Monday 28 November 2011

Presenting Aflatoun! A Social and Financial Curriculum

When my brother and I were teenagers, my dad always liked to say, "Treat your credit card like your debit card." That meant to pay it off in full every month and if you couldn't afford something, you wouldn't charge or buy it. I also opened my first savings account at six years old at Kinecta Federal Credit Union (the account still exists today!). Both my brother and I graduated college debt-free (albeit normal student loans) with solid credit scores and emergency savings.

It doesn't matter how much money you have; it's how you manage it (we see rich celebrities go bankrupt after earning more money that most of us see in a lifetime). Money habits are formed at a young age and learning financial literacy in childhood can set you up for a lifetime of monetary security.

Children under 14-years-old comprise 40% of the population of Cameroon. Thus, my latest Peace Corps project involved the expansion of Aflatoun, a social and financial literacy program for youths.

Aflatoun is the name of a friendly fireball that teaches everything from equal rights to savings to enterprise creation (and yes, he has his own music video). This is all done through child-friendly activities and savings clubs.

The past three days were spent performing a Training-of-Trainers as a teacher that implemented the program last year traveled to help us out! During the training, teachers and youth leaders went through the same activities as the children will go through as well as debated about equality, cultural diversity, etc.

As you can see, the training sessions are highly interactive!

Giving a calabash gift to our Aflatoun trainer (middle) as a representative of the Ministry of Education (left) looks on

Congrats to all the participants!

*As of July 2012, 135 students across three schools are participating in the Aflatoun program in the Adamawa region.  Plans for the 2012-2013 school year will include expansion to 1,000+ students in the region!

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