The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates to us the value of financial resilience – the ability to withstand and recover from financial hardship. The pandemic has not only threatened our lives, it has threatened our incomes.
A pandemic is an example of an unforeseen circumstance, you never know when it will strike. In personal finance, we understand that such circumstances do happen, such as losing a loved one or losing your job. That is why it is recommended that one should have a financial buffer – an emergency fund. But not everyone is privy to such kind of education because financial literacy is not integrated into the school curriculum.
To promote financial literacy among children and youth, in 2012 the OECD International Network on Financial Education (OECD/INFE) launched a campaign called, Global Money Week. It has now become an annual global campaign. Since its first edition, it has reached more than 170 countries worldwide, including Botswana. However, the uptake from financial institutions and organisations has not been satisfactory.
The Global Money Week is a campaign that runs for a week and seeks to raise awareness on the importance of ensuring that young people, from an early age, are financially aware, are gradually acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitude and behaviours necessary to make sound financial decisions, and ultimately achieve financial well-being and financial resilience. The campaign, therefore, promotes the teaching of financial literacy from an early age through age-appropriate channels.
The official slogan for the Global Money Week campaign is, “Learn.Save.Earn.” The slogan emphasizes the need for children and young people to learn to manage money wisely, develop good saving habits, to earn money for themselves and their families. The 2021 Global Money Week’s theme is, “Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Your Money”. The theme highlights the importance of building financial resilience while staying healthy in the current context of a pandemic. The campaign will run from the 22nd – 28th March, 2021.
This is therefore a plea for financial institutions and all key stakeholders to play their part during this 2021 Global Money Week. I believe every organisation and individual can play a role in ensuring that young people become financially literate. In my view, the most important stakeholder is the parent. Several studies have found that parents have the most influence on their children, hence most money habits and behaviours are learnt at home.
To find more information about the campaign, you can visit www.oecd.org/financial/education.
*Otisitswe K. Tawana-Madziba is the founder of Fin-Edu, a social enterprise that seeks to empower children with financial life skills. Find-Edu is one of the organisations that will be participating in the 2021 Global Money Week Campaign through their programme, “Raising Money-Smart Kids”. For more information contact us at [email protected].