For Immediate Release
Monday, 21st March 2023, Lusaka. As Zambia joins the rest of the world in commemorating Financial Literacy Week, which runs from 21st March to 27th March under the theme "Plan Your Money, Plant Your Future," World Vision Zambia is deeply concerned about the poor financial literacy amongst women and men in rural areas which is limiting inclusive growth, financial resilience, and gender equality outcomes.
World Vision Zambia has therefore called for gender-inclusive financial literacy training and interventions from all stakeholders so that women and men are sufficiently financially literate to participate effectively in economic activities. This will also help them take appropriate financial decisions to improve household resilience and child well-being in line with the 2019-2024 National Strategy on Financial Education for Zambia.
World Vision Zambia, Technical Programme Manager for Enhanced Livelihood and Resilience Sam Tembo says the organisation will commemorate this year’s theme with an emphasis on providing both women and men access to the financial literacy knowledge and skills required to manage their money and save for the future.
“There is a need to promote holistic Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) outcomes if the country is going to quickly realize the national strategy on financial education for Zambia, which seeks to empower Zambians with knowledge, understanding, skills, motivation and confidence to help them to secure positive financial outcomes for themselves and their families. Currently, there is global evidence that when women are financial contributors to the household income, investments in children’s health and education also increase,” he says.
“We, therefore, call upon all stakeholders to include a gender lens on how they implement financial products and services, not just financial literacy, in order to promote holistic WEE outcomes - women’s economic advancement, access, agency and equitable systems,” he adds.
Mr. Tembo further said that in line with this year’s theme, the organisation reaffirms its commitment to supporting rural communities across the ten provinces with basic financial knowledge through financial education training and the implementation of Savings Groups using the World Vision Model called ‘Savings for Transformation’.
In 2011, World Vision Zambia supported only 16 groups of 500 savers who collectively saved about ZMW 8,268. Over the decade, the organisation has supported the formation of over 5,000 Savings groups across Zambia of over 90,000 savers saving collectively about ZMW 30 million.
“World Vision Zambia has been able to plant and build a savings culture among rural communities in the areas we operate. Savings groups have become the foundation of all livelihood implementation after Empowered World View or mindset transformation training,” says Mr. Tembo.
To solidify this foundation, WVZ developed a simplified Financial Literacy Manual for Savings Group promoters in the community to teach Financial Education since 2018.
Through this, community members have learned how to budget and finance their businesses through both formal financial service providers and informal ones like savings groups,” Mr. Tembo says.