Worldwide (120 countries in 2015)
Grade Level of Students Participating
Pre-K to College
(Aflatot 3-6 years); (Aflatoun: 6-14 years); (Aflateen: 15+)
Number of Students Participating per Year
3.9 million (2015)
Year Organization Began
Relationship to the public education system
Work both within and external to public education systems. They also work with NGOs implementing non-formal education programs for out-of-school children and young people.
Organization’s Vision and Mission
In many countries children and young people do not have the knowledge and skills to actively participate and contribute to their societies, which are often characterized by weak education systems, limited social services and reduced employment opportunities. Aflatoun International’s Social and Financial Education allows them to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and inequality, turning dependence into independence.
It is increasingly important that children and young people gain social and financial skills to learn to get along and get ahead in life. By becoming socially and economically empowered they are inspired to discover their talents and stand up for their rights, enabling them to make a positive change for a more equitable world. With the support of a strong network of 192 non-governmental organizations and 28 governments, Aflatoun International reaches 4.1 million children and young people each year in 116 countries.
The organization believes children and young people have enormous potential and have sound judgment, can act on their own, lead others, and work as part of a team. These skills are often underdeveloped in the early years or go unnoticed, despite the profound impact that these abilities may have on their future and the world. Childhood is perceived as a precious time, where exploration, learning and character development are key.
Aflatoun International seeks to harness this early period in a child’s life and give them an educational experience that leaves them with positive associations with money and social change. By teaching basic social and financial skills, and providing them with practical experience, the organization hopes that children and young people will believe in themselves and their ability to make a difference in their lives by providing them with the tools to build a better, more sustainable, future.
Brief Description of Program Activities
Aflatoun specializes in Child Social and Financial Education (CSFE). The curriculum can be contextualized to the region and setting of the students in order to make the learning goals relevant to their circumstances. Aflatoun provides support for contextualization through manuals and training.
The figure below illustrates Aflatoun's Theory of Change (TOC), and how the curricula socially and economically empower children and young people:
Formal Primary School Curriculum: Aflatoun has developed curricula for all of the eight grades that make up primary school for 6 different regions around the world. Each book has 40 hours per year of activities using songs, worksheets, games, and activities that touch on social and financial topics. The key activity is the democratic formation of a children’s club, which requires children to work together, manage their savings, and start small business and community improvement activities.
Aflatoun’s education methodology consists of the following:
- Participatory and experiential learning (learning by doing)
- Use of songs, games and activities
- Eight workbooks with a minimum of 40 hours of interaction per workbook
Core activities include the following:
- Electing a group of class officers
- Creating a savings system (savings box/bank deposit)
- Using ledgers and passbooks
- Visiting banks and other educational trips
- Conducting a financial or social enterprise
Program Content: Intrapersonal Competencies
Aflatoun’s social education begins when children learn to develop confidence in themselves as well as an appreciation of, and empathy for, others. Financial education involves helping children develop skills around saving, planning, budgeting and income generation.
Self-efficacy: Children are given space to be autonomous and learn how to be responsible in spending and saving habits.
Career-orientation: Financial enterprise gives children greater employment options for the future and helps them see enterprise – whether small, medium or large – as a viable career path.
Citizenship and social responsibility: Through the development of small social enterprise and community improvement projects.
Program Content: Interpersonal Competencies
Cooperation, negotiation, collaboration, leadership, teamwork, empathy.
Children are given opportunities to express themselves and to collaborate with peers to solve practical problems, build a financial enterprise, participate in democratic processes and create social change together.
Program Content: Cognitive Competencies
Problem solving, analysis, critical thinking, decision-making.
Aflatoun’s program teaches understanding and knowledge about how children’s rights are expressed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Children learn a broad and positive definition of savings, budgeting and financial decision-making.
Program Content: Attitudes and Values
Financial and social empowerment, individual and social responsibility, community orientation, career orientation.
Program Content: Pedagogy/Active Engagement of Students
Methods of learning include storytelling, song, drama and dance, games, savings clubs, creating financial enterprises and participating in planning community improvement activities.
Teachers are trained by Master Trainers to engage students in Active Learning Methods. These include:
- Brainstorming: Using cluster maps
- Image Theater: For creative self-expression and analytical thinking and to encourage better usage of open and wh- questions
- Problem Trees: For analytical thinking and to facilitate analyses of cause and effect
- Memory Cards: For use in games that require memorization of lesson content and increased concentration
Aflatot is a curriculum on Social and Financial Education for Early Childhood (3-6 years). It is an integrated curriculum incorporating the 3 components of Economic Citizenship Education – Financial Education, Social and Life Skills Education and Livelihoods Education. Other important life skills that are embedded in Aflatot include taking turns, making decisions and setting goals.
Aflateen is a Social and Financial Education curriculum designed for the participants between the ages of 15 and 18. The Aflateen program challenges youth to question their identity and the world around them more. They explore concepts such as age, gender, nationality, ethnicity, socio-economic status and religion. Aflateen also includes the key Aflatoun theme of financial education. After facilitated sessions looking at themes such as identity and finance, young people develop financial knowledge by incorporating practical activities, including savings clubs, enterprise creation, and community activities.
1All information for this summary came from Aflatoun’s website, a phone interview with the CEO in May 2016, the Aflatoun Training Manual and the Aflatoun Evaluation Manual.