“Money is for big people, children don’t have to worry too much about it.” Such is the perception that many school going children have about money. Older children including young teenagers feel intimidated by banking halls believing that it is reserved for adults. Barclays Bank of Botswana believes that it is important to break this perception and educate young children about money, financial responsibility and their positive development in a fun and interactive way.

Barclays bank, in partnership with Stepping Stones International (SSI) in Mochudi began an innovative partnership to take the world of money and finance to children at 10 schools across Botswana.

“Aflateen is an exciting interactive program that is designed to develop children and youth to become conscientious, responsible adults. It gives them exposure to Social and Financial Enterprise; Saving and Spending; Planning and Budgeting; Personal Understanding and Exploration; and Rights and Responsibilities. The project will serve as a pilot for school-based Aflateen programming,” Yodit Molosi, Barclays Community Relations Manager revealed.

She said the implementation of the program will include the training of two teachers from each school who will then launch the program in their respective schools. Aflateen clubs will be established at each school with the supervision and guidance of the teachers and the support of Barclays employees who will also receive training on the program.

“Training began late January with Mahalapye JSS, Molepolole JSS and Palapye JCSS, and in February teachers from Bokamoso JSS, Tlhomo JSS, Artesia JSS were trained. The programme will continue in Francistown next week together with the remaining schools being Kgosi Mpe JSS, Setlakgosi JSS, Maun Secondary School, Makhubu JSS and Moeng College,” she added. According to her, the Ministry of Education and Skills Development is considering the programme for inclusion in the national curriculum, which she said would potentially benefit all school-going youth in the country.

Stepping Stones International is a not for profit entity that offers youth, in their most difficult years, the opportunity to gain a new perspective on their lives and harness their true potential in addition to reducing the cycle of poverty. Through an innovative after school and community outreach programme SSI youth have attained essential skills to survive and thrive in even the most challenging circumstances. The SSI approach is unique in Botswana as there are no other programmes of its kind targeting youth ages 12-18 years and above in a holistic manner.

Barclays Bank of Botswana and SSI have been in partnership since 2009.