FinLit Programming. Kenya

Financial literacy is the basic knowledge, skills and attitudes people can use to adopt good money management practices for earning, spending, savings, borrowing and investing, Nelson and Wambugu (2008). It is starting from the very bottom; developing minds towards valuing the processes that surround money. It is relevant to anyone who makes and or intends to make decisions about money.

As part of Ubuntu.Lab’s intentionality, my contribution to co-creating Africa’s future is in working with children and communities surrounding them: believing firmly that sustainable development is taking care of present generations, so that future generations can take care of themselves. Children have great potential for influencing new change as they easily form into habits through interactive learning. During the training on Theory U, we were required to work on a prototype using the methodology. I consistently followed through prototyping with children on financial literacy, starting off with two boys ages eleven and five back in the village with a few more in Nairobi. This was initially triggered by curiosity and the need to provide a solution to inter- generational financial crisis, socio-economic poverty, faced in many African families. There are numerous cycles of financially poor parents handing the baton to their children and their children’s children. Hopeful that children will grow into things, there have been no deliberate discussions on earning, savings or investments until way into college when you suddenly needed to ‘think outside the box’ to be able to make ends meet.

The outcome is tremendous learning and the power to make informed monetary choices and priorities. These children no longer make demands of things, but are keen on earnings, spend and savings and parents express more support with work around the home or business. At the end of October 2019, the first batch of children to go through the training were allowed to make decisions on how much to spend, save up and or invest based on earnings in the one-year period.

In April 2020 we launched trial zoom classes with a group of 10 students between ages 8 and 14 over a period of eight weeks. This also was more successful than anticipated. There is more control over how money is spent within these households as children help keep accountability.

We are looking forward to expanding to bigger numbers with new learning that will spur growth and minimize threats and weaknesses in this approach. While at this we are also exploring possibilities of engaging youth and women in financial literacy.

Challenges encountered include but are not limited to no developed curricula, inconsistent support from parents and guardians regarding their children’s earnings.

Contacts:

Irene G. Anyango,

Nest Foundation,

www.nestfoundation.africa, irene@nestfoundation.africa, irenenyng@yahoo.com

+254 72 399 6945