Sweet success in Ecuador! Ivonne uses her financial training to turn candy into income with her mother.
Kansas City, MO (May 10, 2013) Two Children International youth are role models for using financial education to escape poverty. Ivonne, from Ecuador, and Aafia, from India, both participate in Aflatoun, Children International's education program that teaches social and financial responsibility. The girls have different backgrounds, but have the same drive, determination and desire to share what they have learned with others. Those traits helped them get where they are this week: finalists in the Child and Youth Finance International's Youth Summit in Istanbul, Turkey.
Sharing financial knowledge among generations: The Aflatoun component of Children International's comprehensive youth program helped 13-year-old Ivonne turn a profit by selling candy and chocolate that she makes with her mother in Ecuador. Ivonne's mother says that she had some experience making chocolate before, but with the skills that Ivonne learned in saving and planning expenditures, they are now better able to make a profit with their small business.
More than pretty decorations – a path to avoid early marriage: Entrepreneurial 17-year-old Aafia sells colorful mobiles she makes from partially recycled materials. That activity is so much more than it may seem on the surface. Aafia used the financial education provided by Children International to avoid an early marriage that would have prevented her education. Aafia explains, "The moment I heard about Aflatoun and that this program offered ways of financial training, I joined the program." Aafia has been financing her studies since she completed 10th grade. She reflects, "I needed this training to plan properly for my future studies. I had already taken the first steps toward financial independence, and with the help of this training, I hope to become even more independent."
Financial education brings more than profit to Aafia – it means freedom from the threat of early marriage in India.
Both Ivonne and Aafia are examples of young women sharing knowledge to empower other women of all ages. Ivonne's knowledge has helped her mother turn chocolate-making into a profitable business. Determined Aafia shares her knowledge with other young women. "I frequently meet and interact with girls in my community and tell them about the pitfalls of early marriage and what I have done to avoid early marriage and how if they want to, they too can avoid it."
Children International's president Jim Cook sees Ivonne and Aafia as "shining examples of exactly what this child sponsorship organization's youth program strives to provide: the tools to help youth escape the traps of poverty."
Established in 1936, Children International is an award-winning humanitarian organization with its headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. The organization has been recognized by Forbes magazine and Consumers Digest as a leading charity. Children International’s programs benefit approximately 340,000 children and their families in 11 countries around the world, including Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico, the Philippines, the United States and Zambia.