In 2014, Plan International launched a new global partnership with Credit Suisse and Aflatoun International; Financial Education for Girls. The programme, delivered in Brazil, China, India and Rwanda, will provide approximately 100,000 girls with financial education and life skills, empowering the next generation of women to achieve better futures for themselves and their communities.
Financial independence for girls
The programme explores how financial education can play a role in helping girls to transition to, or remain in, secondary education and to become successful, economically independent adults.
Together with Credit Suisse, we are working to not only help adolescent girls stay in school, but also to impact their attitudes and behaviours towards money, education and their rights.
Case study: Supporting girls’ ambitions in Brazil
In Brazil, for example, the Financial Education for Girls project aims to reach girls aged 11-14 in the north-east states of Pernambuco, Maranhão and Piauí. Here, girls’ education is not valued highly and many girls are expected to take on work to help their parents. As a result, they are not encouraged to develop skills or make any decisions about their futures. In addition, widespread violence causes girls to keep a low profile rather than speak up and follow their ambitions.
I’ve begun to check the price of goods when going to any shop
Financial Education for Girls operates in 25 secondary schools in Brazil to develop girls’ financial and life skills. Each school has a girls’ club to provide a safe and supportive space for vulnerable girls, allowing them to develop a further sense of their rights and responsibilities, conduct life-planning activities, and start to save money.
“I used to spend all the money I received”
Mariana, 13, has been an active member of the girls’ club at her school in Maranhão for 2 years. “I changed completely after joining the project,” she says. “I used to spend all the money I received from my parents and grandparents, and I spent it too fast. I did not even see what I was using the money for. I’ve begun to check the price of goods when going to any shop and think about what I can do to make money without having to ask anyone or borrow it.”
She has combined the skills learnt during the project with her entrepreneurial spirit and now bakes cupcakes to sell at home and at parties thrown by family and friends. Having been lent a small amount of money by her father to start baking, she now makes a profit and saves part of what she earns so she will be able to go to university, which is her ultimate goal.