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Partner of the Week: Plan China

Posted in Partner of The Week on December 21, 2017

Plan China is one of the implementing partners of the Financial Education for Girls programme, supported by Credit Suisse, which was launched in 2014. Besides being offered in China, the programme is also implemented in Brazil, India and Rwanda providing approximately 100,000 girls with financial education and life skills. By using Aflatoun’s methodology, the programme aims to increase both the financial capacity of participants and their awareness of their social and economic rights, thus advancing their economic situation.

In China, the programme is called Financial Education and Life Skills (FELS) which has been implemented in 26 middle schools and one vocational school across 18 townships in Guangnan County, province of Yunnan. Guangnan is a poverty-stricken county within Yunnan. Its main industry is agriculture, and with limited livelihood opportunities most young parents choose to become migrant workers in urban areas, leaving their children in the care of grandparents or neighbouring relatives. Often these caretakers tend not to have the physical ability or financial means to look after the children.

The programme works with both girls and boys, but prioritises the impact on girls, given their vulnerable status. Approximately 26,000 children (aged 12-15), 75% of whom are left-behind by migrant worker parents, receive FELS as part of the programme, through weekly dedicated class­room sessions, which are welcomed by the pupils.

Research into the case in Guangnan, China, shows that lack of confidence in the future is a particular issue for girls who are left behind by their migrant worker parents. FELS, alongside career guidance, can enable them to overcome marginalisation through a participatory approach which boosts their confidence and improves their interpersonal skills. Combined with career guidance, this broadens the girls’ perception of their horizons and allows them to envision a future beyond the traditional route of becoming a migrant worker.

Through this research, Aflatoun International, Plan International and Credit Suisse hope to contribute to knowledge around the effectiveness of financial education for adolescent girls. Next year the partners continue with the Financial Education for Girls programme in China and Brazil, and Room to Read will implement in Tanzania and Sri Lanka.