MFIs take savings culture campaign to children

Finance technocrats believe that children should start cultivating savings culture early in their childhood so that they can grow with it for a better future.
Clients queue in a city bank. A new project by MFIs could see many children learn savings culture at tender age.  The New Times/ File.
Clients queue in a city bank. A new project by MFIs could see many children learn savings culture at tender age. The New Times/ File.

Finance technocrats believe that children should start cultivating savings culture early in their childhood so that they can grow with it for a better future.

As such, the Association of Micro Finances, Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR) has embarked on a campaign to help children understand the culture of saving from the money they get from either parents or guardians.

According to Peter Rwema, the director of research and development in AMIR, the pilot project to test the possibility was carried out in three Northern Province districts; Rutsiro, Rubavu and Nyabihu.

“It could be nicer if savings culture for is introduced in school curricula, we plan to work with schools, especially teacher training colleges,” Rwema said at a Thursday meeting with educationists to discuss how to help school-going children countrywide with savings.

Teachers to be trained

“What we target mostly is not the money they save; rather, we target promoting the culture of  responsibility among  children, the idea of thinking of saving when they are still young and know that saving is all about sacrificing and it should start early,” Rwema added.

The project to spread the system countrywide will see more than 500 teachers trained.

“It is a good thing to teach children how to save money from their childhood, if we had been taught how to save in their childhood, we would have saved a lot of money we wasted,” said Janvier Ntamuhoza, a university graduate.

Eugidia Mukanyisabyekenshi, a student at Nyanza Teachers’ Training College, said the programme will create change among Rwandans as in the past people would age without any savings in their life.

“We have people in our community who have nothing, not because they gained nothing ,but because they spent everything without any idea of saving. If we inculcate the culture of saving among our children, they will grow with the culture,” she said, adding that teachers are ready to do their best to spread the programme.

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