Hyderabad, Telangana, India:
MoneyGram International, a leading global money transfer company, and American India Foundation (AIF) have partnered to expand AIF’s Financial Literacy Program (FLIP), to build a financially aware and empowered India. This partnership aims to educate and empower 2000 children studying in grades 11th and 12th and 80 teachers from across 20 under-resourced Junior Colleges in Hyderabad, Telangana. Executed by AIF’s flagship education program – Digital Equalizer, the initiative commenced with an inaugural event at the office of the Director and Commissioner of School Education, Hyderabad today.
With the world’s youngest population, India is poised to reap the demographic dividend, if the youth is capacitated to make sound financial decisions, build assets and achieve their personal goals. Spurred by the pandemic, the country has also seen a paradigm shift and uptake in digital transactions and payment infrastructure. India’s youth offers both a workforce as well as a market and the country is set to make economic gains, provided the youth is financially literate and understands efficient financial management.
As the future of the country and the gatekeepers of the booming economy, high school students must be imparted a deep knowledge of money matters including foundational concepts related to banking and finance. Addressing these emerging needs, the initiative is designed to transact real-life financial skills to school students, to drive holistic development and awareness about the importance of safeguarding earnings and prudent investments to ensure a dignified life.
FLIP also offers industry exposure to students through interactive employee engagement sessions such as guest lectures during financial enterprise workshops (FEW), grant presentations during college fairs, and creative role-modeling interactions during career counseling modules.
Attending the event today at Hyderabad, Naved Ashraf, Regional Head of South Asia, MoneyGram said, “MoneyGram and its employees have been inspired by our customers’ drive to create better opportunities for their families. A lot of times, in order to provide for their families, parents have to take the difficult decision to leave their children behind to live and work in other countries. This initiative aims at helping children learn about the management of money and to increase their financial literacy. We are extremely happy to be here today to inaugurate MoneyGram’s global giving grant to support AIF’s program, with the mission to demonstrate MoneyGram’s passion for educating young minds. We are also excited to be able to see the start of the new school term with all these children that are inspired by creativity and knowledge of open minds.”
Along with empowering students in 20 government junior colleges and building the capacity of 80 teachers to integrate financial education within the existing curriculum, FLIP will educate youth on the importance of financial literacy and management, and concepts of budgeting and saving to help them make informed choices. The program will further prepare students for the National Centre for Financial Education (NCFE)’s NFLAT (National Financial Literacy Assessment Test), which encourages school students in grades 6th to 12th, to acquire basic financial skills necessary to make effective financial decisions through each stage of their lives.
At the inauguration, lauding the effort, Smt. A. Sridevasena, IAS, Director and Commissioner of School Education, Hyderabad, said, “Financial Literacy project would empower our students to make informed and wise financial decisions. We can expect to spill over the same with their communities as well. The school education department is glad to partner with MoneyGram International and American India Foundation in implementing Financial Literacy Project in 20 Govt. Schools. We wish that the program can be extended to more schools in the near future.”
Mathew Joseph, Country Director, AIF, said, “We’re committed to leveraging India’s demographic dividend and preparing them to be future-ready. Money matters are central to our lives. We don’t just transact for education, but for what we eat, the clothes we wear, and the technology we use. With our partnership with MoneyGram, we hope to build their agency to make informed decisions concerning their careers and investment. FLIP will build financial capabilities in young people, to ensure security and stability for their families and overcome intergenerational poverty as well as increase their access to financial institutions, products, and markets.”
FLIP is a signature offering launched in 2014 under AIF’s award-winning flagship education program – Digital Equalizer (DE) to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities. To date, FLIP with support from multiple donors has reached 14,000 schools and impacted 663,455 students across 10 states of India.