Freedom as Financial Literacy

In the words of economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, social progress ultimately envisions “development as freedom”. But how do we achieve freedom?  

One of the faces of freedom is empowerment. Empowerment is the ability to take charge of one’s life.  

Empowering children and youth allows future generations to make informed decisions for a better future. However, enabling youth empowerment in diverse local contexts, requires the contextualisation of initiatives. Given global inequity and the financial exclusion of marginalised communities, empowerment requires a broadening of accessibility to Financial Literacy. As Financial Education becomes the missing link in nurturing local livelihoods, the mission of Aflatoun International is to empower children and youth through high quality Social and Financial Education curricula, contextualised to specific needs and circumstances of communities, countries and regions, in order to reach millions of children and encourage them to be agents of change in their own lives. 

The scope of financial education has evolved across time and space but as part of the Transforming Education agenda, Aflatoun highlights the value of educating children on key 21st century skills, such as financial inclusion, responsible resource management, understanding the value of saving and spending, and entrepreneurial skills so that this aggregated knowledge can mobilise sound or feasible choices for sustainable livelihoods. 

In light of Financial Literacy Month, we share our continued efforts to empower children and vulnerable social groups with the adoption of social and financial education curricula in educational centres where it is most needed. Distinctively, Aflatoun’s network-based presence allows us to engage with local facilitators and educational centres to enhance financial education expertise and capacity building in the face of ever-growing global interdependencies. As financial inclusion and financial literacy become key assets to bridge socio-economic divides and empower local livelihoods, Aflatoun’s long-term solution based and child-centred programmes and contextualise material, offer the necessary tools to empower children and youth, reaching the most vulnerable.  

In our most recent work, Aflatoun continues to highlight the added value of reinforcing financial education curricula to bridge the knowledge gap with early learning programmes, interactive education, parenting programmes or even novel digital financial services to provide cutting edge financial education to all, especially to the those acutely targeted by structural exclusion. 

In terms of digital financial services, Aflatoun is proud to have launched alongside Solve Education! Ed the Learning Bot; the Financial Literacy Programme. Aflatoun’s literacy curricula was added to the already existing AI-powered Chatbot. The newest addition of the Financial Literacy Programme allows children and youth to learn about financial literacy in a virtual, engaging, and fun way. Subsequently, Aflatoun also recently collaborated in designing the content of the Digital Financial Tool KIT UNCDF, a guide to designing gender-responsive digital financial literacy programmes for migrants and remittance recipients. Moreover, in tune with crypto and block chain technology, Aflatoun has been developing a cryptocurrency and block chain curriculum to provide the necessary knowledge for youth to make informed decisions about a safe use of these tools. Under the scope of this project, some partners have expressed their excitement to implement this cutting-edge curriculum.