By Phearun Pove, Children’s Financial Literacy Coordinator CUFA
Each year, CUFA educates 12,000 children on the importance of saving for their future through the Children’s Financial Literacy program. With the program now entering its sixth year, preparations are in full swing for the school year ahead.
With the school year looming, CUFA’s Children’s Financial Literacy Project Officers have spent the holiday period preparing materials and teachers for the new school year. The Children’s Financial Literacy project started in 2008 and since then has educated close to 47,000 children thanks to the fantastic fundraising efforts of the Cambodian Leadership Challengers each year. Children, aged between 7 and 9 years old are taught, through the program, the merits of saving their money and setting financial goals for the future. The project aims give the children the knowledge and skills to achieve a financially sustainable future free from poverty.
Over the past months, four Project Officers from Takeo, Kampong Chhnang, and Svayrieng province have engaged in the school selection process in preparation for the school year that starts in early October. The school selection process involves locating appropriate schools to engage in the program. The schools need to be located close to a savings bank or savings group so the children who will receive the training have somewhere safe and secure to keep their savings. As a result of the school selection process, 17 primary schools in Takeo province, 9 primary schools in Svayrieng province, and 12 primary schools Kampong Chhnang province have been selected for the Children Financial Literacy program in 2013 – 2014.
In addition to preparing for the new school year, over the school break the four project field officers have been engaging in home visits to see how the students have progressed since engaging in the program last year. CUFA project officers meet with the children and their parents at home to explain to them the importance of encouraging their children to save their money for their future. The parents are also encouraged to help their children to open an account with their local savings bank to help their children achieve their long term financial goals. During the school holiday period, project field officers conducted 36 visits to households.In preparation for the start of the school year, project materials have been revised and printed and are ready for use. In addition, teacher workshops have been conducted in the three provinces. The purpose of the teacher workshop is to introduce CUFA and the CFL program to the school director and teacher and explain the duty of both CUFA and the teacher in delivering the program to the children. The importance of teaching children to change their spending habits and to encourage saving is explained to school directors and teachers. The children will be taught the importance of saving and preparing for their future over five lessons delivered throughout the year.
CUFA is looking forward to providing training to another 12,000 children in Takeo, Svayrieng, and Kampong Chhnang province this coming school year. To learn more about the Children’s Financial Literacy program click here