After Jeroo’s assistant handed in the Private Public Partnership application at the NL Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Elaine and I collaborated with two other group members in writing Children and Finance, CYFI’s first flagship publication. It’s an annually report on the state of the Child and Youth Finance Movement, highlighting the status quo, successes, and future implementation strategies. Although the first draft of Children and Finance was written last year, our assignment was to reorganize its structure, refine its language, and provide a narrative about the state of the Movement.
First reading the existing publication was daunting. Although many statistics and interesting sources were included, Children and Finance lacked eloquence and smooth transitions vital to a telling publication introducing a social movement for the first time. However, in our first meeting with Jeroo, Bram (operations manager, researcher and our interviewer), and Jared (specializing in the education sector), we were told to create a new outline. It was my first time writing as a group so I was unsure how to best approach the task at hand. I was used to working in GSRs to finish STAT 102 projects and crunch numbers. It was another task to write a coherent paper.
Before proceeding, I decided to understand core elements of the Child and Youth Finance Movement. CYFI’s theory is that there are many organizations that are providing financial literacy curriculums, savings accounts, social education, livelihoods skills, and entrepreneurial opportunities to children and youth. However, these are fragmented and isolated movements that lack momentum and grand scale. Thus, the academic committee of CYFI proposed the Theory of Change: only through comprehensive financial education (i.e. combination of financial literacy, social education, and livelihoods education) and financial inclusion can children and youth be empowered and become economic citizens. Only through a coordinated effort and national/global platforms can the Movement reach its tipping point and reach as many children as possible.
Thus, Children and Finance would be the publication to reinforce the positive progress of existing organizations, engage potential partners’ attention, and convince others that the Movement is vital to our socioeconomic future. We continue to research existing gaps between the economic system and children, discover organizations that provide innovative solutions, and detail CYFI’s implementation strategies. As we move forward, we intend to raise awareness of the lack of resources and existing studies on how children can be empowered through a comprehensive, practical life skills/financial education.