Banking On The Future: Children’s Financial Literacy In Cambodia

Bank Teachers Mutual Bank Limited
Client Credit Union Foundation Australia (CUFA), a development agency focusing on alleviating poverty in Asia-Pacific
Location Cambodia

The goal of Credit Union Foundation Australia’s (CUFA) Children’s Financial Literacy (CFL) Program is to provide financial literacy lessons to children in order to encourage them to develop good savings habits from a young age.

Additional funds from Teachers Mutual Bank Ltd. means CUFA can extend the reach of its programme into new schools and new locations, and the bank can build on an existing, successful education model.

In 2016, Teachers Mutual Bank invested $60,000 in the programme. This allows CUFA to deliver the CFL to 40 new primary schools with approximately 10,000 children (aged 7-12) from the provinces of Kampot and Prey Veng, as well as Takeo and Kampong Cham. It is anticipated that 500 classrooms will be reached, involving 200 teachers.

‘Early intervention is the most effective way to create sustainable futures for economically disadvantaged children and their families. Teachers Mutual Bank’s support makes a huge difference to the opportunities for young people in those Cambodian communities.’ Dr Peter Mason, Chief Executive Officer, CUFA

The programme is delivered by trained project field officers who bring educational materials into the classroom to help the children engage with financial concepts.

The materials feature cartoon character, Ronnie the Riel. (The Riel is the currency of Cambodia). There are print and digital resources with interactive games delivered on tablet devices. The tablets are maintained by CUFA field officer staff and are not left at schools.

Through the Children’s Financial Literacy Project the CUFA field officers aim to:

  • Build the level of understanding about the value of saving and teach basic financial literacy skills to children;
  • Link children to their local savings banks;
  • Encourage children to increase their savings either at home or with their local village savings bank;
  • The programme also aims to indirectly develop the wider community’s understanding of financial literacy through the children.

CUFA’s measurement of Social Return on Investment (SROI) indicates that Teachers Mutual Bank’s investment will generate an additional $156,000 of social value.

In addition to classroom financial literacy lessons, CUFA field officers conduct stand-alone school director/teacher education workshops with each school to enable school directors and teachers to provide regular support to the program.

To encourage and support students to develop smart saving habits, the programme also includes home visits in which CUFA project officers conduct sessions with students’ parents. These sessions reinforce the important messages that students are taught in class and encourage parents to support their children to save.