November 30, 2018
Room to Read couldn’t have brought quality education to more than 16 million children around the world without our network of committed partners. For the last ten years, Credit Suisse has been an invaluable game changer for more 138,000 children throughout Sri Lanka, Nepal, India; Vietnam, Laos, South Africa; Indonesia and Tanzania.
As we celebrate our ten year anniversary together, we wanted to spotlight the latest project Credit Suisse has supported – Financial Education Life Skills clubs in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.
No matter where you live around the world, financial education is often considered a family matter. If your parents lack financial knowledge, you can miss out on learning about money and savings, and girls in low-income countries are even less likely to learn about these topics due to inequitable gender norms.
Thanks to Credit Suisse, though, girls in Sri Lanka and Tanzania won’t miss out on this critical knowledge. Implemented in 2018, these clubs deepen girls’ knowledge about a variety of money matters, ranging from saving money to enterprise curriculum. All girls at participating schools can join the clubs and learn about a range of money matters through fun, interactive lessons that bring the financial curriculum to life.
In the third club session of the year at Mahabulankulama School, one of the schools benefiting from the pilot program in Sri Lanka, girls learned about developing business ideas. The session started with an activity called “image theater in which students were asked to create groups based on shared interests. The groups then had to come up with a business idea based on their interests and create a frozen image that would help other club members guess what the business was. Some of the ideas students came up with included a hair salon, restaurant, telephone card vendor, and goat herder.
Following the image theater, girls were asked to think about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of their business ideas. After completing this analysis, they also interviewed a local entrepreneur to learn more about how he or she created their business and lessons learned along the way. By the end of the session, students were able to identify entrepreneurship opportunities and important questions to ask if they decide to start a business after completing school.
Financial literacy is truly a life-changing skill, giving girls the power to make informed decisions around budgeting, saving, and life planning. We're incredibly grateful for all of the work we've been able to do with Credit Suisse and even more excited for this new chapter ahead!