Aflateen

Overview:

Aflateen programme is designed as a journey for young people to reflect on their lives, learn to explore issues and problems in society, acquire skills that help them become engaged citizens and enact enterprises and projects with other young people from their communities.
Young people have prominent roles in these inspirational stories as well. The Aflateen programme can help young people realize their potential and become agents of change.

Social and financial education is aimed at helping young people think critically and learn about rights and responsibilities, as well as gain financial knowledge and skills that will enable them to make the best use of resources. It also helps them reflect and make sense of the transitions they are going through and how they can best be engaged in the world. Social education teaches them responsible citizenship needing to know about and being involved in social issues that affect them, while financial education teaches the children the important skills of saving, budgeting and engaging in enterprises.

Objectives of Aflateen programme:

  1. Examine and reflect on their identities, age, gender, nationality, values and beliefs, as well as their relationships with family, friends and communities.
  2. Critique and investigate how rights are realized or violated in society.
  3. Describe and practice responsible use and accumulation of financial, natural and other kinds of resources (people, planet and profit).
  4. Demonstrate the ability to conduct planning and budgeting activities towards realizing a desired goal.
  5. Learn to plan and start micro-enterprises and community projects that have a positive effect in their communities.
  6. Develop socially responsible and economically empowered youth to be agents of change
  7. To understand money and market, which affect youth more as they become consumers, workers, and producers

Process of Implementation

  1. MelJol identifies partner in the state that the funding partner would like to implement the program
  2. Due diligence process is completed by MelJol before selecting a partner organization.
  3. After completing the due diligence process, partner organization will seek permissions from the Education department for running the Aflateen programme in the selected schools.
  4. MelJol shares books and other related material with the partner once the MOU is signed between MelJol and the partner
  5. MelJol and the partner organization signs contract for one year to implement the program
  6. MelJol develops a pool of Master Trainers
  7. Partner organization will conduct the Pre and Post test with the children
  8. The project cycle will be completed with the help of partner organization and children
  9. MelJol will regularly conducts the monitoring visits in the project areas
  10. MelJol with the help of partner organization will do the evaluation of the program at the end of year

Aflateen is a progression of MelJol’s Flagship program- Aflatoun. Children are given space to express themselves, to act on their own, and to solve practical problems together. They act in these situations according to the Aflatoun motto: ’Explore, Think, Investigate and Act’. Methods of learning include storytelling, song, drama and dance, games, Aflateen club formation (Children club).

All activities and books covered in the current Aflatoun programme address these issues through “Five Core Elements” that are balanced throughout the curriculum.

1.    Self-Understanding and Personal Exploration

Young people have positive and negative traits, and they are all in the process of learning more about them. The importance of knowing self and others is critical to reaching out one’s goals. Becoming independent and building a bridge for the future.

They are also influenced and affected by several people that they have met and events that they have experienced. Each time they change little with the effect of interaction and get some additional knowledge they already have from the person whom he/she is interacting. They start struggling between their roles of their parent’s children and becoming independent people. Aflateen help the children to understand that each family is unique and there are different family models possible. This is also the age at which young people transition from being children into becoming young adults – and the tensions that arise as they grapple with their independence, identity, values and even physical changes, sets the stage for more personal self-reflection, understanding and exploration. Aflateen module provides young people, philosophy of change and makes them learn coping with it. It also speaks about the goals and necessary steps required to achieve them.

2.    Rights and Responsibilities

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child is a human rights treaty. Aflateen manual make the young children aware of the rights concept. The CRC (Child Rights Convention) treaty is divided into four pillars : – (Rights to survival, Right to development, Rights to Protection and Right to Participation). Aflateen Program guide children not only in claiming young people’s rights, but also in performing their responsibilities towards themselves, their family, their community and the environment. This sense of responsibility will later help guide the decisions they make when they come to set up their own Social or Financial Enterprises. That is why Aflateen encourages experiential learning where young persons are free to offer opinions and express themselves.

3.    Saving and Spending

Aflateen’s holistic approach toward development, a broad definition of savings is promoted; one that entails both material and non-material resources. Saving water and using natural resources responsibly are deemed just as important as saving money. Young people, aged 15 years and older, make decisions about saving and spending their money and the use of resources. They have growing consumer power and need to start preparing for financial independence. The Program emphasizes the skills that will help young people demonstrate responsible use and management of resources.

