I recently got an opportunity to meet Prakash Koirala in Kathmandu, Nepal. An inspiring 26 year old youth, author of FINLICO, who won Global award in Youth Financial education awareness 2015 held in London. He is also the country representative of Child and Youth Finance International and council member of US Embassy of Nepal. His vision of creating an economically active population holds a major grip towards building a financially stable and economically developed households. Over his career, he has reached more than 175 institutions to train more than 40,000 children, youth and community about financial education.
With Voice of Youth he shared:
My activism work is around girls’ financial education – I work with girls to empower them to earn, save and invest from an early age. It’s a way to plug them into the economy and get them charged up, to help them access finance and economic opportunities.
I want to help eliminate the economic/financial barriers facing communities, children, youth, but mostly women and girls. A critical first step is arming women with financial education, because proper financial education will create long-lasting, sustainable change.
At present, around 50% of Nepali girls find it difficult to talk with others about personal finances. The projects I work on teach the basics of financial literacy and the virtues of being financially prepared.
Changing attitudes, capacity building, teaching soft skills & awareness of options and can help unlock young people’s abilities and enable all girls to walk free with greater dignity.
With Children and Youth Finance International he shared his journey making the difference:
Growing up, I was taught that money management is the key aspect of life, not only in Nepal but also in many other countries. Yet, I also remember thinking that money was something for very smart and very wealthy people. My surrounding, however, continually told me that if I would be taught early in school about good saving habit in home, I would have saved money for college or would have helped for basic needs. These scenarios made me think a lot about money management. This resulted in some different strong commitment inside me to be aware of money management. I got a vision to aware my community about money management to cultivate their desire to live without financial burden.
The thoughts persistently occupied my mind with different ideas on money management which made me join this organization in 2014. Since then I have been working as a committee member to Nepal. Even though I was a youth activist in my nation, I was awarded an opportunity of collecting children and youth and teaching them about financial education and economic citizenship right.
I had no idea being CYFI Youth Committee Member could ever become a change agent for financially illiterate society. The resources I gained from CYFI, OECD, World Bank Blog, Master Card Foundation, and UNICEF made me capable to deliver Financial Literacy movement to almost 6000 child and youth. And those resources awarded me this achievement and opened doors that I did not even know existed.
Many of the children and youth I teach today are up against some of the very same challenges that I faced as a child. That’s why I work hard every day to make a difference in their lives. I know their struggles. This inspires me to teach with enthusiasm and a desire to help others to achieve their dreams of financial well-being. I am eager to become a part of a national and international organization that is making the dream of financial literacy education available to everyone.