My organization, in October last year, started to build up financial literacy competencies among children and youth (age 13 to 19 years) throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, thanks to our partnership with UNICEF (more information). Working on that and wanting to do much more in the field of youth financial savviness and literacy, I was immediately drawn to the NGO Academy Regional program workshop “Empowering others to become financially savvy”. I wanted to learn more about interesting, creative, and playful ways of teaching children and youth how to become financially savvy. I wanted to learn how can I, using a similar approach as FLiP, educate children and youth throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, how to become financially savvy?
Since I came back from the elective course, I conducted one workshop for adolescents aged 15 – 19 , in which I used many of the materials which FLiP generously shared with us in open-source format. My workshop was attended by 35 participants who showed a great amount of interest in the topic . I have explained to them that financial literacy, as an educational competence, was tested for the first time in the OECD / PISA 2012 study. The analysis of the data obtained by the questionnaire on previous experiences of young people in managing financial instruments (such as loans, stocks, bonds, etc.), as well as on situations in which financially sound decisions need to be made, and which followed the financial literacy test within the PISA study, showed that future generations will be far more and much earlier faced with making financial decisions. The same study showed that the number of 15-year-olds who have a bank account ranges from an almost unrealistic 90% in Slovenia and New Zealand to 37% in Croatia and 25% in Slovakia. The lowest percentage of students with a bank account is in Poland and amounts to 15%. In “my group”, less than 10% of youth had a bank account. The OECD / PISA 2012 study has recommended that the development of competencies for financial literacy should have its place in the education system, as is already the practice in many European education systems. Financial literacy education should be introduced as a cross-curriculum competence. It is necessary to conduct a series of campaigns that will raise awareness of what it means to be financially literate and why it is important, including the promotion of protection against financial risks. So, the need to teach youth about financial literacy and financial savviness is undoubtedly important. It is equally important to find interesting and attractive teaching methods adopted to the Bosnia and Herzegovina reality and context.
In my “financial literacy” workshop (which was based on the FLiP methodology), we started with the reality check, then moved to the areas of budgeting,before learning about basic “financial literacy” terminology.
Here are some photos from that workshop held last month:
We found the FLiP approach amazing as it allows children and youth to learn about finances while they are having fun.
My colleagues and I are now working on modifying the FLiP model / FLiP approach to the local conditions. At this moment, we obtained UNICEF financial support, through which we will establish an online “Financial literacy” platform for children and adolescents. Through that platform, children, and youth will be able to use an online, self-paced, open-source course on financial literacy for adolescents, which will be created and will be available for use to anyone interested in this topic. Currently, through the UPSHIFT program with UNICEF, targeted adolescents and youth are already learning certain financial terms they needed for the implementation of their projects. After we develop and establish a separate platform, this knowledge will be available to everyone and not just the winning teams.
At the end of this short story, I want to thank NGO Academy for awarding us with the opportunity to learn from amazing and rich FLiP experience.
Dijana Pejić, executive director
Genesis Project, Bosnia and Herzegovina
About Genesis Project
Genesis Project is a non-governmental, non-profit humanitarian organization, set up in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in June 1996, with the main goals to educate children and adults about the tolerance, coexistence, child safety, violence prevention and injuries prevention. The Genesis Project is working in the field of conflict prevention and peacebuilding, also promoting the environmental protection, gender equality and healthy life styles.
-> As of September 2023, their website is currently being revamped. Make sure to check back at a later point!
About NGO Academy Member Stories
NGO Academy currently has more than 560 member organizations operating in 14 countries including Austria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. All these organizations are giving impulses for civil society and they are the heart and soul of the NGO Academy Network. Year after year, we see great social innovations and projects coming to live in NGO Academy Member organizations. With NGO Academy Member Stories, we want to open the floor to these projects, enable organizations to learn from each other and to connect our NGO Academy members.