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Posted in News on November 2, 2020

 Every year 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), takes an active part in the celebrations for this day and carries out several activities and campaigns to advocate social and financial education for all children and young people.

This year the World Savings Day is celebrated under the theme; `When you save a bit, big things follow.` WSBI encouraged people to share their saving stories, asking why and how they save, as a way to bring awareness to the topic and inspire others. Especially in the backdrop of a pandemic, the topic of saving and managing finances has become more relevant than ever.

World Savings Day celebrations at Aflatoun International started with an online kick-off event on 19 October. In this event, Our CEO, Roeland Monasch, gave a speech titled; `When children learn to save, big things follow` focusing on the importance of learning to save at an early age. Iona Bain, a UK-based writer, speaker and broadcaster specialising in young people and finance, talked about saving in an uncertain world.

Children learning how to save at an early age

Children and young people at Aflatoun clubs learn the virtue of saving and managing their finances together with entrepreneurial skills as a part of their curriculum. In this context, we also asked our Global Partner Network to ask children and young people: what great things can happen if you save a bit? And Tell us what did you learn and experience about savings during the COVID-19 pandemic?

We have received inspiring stories from children and young people about their efforts to earn and save money. Sheryl from Kenya (Siaya Education Project) told us about her initiatives with her teammates at the Aflateen+ club to start a local business in food production. During COVID-19, they have used some of their savings to construct a new house for a villager whose house was in a very poor condition.

“This is the most fulfilling action we have taken so far, apart from visiting the elderly in the society and providing them food and love,” says Sheryl.

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

“This work makes us good entrepreneurs, which will help us in the future,” Ishara notes.

Note from our Ambassador 

Lastly, on this years World Savings Day, 31st of October, our ambassador, Inessa Kaagman who is a Dutch professional football player, took over our Instagram account to celebrate with us. Inessa shared her personal experiences about saving, talked about how she manages her finances since an early age and discussed the importance of saving, budgeting and standing up for oneself. “The most challenging thing for female football players is that we do not earn enough to live through our whole life. Next to our job we need to study or find a job after the football career. That is why I find it very important to learn how to save,” says Kaagman.

World Savings Day is an important day to promote financial literacy. Financial and entrepreneurial skills provide young people with the tools which can make them agents of change in their lives. This, in turn, can create a positive and powerful ripple effect in their communities. Support us in providing social and financial education for children and young people, especially those who are the most vulnerable.