Chronicles Of A 30 Year Bachelor: Each One Teach One!

“Each one teach one…because freedom (financial) is free” this line keeps playing in my mind.

The money month campaign continues in the district of Quthing and today we visit 4 high schools in our quest to drive financial education. Walking into the school hall, I was taken aback  with how full the hall was and the high excitement levels of the learners. If more of us could be this excited about talking about money, I believe a lot of financial distresses could be avoided.

The interpretation of the theme ” Learn. Save. Earn” was broken down into 3 segments- impromptu speech, song and poetry. The goal was for the students to learn about money matters, to start saving and making their money work for them (in the long term). When working with the youth, it’s key to tailor your program to keep them engaged. A highlight for me was the impromptu speech competition (for obvious reason ) and off course I listened attentively. This segment had five topics covering some of the key lessons to imparting financial literacy- insurance, financial institutions, banking, savings and economic growth. Each learner was given a minute to gather their thoughts, prepare then deliver 3 minute well structured speech. And boy did they rise to the challenge!

Although not all speeches were delivered eloquently, I was impressed with the confidence and how much the learners knew about money matters, why they need to save and their understanding of investing. It was exciting to witness them speak about why insurance is important, it’s benefits, why they need to work with registered financial services providers and how corruption hinders economic growth. Following the impromptu speech competition, the learners entertained the audience to song and dance, also centered around the theme.

Just when I thought the impromptu was “lit” the poetry session raised the bar to “life changing status ”. It was a refreshing experience to see how the learners interrupted their relationship with money through poetry. The talent in this district is incredible. I witnessed lines such as “everything is measured by money ” “money is the route of all evil ” “you can’t save what you don’t have” “I work hard to save and invest”. I witnessed dramatic illustrations of why money is important, the eagerness to save, invest and earn. I’ll admit that standing up in front of an audience is scary, but these learners knew no boundaries. They stepped up, took charge and owned the stage. Oh my goodness!

Today was a reminder that we are responsible for teaching our youth how to be responsible with money. It was a reminder that we need to be very intentional about being financially savvy. It’s up to us to teach one child about money matters and hope that we teach them all.

How can we do this?

Let’s start talking openly about money at home by involving them in the budgeting process. Let’s teach them to save and encourage them to put away at least 15% of their pocket money (if they receive such) e.g. M7.50 for every M50.00. This way we are developing good saving habits, that will benefit them in the long term. It would be even amazing to pay their weekly pocket money into a bank account or mobile money wallet” so as to encourage accountability and a stronger relationship with money.

As this session comes to the end, I am excited about the work we have done and hope that the seed has been planted. I am proud of the initiative (although not enough done) that has started and hope that the results of today will change how the residents of Quthing relate with money.

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