Virtue of Saving During the Pandemic

Every year the World Savings Day is globally celebrated on October 31, to call attention to the importance of savings as a way to reduce poverty, promote financial literacy, and educate people about saving and managing their finances. Aflatoun International, in partnership with the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI), celebrated this day by carrying out several activities and campaigns under the theme: ‘When you save a bit, big things follow.’

Children and young people at Aflatoun clubs learn the virtue of saving and managing their finances together with entrepreneurial skills as a prominent part of the Aflatoun curriculum. We asked students, “what great things happen when you saved a bit?” and “what did you learn and experience about savings during the COVID-19 pandemic?” We were glad to receive many inspiring stories from children and young people not only about their efforts to earn and save money but about the ways in which they choose to use their savings. From Regina, who started her social enterprise, to Sheryl, who built a house for a widow from her community – read their inspiring stories here.

Teamwork to serve the community

Sheryl, Kenya (Siaya Education Project)

Sheryl is 18 years old and the leader of Aflateen+ club in Kenya. She told us about her initiatives with her teammates at the Aflateen+ club to start a local business in food production. Their goal is to save money for college and help their community.

During COVID-19, they have used some of their savings to build a new house for a villager whose house was in a very poor condition. They also do visits to the elderly in the village to check on their needs. A great example of a social enterprise!

Using our savings to build a house for a widow is the most fulfilling action we have taken so far. We are also very happy to visit the elderly people in our community and provide them with food and love. This project brings people together and strengthens the sense of community! — Sheryl

Handmade goods to help friends in need

Ishara, Sri Lanka (NECY)

Ishara from Sri Lanka described how she used her time off from school during COVID-19 to make bookmarks, bracelets, and wall hangers. She and her classmates earned money by selling the things they had made, opened several bank accounts on their names and donated some of the money to a friend in need.

This work makes us good entrepreneurs, which will help us in the future. — Ishara

Social enterprise to help elderly farmers

Regina, Mexico (EDUCA)

Another successful social enterprise story came from Regina. Together with her family, she started a trading company to support her community. Her enterprise called “Comercializa-dora 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 the 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

Learning about the virtue of saving, planning for future and being financially literate can give young people and children a head start. And there is no better time than these uncertain times of a pandemic to bring awareness to these issues and make sure the new generation has the knowledge and the skills to better tackle the world’s challenges.