Aflatoun

For starters, the word "aflatoun" is of Arabic origin and refers to "the explorer," a person who thinks, explores, investigates, and acts.  It also refers to Plato, known for his ideas and ethics, citizenship, social justice, respect, conservation, friendship, and love for fellowmen (!).

NATCCO is implementing the Aflatoun concept in the Philippines in partnership with Aflatoun Child Social and Financial Education Organization, formerly Child Savings International based in Amsterdam.  The Program is being implemented in selected schools in the Philippines in partnership with local cooperatives, the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), and the Department of Education (DepEd).

We have always been committed to increase young people's participation in cooperatives, whether as member-patrons, savers, and especially, as active participants in cooperative governance.  Through Aflatoun, we aim to produce young and responsible citizens.

Poverty is one of the reasons why the majority of the children worldwide are deprived of many of their rights.  In the Philippines approximately 31% of the population, or 27 million) are aged 7 to 17 years.

  • 4 million are engaged in economic activity, and three fourths of these working children are in rural areas
  • Of the 4 million working children, 1.5 million had stopped/dropped out of school because of insufficient family/household income
  • 2.6 million are laborers and unskilled workers
  • Of the 4 million, more than half work for one to four hours per day, and 37.7% work for five to eight hours per day.  Six out of ten children make less than $US10 per week.

Is this what we want our children and young people to go through?  Is this how we want them to grow up?  NATCCO seeks ways to help the youth prepare for a better life ahead while still enjoying the moments of their being young.

Child savings schemes were piloted in India to tackle poverty in its earliest stage.  Children were taught how to handle money responsibly.  Today, more than 70,000 children in India are enrolled in child savings schemes.

With the success of the India experiment, organizations from different countries, including NATCCO, were invited to the CSI headquarters in Amsterdam to discuss the opportunity of implementing the concept in their countries.

NATCCO brought the Aflatoun Concept to the Philippines and translated it to a program in its network.  It initially identified member cooperatives like the Baao Parish MPC in Camarines Sur  and Cordova Multi-Purpose Co-op in Cebu to start the program in 2006.  More cooperatives have joined the program in the following years.  The cooperatives thus become the depository of the schoolchildren's savings.

How does NATCCO collaborate with the cooperatives for the Aflatoun Program?

  • NATCCO presents the Program to the cooperative; the cooperative chooses public elementary schools near it that can be possible partners
  • NATCCO requests the DepEd Division Office regarding the Program's implementation in the chosen schools.  A DepEd National Memo No. 228 Series of 2008  already approved for the nationwide implementation of the program.
  • In coordination with the DepEd Division and District offices, NATCCO and the cooperative work for the implementation of the program in the area
  • NATCCO conducts Aflatoun Program Teachers' Training, as they will be the ones to train the children the concepts and skills of social and financial education.

Once the program is in place in a particular school:

  • The Aflatoun lessons are integrated in the Values/Character Education and TLE/THE Subjects as stated in the memo.  However, the teacher can use the Aflatoun manuals in any subject areas where the Aflatoun lessons best fit
  • Aflatoun program uses the Child-Friendly banking approach wherein:
  • Enrollment in the savings scheme is voluntary
  • Saving process in the classroom is operated by an Executive Committee
  • Accounts are registered in both personal passbooks and individual ledger
  • Deposits can be made on weekly basis
  • Deposits and withdrawals exceeding a certain amount should be explained
  • Parents can encourage their children to save but cannot participate directly in the savings scheme
  • The depository coop regularly sends a collector to the schools for the children's deposits

Let us all work to empower our children to become responsible, proactive citizens who can contribute to breaking the poverty cycle, and to improving their own quality of life.  Children can be powerful agents of social and economic change.  And let them have fun while doing it, through the Aflatoun way!

 

 

 

ETC Contact Info

For Inquiries:

Training Group
913.70.11-15 loc 220
703.2526 | 912.5617 fax
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NATCCO-MASS-SPEC Consultancy
913-7011 Loc. 260
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.