Global Money Week at the 18th Microcredit Summit with Luis Fernando Sanabria

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18th Microcredit Summit & 2016 Global MOney Week Interview Series

Luis Fernando Sanabria, COO of Fundación Paraguaya, interviewed by Jared Penner, director of thought leadership and consultancy at Child & Youth Finance International in the Netherlands.

Luis Fernando Sanabria, COO of Fundación Paraguaya, tells about his organization’s commitment to serving the youth of Paraguay. He highlights the importance of the youth in Paraguay, noting that half the country’s population is under 30 years old. “They are not only the future, but also the present — especially of our economy,” he points out.

Fundación Paraguaya focuses on developing a self-sufficient school model so that the youth will be prepared to have a successful in life. The organization encourages youth to engage in micro-enterprises and works with other organizations to develop a supportive ecosystem.

“Everything we learn in microfinance and in financial literacy,” said Sanabria, “we put it in our self-sufficient school model. Those are self-sufficient schools for very poor people. We run microenterprises on the campuses of those schools, and the microenterprises are run by teachers and students. They serve 2 purposes: first one is to generate income to sustain the school but second, and perhaps the more important objective, is to better train students to be successful in life…They learn not only about production but about marketing, accounting, packaging — everything they need to run a real enterprise when they graduate.”

Fundación Paraguaya commits to next five years is to creating partnerships with other organizations and help 30,000 families in Paraguay to leave extreme poverty.

Serving children and youth in your work to end poverty

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Thank you to the Microfinance Gateway for translating this to Arabic!

Nearly 70 individuals joined us on March 12th to celebrate Global Money Week and engage with representatives from AGFUND and Child & Youth Finance International, exploring strategies and specific programs to include children and youth in their work to help end poverty.

The discussion went in depth on major challenges facing microfinance practitioners looking to effectively and safely serve this group but also highlighted several leading examples of how those challenges may be overcome.


Jared Penner, manager for education and engagement, spoke about the importance of not overlooking children and youth in the financial inclusion map and underscored the importance of early exposure to, and the deeper resulting understanding from, using financial tools — particularly savings accounts. Ignacio Bianco, also with CYFI, talked about their SchoolBank Program in which they work with education and banking partners to deliver specially designed savings accounts to children at their schools.

AGFUND_279x172Nasser Al-Khatani, executive director of AGFUND, presented some foundational lessons that have been developed into guidelines for how AGFUND’s member banks approach serving children and youth through a combination of financial and educational supports. Mr. Al-Khatani also described their own work with delivering savings to children and the important role this program has played in further integrating the children’s parents into the formal financial system.

Watch the full session here!

Access the presenters’ slides or additional resources below

We were thrilled to be part of Global Money Week through a Campaign Commitment E-Workshop for the second year in a row. We are also pleased to have both CYFI and AGFUND as members of the Campaign through their impressive Campaign Commitments!  Find out more here.

We would like to know more about your work too!

Be Inspired. Set Goals. Make a Commitment.

Write to us to find out how to announce your Campaign Commitment and join this global coalition of leaders setting actionable goals for their work to end extreme poverty!

State your Campaign Commitment by contacting us at

Follow the Campaign’s 100 Million Project:

Learn about the 100 Million Project Project and Campaign Commitments.

How Can Microfinance Be More Inclusive to Children and Youth? Webinar Recording



On Wednesday, March 12th in celebration of Global Money Week 2014, we co-hosted with Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) a webinar that explored how microfinance can be more inclusive to children and youth. A small but increasing number of MFIs now offer financial and non-financial services to children and youth. By doing so, they are building the next generation’s capability to save, build assets and, if needed acquire microloans to support their livelihood activities.

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Financial Inclusion to Alleviate Poverty: AGFUND’s Campaign Commitment


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AGFUND made a Campaign Commitment at the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit – Learn about the progress they’ve made and their Commitment to ending extreme poverty. EspañolFrançais Continue reading

Children and Youth: Reshaping the Future of Microfinance?


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Children and youth suffer disproportionately the effects of extreme poverty, yet they are largely left out of the picture in microfinance. This is even more surprising given that they have the greatest potential to develop their financial capacity and become empowered and knowledgeable clients in only a few years time. They are today’s potential and will be tomorrow’s (micro-) entrepreneurs — or not.

In 2010, a staggering 400 million children and youth lived in extreme poverty, and a total 1 billion live in poverty. The effects of extreme poverty on children and youth are exponential: malnourishment and general poor health, in combination with further social and economic exclusion during their formative years, lead to high levels of illiteracy and school dropout rates which consequently cause poor physical and cognitive development.

Bram Stoffele from Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) writes about their Campaign Commitment on microfinance’s greatest opportunity cost: children and youth.

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Youth Loan Fund Q&A – 2 May 2013 (PovCoP)

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Missed our meeting this month?

Watch the video below, featuring Justin Sykes from Silatech speaking about their partnership with Al-Amal Microfinance Bank on the Youth Loan Fund in Yemen.  Anton Simanowitz, Social Performance specialist, interviews Silatech in the video below.  For more information on the Youth Loan Fund, take a look at this blog post.

Youth Loan Fund Q&A from Seal of Excellence on Vimeo.

Reflections from Al-Amal

Due to connectivity problems in Yemen, Al-Amal Microfinance Bank (AMB) CEO Mr. Mohammed Al-Lai was not able to join the conversation in the video.  See below for Al-Amal CEO Mr. Mohammed Al-Lai’s insights (received via email) on the partnership experience with Silatech for the Youth Loan Fund.

Can you explain a bit about who was not reached by the Youth Loan Fund and why?

Mr. Al-Lai
The youth Population who were not served in AMB are :
1. The unskilled…

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Youth Loans in Yemen

EVENT — THURSDAY @ 7 AM (GMT) — Join the the Poverty-focused Microfinance Community of Practice (PovCoP) for a webinar on youth loans in Yemen.
Webinar log-in here.

Have suggestions for this Adapted Products series? Send them to Leah Verghese at MeasureLearnChange[@]


Adapted Product Series: Services that meet the needs of the Poor
Our Poverty-focused Microfinance Community of Practice (PovCoP) will be exploring adapted products over the coming months in a series of posts, group discussions, and interviews. Please join us in our quest to outline the adaptive practices and principles that are working well to support poor communities and provide measurable results.  By looking at the abundance of resources made available by organizations throughout the industry, we will learn how to navigate the unique challenges that come with adapting products to specific segments. We’ll start with a few case studies and learn what made each project a success. Please help broaden our understanding by sharing your own experiences with the community as well.  For more information on adapting microfinance products globally, take a look at CGAPs recently released Better Insights for Better Products.

Youth Loans in Yemen
Our first example…

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Youth: Part of the Poverty Solution


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This blog post was written by Fabiola Diaz, Events Manager at the Microcredit Summit Campaign. She attended the 2012 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference on Thursday, September 13, 2012. Last week, I had the great pleasure of attending the 2012 Global … Continue reading