Pirouettes and other new tricks help teach financial literacy to Latin American youth

Pirouettes and other new tricks help teach financial literacy to Latin American youth

Dancing, an innovative way to teach Latin American youth financial literacy. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lluisr/195541498/sizes/m/in/photostream/">lluisribes (flickr)</a>
Dancing, an innovative way to teach Latin American youth financial literacy. Photo: lluisribes (flickr)

The Multilateral Investment Fund is turning Latin American governments' agendas into action to improve financial literacy among youth.

Poor financial literacy is the major economic obstacle to young people's success, Miguel Angel Carreon of the National Youth Institute of Mexico told the Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference last month. The Multilateral Investment Fund's "Give Youth a Chance: An Agenda for Action," a retrospective report presented at the conference, looked back at the group's 18 years of financial literacy experience in Latin America. Past challenges informed key components of the new strategy, including tailoring programs at a much more local level and developing youth skills trainings based directly on in-demand jobs.

A number of programs funded by the MIF have shown a potential for replication, like in Rio de Janeiro where the Galpão Aplauso program is working on developing workplace skills using the performing arts in favelas. The program's goal is to transform "disaffected social beneficiaries into active members of society accepted by the labor market." Initial results have been positive, especially for the most at-risk youth entering the job market.

The MIF hopes their new, tailored models will reverse the trends of financial literacy and get youth, dancing or otherwise, into jobs.

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