Suggests Simon Wing, Edfundo Co-founder, father of two, and an educator through and through

Have you read the results of the ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey 2021? If you’re a parent and haven’t, I’d recommend you do so immediately, you may find it something of a wake-up call.

The results of the survey are somewhat worrying to say the least when it comes to the assessment of the job that educators and parents have done in imparting financial well-being instruction over the last decade or so. On the other hand, we must appreciate the findings as shaking us out of our lethargy when it comes to improving the financial literacy instruction we can give to younger generations.

The survey findings in the financial arena are grim but demonstrate clearly that if we address our failings now, we may protect the next generation from the financial woes and sleepless nights that today’s young adult Arabs admit to suffering from.

When we started Edfundo, the smart money management app for tweens and teens, we did so realising that the teaching of financial literacy in schools and in the home is sadly lacking.

And, as ex-teachers, the Edfundo founders are well qualified to judge.

The Arab Youth Survey 2021 findings put that financial literacy poverty claim into stark focus.

Just look at the findings from face-to-face responses of more than 3,400 young Arab adults in the 18-24 age range:

  • Only 21% can save money regularly
  • 37% struggle to meet their monthly expenses
  • 42% can cover their monthly expenses but have nothing left for savings
  • 71% worry about personal debt

Is this a futuristic picture that concerns you? It should.

Imagine a future when people increasingly get into debt at a young age, continue to slide further down the slippery slope to long-term debtor-ship with resulting mental health issues and imagine the pressures on a society left to pick up the pieces! Not a pretty imagine, is it?

Let’s take the findings as a wake-up call to the fact that if educators, parents, and society at large wants future generations to enter the workplace and adulthood with solid financial skills which will fend off worries, we need to act collaboratively and now!

That’s why we at Edfundo are now collaborating with schools in the UAE to stage seminars and workshops ahead, during and post our app’s launch in early 2022.

We have to address the fact that financial wellbeing is hardly, if ever, taught in schools and as teachers who believe passionately in its importance, we are happy to help address this shortcoming.

We’ve also designed the Edfundo app to promote financial wellness among our youth with a range of features, tools, and tips to encourage them to earn, value money, budget, and save with parents having full control.

And because we know, as teachers, that young people learn best by ‘doing’ the app has highly interactive and gamified features to keep them fully engaged.

And how will we know if we are succeeding?

Well so far, almost a 1,000 people have signed up on our website for notice of the app’s launch and, we’ll be keeping a close watch on the Arab Youth Survey every year from here on in and track shifts in the findings.

Let’s listen to our youth and hope that we can push financial worries right down the priority concerns list by acting collaboratively and now.