Global Money Week is an annual event that aims to promote financial education and inclusion for children and youth worldwide.In collaboration with Kenya Bankers Association and several banks in the country, we organized a job shadowing program during Global Money Week for university students living with disabilities and high school students. The theme for this year was “Plan Your Money Plant Your Future.”
This theme aims at raising awareness about the importance of adopting a responsible, informed, and forward-looking approach to making financial decisions. It also recognizes that future individual financial well-being is strictly linked to the health of the planet and society as a whole.
The GMW2023 Global Launch represented an opportunity to weigh the importance of thinking about one’s future when making financial decisions but also – from a wider perspective – the importance of financial education as an instrument to favour more sustainable and inclusive growth.
We were able to engage 96 students living with disabilities from USIU-A, Kenyatta University, Multimedia University, Zetech University, and Masinde Muliro University, the objective of the program was to provide the students with practical experience in the financial sector and to promote financial inclusion for individuals with disabilities. We also had 48 students from five different high schools.
The students were from form 1 to form 4 and are members of the Junior Achievement Club in their respective schools. The schools included Kibera Girls Soccer Academy 10 students, JM Nzima 4 students (South Africa), Kariobangi North Girls High School 14 students, Kenya High Girls School 10, and Nova Pioneer Tatu Girls 10 students. The students were engaged by more than 200 Volunteers and mentors from the organizations.
With that, we carried out a Job Shadow Program throughout the week to provide students with an opportunity to job shadow employees in the financial sector, to expose students to the various roles and responsibilities in the financial sector, and to promote financial inclusion for individuals with disabilities.
We collaborated with several organizations in the country to organize a job shadowing program during Global Money Week they include, Light for the World, Madison Insurance, NCBA Bank, ABSA Bank Kenya, KCB Kenya, ABC Bank, Ecobank Kenya, Postbank, Guardian Bank, Housing Finance Company, DIB Bank, Bank of Baroda. These banks took the students through their day-to-day activities showing them the different career opportunities available in banking and educating them on financial literacy.
The students went through a series of activities where they shadowed the various employees getting to understand their roles and responsibilities in the organization, matched students with employees who provided them with an opportunity to observe and participate in their daily tasks and activities, mentorship sessions with the top management of the organization, provided students with an opportunity to network with bank employees and to learn more about the financial sector, and focus group discussions that enabled the students to interact with each other and give feedback to their hosts.
The job shadowing program organized during Global Money Week had a significant impact on university students living with disabilities. It improved students’ understanding of the financial sector where the program provided them with practical experience in the financial sector, which helped them to better understand the various roles and responsibilities in the industry.
The program helped to increase students’ confidence in their abilities to pursue careers in the financial and insurance sector. Students had an opportunity to network with the employees, which helped them to build their professional networks. The program helped to promote financial inclusion for the students by providing them with an opportunity to gain practical experience in the financial sector.
The 2023 Coast Region Social Innovation Relay Competition was also launched in collaboration with NCBA Bank and JA Kenya during Global Money Week. NCBA mentors engaged students in financial literacy and took the students through a mentorship session on financial planning.
All the Participants had an opportunity to gain practical experience in the financial and insurance sector. The program had a significant impact on the students, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to promote financial inclusion for individuals with disabilities.
We are grateful to the companies that partnered with us to make this program a success, and we hope to continue our collaboration in the future. Junior Achievement programs thrive with the skills of volunteers who share their enthusiasm, helping students find a belief in themselves to take ownership of their future.