By Phearun Pove, Children’s Financial Literacy Coordinator CUFA
CUFA’s Children’s Financial Literacy program has been teaching children the value of saving and smart financial management since 2008. This knowledge helps empower children, like Dany to achieve a better and brighter future. CUFA’s Children’s Financial Literacy Coordinator, Phearun Pover shares this delightful story.
Ten-year old girl, Dany Pho, currently studies in grade 5 at Trapaing Trav Primary School located in Kampong Ro district, Svayrieng province, about 150 kilometres North of Phnom Penh. Dany comes from a poor family whose parents are rice farmers. Sadly, her younger sister died from dengue fever last year which has left Dany as the only daughter in the family.
Dany is a good student and daughter; she likes studying very much. Each time she comes back from school, she always helps her parents by doing chores around the house such as cooking and washing. Her parents are so happy and proud of her being such a good daughter.Like other children in the village, Dany was not good at saving money. Each school day she receives 500-Riel allowance, about $0.125, from her mother for a snack at school. She would always spend all her money with no sense of saving.
In October 2013, CUFA’s Children’s Financial Literacy program was implemented in Trapaing Trav primary school. Dany was one of the participants attending the program. Having been exposed to the first lesson on money and saving, she realised that what she did with her money before was wrong. Just on that same day when she got back home, she told her mother about what she learnt and immediately asked her mother to buy her a piggy bank. “My mum did buy me a beautiful clay piggy bank in my favourite pink colour the next day; then I started to put my first savings in it. I was so excited,” said Dany with a lovely smile on her face.
Dany’s saving goal is to buy a motorbike in five years enabling her to easily get to the high school located about 10 kilometres away from her home. After a week of her ongoing savings, she noticed that her piggy bank will not be able to hold a large amount of money after saving for a couple of years. On top of this, she also realised that the more she has saved in the piggy bank, the more risk she has in it getting stolen, which really caused her concern.
Just in time, her problem was solved. CUFA’s Project Officer came to Dany’s class for the second session focusing on saving money in a saving bank. She was very happy and found the lesson inspiring so she paid close attention to the lesson delivered by the Project Officer. She had a better understanding of the importance of having her own savings account with the savings bank because it is safe, and she earn some interest on top of her savings. Immediately, she planned to open an account and asked the Project Officer to take her to the savings bank.
In early February 2014, the Project Officer took Dany and her parents to meet with the local savings bank committee. Finally, Dany became a member of the saving bank and she got her first passbook to keep record of her savings. She hopes to have saved enough for her motorbike and she will be able to drive it to her high school. We wish her all the best with her savings.
It costs as little as $3.80 to educate a child like Dany on the merits of saving for his or her future. Learn more about CUFA’s Children’s Financial Literacy program here.