by Christine Zirneklis, HOPE Global Initiatives Fellow
Partnering with SEDCO’s Ryali Program in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development in the United Arab Emirates, HOPE Global Initiatives has been working to develop new, culturally adapted financial dignity curriculums for students in both countries. Launching in October 2013, these programs will provide the basis for volunteers in both countries to work towards promoting financial dignity.
Financial knowledge in the UAE has been identified by the Emirates Foundation as a top priority for the youth population. According to their research, 70% of young Emiratis are in debt because they lack sound financial planning, and while 95% of education professionals want basic money skills and money management taught to students, 73% of schools are not currently teaching basic financial courses in their curriculum. This new partnership will work towards closing that gap and giving Emirati college students the tools they need to make sound financial choices and wisely navigate an intensely consumerist society.