On July 31, 2012, children, youth, teachers, parents, and government officials in Victorias City, Negros Occidental joyfully gathered to launch the Aflatoun Social and Financial Education Program. The day was rainy but the celebration was full of warmth and excitement. More than 300 children participated in the launching with their hearts and minds set to prepare a better future for themselves. Children showcased their talents through song and dance numbers, skits, and speech choir. A video presentation about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children, child enterprises, and child savings was also shown to the parents and children to raise awareness on the goals of the program. Kindergarten kids, with the guidance of their teachers, opened their first savings account, and received their savings passbook. Children felt proud that with $0.47, they can already open an account. Teachers reinforce the savings practice of children inside the classroom through integration of the social and financial concepts in the curriculum.
The Vice-Mayor of the city and the members of the city council also participated in the program launching, and extended their support for the success of the program. The partner cooperative in the school, Victorias Public School Teachers and Employees Cooperative, established a structure to support the child-friendly savings. Furthermore, the cooperative has lined-up some social and financial enterprises for children.
Negros Occidental is one of the provinces in the Philippines with the lowest savings culture. Instilling the values of thriftiness, simplicity, and entrepreneurship to children will eventually lead to a more savings-conscious and productive citizenry.
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Youth Program Officer