4.    Planning and Budgeting

The process of learning to be a change-maker in the Aflateen programme culminates in the participants’ planning and completion of a Social or Financial Enterprise. In Aflateen program, participants through the process of choosing a Social or Financial Enterprise, forming a group, planning and budgeting their Enterprise with their group, and finally conducting the Enterprise. It is important for participants to realize that they can make a difference; that they can set a goal and make it happen. Their goal might be a social goal for their community or a financial goal that will affect the social reality of the participants and those around them.

5.    Social and Financial Enterprise

It is the rational extension of different learning objectives and activities in Aflateen programme. Social enterprise focuses on improving their own lives and the lives of the people around them through their collective activities and action, while in financial enterprise children make money through small business initiatives as a way to learn more about the market. The objectives of social and financial enterprise may seem very different however they are connected by the idea that children can play an active and solve a set of problem together. The money earned here is not important as much as their learning about the world and realizing that they are capable of accomplishing things together.

Based on these concepts, a well-structured and balanced curriculum has been drafted which referable by children aging between 15-18 yrs. The curriculum itself was refined over years of action research, followed by pilot projects around the world. Aflateen partners have translated the curriculum and have contextualized it in many countries. MelJol conducts training, facilitate interactions with the children and teachers and help them understand and implement the program during these sessions.

Activities of the program:

  • Teachers training workshops to train teachers on the concept, curriculum and the methodologies used in Aflateen Social and financial education program
  • Sessions in the schools based on the MelJol Aflateen series curriculum which includes songs, fun games, activities etc.
  • Formation of Children club (Aflateen Club) to provide the children a platform to express their feelings, discuss the issues they face, learn from peers. Children also elect their representatives (Leaders such as President, Secretary, Treasurer) democratically to carry out the day to day work of the club.
  • Formation of School based Children Bank (Aflateen Bank) to inculcate the habit of saving, Children are encouraged to save money in the Aflateen bank while the transaction is maintained in their individual passbook and school ledger. The teacher is the custodian of the money saved and if the saved amount exceeds a predefined amount then a formal bank account or an postal account is open in the name of the school.
  • School Level camps are done to reinforce the learning and sharing of ideas at school level. Children get exposure as this program is of the children, organized by children, for the children. Teachers help them when required. The group work is expected to be held in the school camps.
  • Cluster level camps are done to provide children with the opportunity to share their learning with their counterparts in other schools. Generally it is done at cluster level, by brining 4-5 children from 6 schools in a particular block or taluka.
  • Bank/Post office/ Enterprise visit to gain the understanding of a financial institution set up and its functions. Also gives the exposure and demonstration to the children to explore more to set up the enterprise.
  • Social Enterprise: Once the Aflatoun clubs are formed, the children conduct regular meetings of clubs and discuss many topics that matter them. Some time children feel to address any of the issues at larger level. They discuss the issue in group, decides the strategies to address it, take help of teachers and organize any activity for awareness generation. It is not expected that the children will resolve the issue, but the efforts towards resolving issue enhance their ability to think critically and explore alternative for the same in group.
  • Financial Enterprise: The children in Aflatoun club discuss things in groups and plan to organize any entrepreneurship activities. It gives firsthand experience to the children to think critically, experiment planning and budgeting aspects and learn things on their own. Money earned in the enterprise activity is not important rather than the learning of how to start a business and the prerequisite of it. This exercise develops ambitions of children of becoming an entrepreneur.
  • Entrepreneurship Lab: Entrepreneurship Lab is conceived to be a place where the young child feels at home to gain knowledge, also garner and practice some of the skills to nurture the entrepreneurial streak that child must have found while participating in the Aflateen Program. The concept behind the Entrepreneurship Lab is to provide opportunities for these young learners thinking critically and acting in an enterprising ways. It also has a clear focus on core and soft skills, and the ability to transfer them to different contexts in the different work surrounding.
  • Vocational Preparedness: Aflateen vocational preparedness programme provides the opportunity to think and deal with the skill of recognizing and overcoming the challenges in order to prepare for the type of work they would like to do. It suggests the areas where the children can process on their own to build and develop strengths and minimize the weaknesses. It will explain the children about the values of different occupations and the enterprises.
  • Annual Aflatoun day to Disseminate to the local education authorities, local media etc. The children come together to celebrate International Aflatoun Day which has been their inspiration for Social and Financial Education. Children with the help of teachers organize various activities to share things they have learnt in this programme. The interstate or international talks can also be organized to interact with children from other communities, countries.