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Partner of the Week: Plan International

Posted in Partner of The Week on December 15, 2020

Plan International is a global children’s charity whose vision is a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Plan International works with girls and boys growing up in some of the world’s poorest communities, making sure they have access to the education, health care, clean water and future opportunities they need to thrive. Working in over 70 countries, prioritising girls’ rights, advocating for change and empowering communities are just some of the factors that make Plan International unique.

Plan International and Financial Education

Many young people aged 14–25 in developing countries are already economically active but without a basic education in the key tenets of finance. They are therefore not only less likely to maximise the benefits from their economic activity, but also risk making decisions that may result in debt and further poverty over time and into adulthood. Girls in developing countries in particular face many more barriers to education compared with their male counterparts.

Plan International is implementing Aflatoun’s financial curriculum to girls in China and Brazil as part of Credit Suisse’s Financial Education Initiative. This is a partnership between Credit Suisse, Plan International, Room to Read and Aflatoun International. Within the framework of this partnership, Aflatoun International is providing technical expertise and curriculum support for Plan International’s country programmes. The Financial Education for Girls programme aims to increase girls’ awareness of their social and economic rights, and increase their self-confidence and agency over their future choices.

“The Financial Education for Girls programme, among other things, talks about making dreams come true through the development of life skills and competences. I have seen many dreams of the girls being fulfilled, such as being able to save up and buy something or performing well in school presentations.” — Fabiane Serrano, Plan International’s programme manager in Brazil

Plan International began the first phase of implementation in Brazil, China, India and Rwanda in 2014, completing activities and reaching a total of 117,350 girls by the end of Phase 1. Their programmatic approach builds upon learnings from implementation throughout Phase 1 and in Phase 2 (from July 2018) began to expand in China whilst further developing the peer education approach in Brazil.

“I like the Aflatoun methodology and the tools that allow me to be a good social educator. What I find the most striking about the Financial Education for Girls programme is the possibility of making a real impact on young people’s lives. If I talk about Financial Education in the first session, in the next session, the girls already present a piggy bank and reasons to save; If I talk about entrepreneurship in one session, in the next one, they already present me with a business plan. To conclude, even now, in the time of the global pandemic, we have not stopped developing the programme’s Clubs and we see positive results of the programme.” — Fabiane Serrano, Plan International’s programme manager in Brazil

Young entrepreneur Karoline

Karoline (15) lives in a rural community in São Luis, northeast Brazil, with her mother, stepfather and two younger brothers.

Having joined the Financial Education for Girls programme in February 2019, Karoline has learned how to save money effectively, helping her to buy school materials, clothes and toiletry items. She is now a peer educator and helps deliver the financial education curriculum to other students from her school.

As part of the programme, Karoline started an enterprise to make and sell coxinha, a traditional Brazilian chicken pastry. She purchased the ingredients and packaging material with support from the programme before making and selling her coxinhas in school and at an organised fair. The experience helped her learn about business planning, market research, budgeting and marketing. As she is very good at arithmetic, Karoline even helped her classmates complete budgets for their own enterprises.

Karoline used to be very shy, but the programme has helped her become more confident and dream big for her future: “Here I learned to chase my dreams and how to save, so if I manage to work and save then I will be able to go to University and study Law, Medicine or become a policewoman.”

Find out more about the Financial Education for Girls programme here.