Media Based Financial Literacy is an innovation project in which students in 25 selected secondary schools in Lira received training in financial literacy. The project was developed through a grant contract awarded by ResilientAfrica Network/Makerere School of Public Health in collaboration with USAID in 2016.
It aims to empower the young generation with financial knowledge and skills, using newspapers as a teaching tool. It uses a unique approach where the students are the change agents. The project is mentoring young people to learn to manage their finances and succeed young.
The students then take the lessons into the community, teaching community members the skills learned from the project thus creating not only financially astute communities, but a generation of thinkers and innovators.
The project started off by training secondary school teachers about money matters; how to use newspapers in classrooms and how to transfer knowledge to communities.
Under the project, schools formed financial literacy clubs that received newspapers for eight weeks. Students carried out financial literacy community outreach activities especially to parents, to save money in banks, innovated and manage business enterprises in schools.
This is very significant as it will help communities save school fees, but also enable students, especially if they leave school prematurely, to replicate the enterprises they did in schools or open new businesses to build community resilience.
The New Vision on Friday is used as the main vehicle to deliver financial literacy. Through the young entrepreneur’s New Vision product Pakasa pull-out, students received an endless flow of simplified entrepreneurship content and financial literacy for secondary school students.
The pull-out also provided the school clubs a platform not only to share their experiences, successes, challenges and lessons but also seek expert advice on their business ventures. Students started small businesses and are applying what they learn from Pakasa about managing and growing businesses.
With guidance of the patrons and the content in the Pakasa pull-out, the students are slowly developing their entrepreneurial spirit and work ethics.
We can proudly say that this is a successful pilot project that deserves scalling up to more schools. In six months, 2000 students were directly reached as club members, 50 teachers trained as trainers in financial literacy, 25 small businesses were started in secondary schools and are all making profits, 5000 copies of New vision were delivered weekly to participating schools and Eleven million (11,000,000) shillings so far collected and invested by students themselves.