The Director of the National Internship Programme Boitshepo Bolele has challenged interns benefitting from the programme to make lemonade out of the paltry earnings they get to better their lives by saving for the future. Bolele was speaking at the first annual Stepping Stones International, Global Money Week, Child and Youth Finance Symposium in Gaborone on Tuesday. According to the youthful director prospects of making it big out of the internship allowance is so high if young people could save collectively in pursuit of a common goal. “In a year 300 interns can save a million if they commit themselves to saving 300 pula every month for 12 months from their monthly allowance,” said Bolele.
She said her department pays P92 million in allowances to approximately 6 000 interns through FNB annually. This she says is a lump sum, which if interns had advanced financial literacy and assistance from financial institutions had potential in accruing interest and being used to better the lives of many unemployed young people. The National Internship programme currently gives interns an allowance of P1420 monthly allowance, with P100 saved monthly for the whole duration of the programme.
Speakers at the event emphasised the need to instill financial literacy in children from an early stage so as to prepare them for future efficient financial management. Stepping Stones International Programs Manager Lila Pavey said lack of financial literacy results in many young people struggling with debt, resulting in negative repercussions on their development and well-being. “With Financial access and education children and youth can learn to save and spend money responsibly,” said Pavey.
Pavey said that in order to ensure that Youth gain access to financial services and education then a collective stakeholder effort was needed. “If we provide the opportunities and provide the right information they can begin to formulate their own plans for their future, “ Pavey said.
Global Money Week is an annual international money awareness celebration which takes place between March 9-17, 2015. It engages children worldwide in learning how money works, including saving, creating livelihoods, gaining employment, and entrepreneurship. Last year 118 countries, 490 organisations and 3 million children and youth participated in activities during Global Money week.