora de Hortalizas y Frutas Colibrí” distributes organic baskets with vegetables and fruits acquired from local farmers of the San Francisco Tlalnepantla Xochimilco region. This initiative aims to support senior farmers who have limited access to food market. Regina was one of the winners of EDUCA Save and Undertake 2020 Fair.
“I always see the positive in every adversity. When the pandemic started, we could no longer go out to sell and offer our products. I felt very bad seeing senior citizens not being able to sell their products. That is how my venture was born. I have always liked, in addition to making a profit, supporting the community in which I live. That is what motivated me to be involved in entrepreneurship,” Regina says.
Saving to help the community
It is interesting that at this early age, children acknowledge the importance of saving and, unlike many of us – adults, find it an easy task. Nine-year-old Isabela seems to have a great saving strategy:
“Saving is very easy, it just depends on you doing your part; and there are many things to put together, like a one-year goal. You can, for example, choose an object that you want to buy, and you can start saving each coin. And if your parents give you money, you can put half of it to a piggy bank. That is how you can meet that saving goal very quickly. In a month you do the test. For example, you collected 600 thousand pesos: if the object is worth that, then you can already buy what you need so much or dream of having.”
Anthony, who wants to become a doctor in the future, told that he saves in order to support his family. “I plan to buy what my family needs the most: shoes, clothes, food, medicine,” he shared.
Answering the question ‘what would you do to motivate other kids to save from a young age?’, Regina said: “I think that we all need to be motivated by an idea that we like and that helps the community and the people around. That is the way we can make the world better and we can feel good about ourselves for having done something that contributes to our community. That is what would motivate them.”
What did they learn from Aflatoun
Children also spoke about what they learnt by attending Aflatoun Programme. “Aflatoun taught us to take care of and save our resources, to save water and energy, to take care of the forests and the planet, and to save money,” Anthony said.
The conversation with these incredible children taught us a lot, and the most important is that they all feel good about sharing, helping their community through entrepreneurship, and enjoy learning social and financial skills through Aflatoun Programmes.
“We all have the same feeling of sharing our ideas and everything we know with all the people,” Isrrael concluded.
Watch the recording of the session (in Spanish) here.
The session was organised in collaboration with our partners:
Do you want to join our Network in Americas?
Contact our Regional Programme Manager for Latin America and the Carribean Cristina Peña at [email protected]