Financial literacy, including budgeting, earning, saving and borrowing, is a critical component of education. High-quality sports programmes integrate financial literacy into curricula to assist young women in achieving economic independence. In 2010, the Population Council initiated a baseline survey of adolescent women participating in the Goal project in India. Goal, a “sports plus” programme implemented by the Naz Foundation with support from Standard Chartered Bank, focuses on adolescent girls, age twelve to twenty, from low-income families in urban areas. Goal’s programme is offered weekly, over a period of six to ten months, and includes a mix of sports and life-skills education modules that cover topics including financial literacy, communication skills, health and hygiene.
Population Council researchers K.G. Santhya and Komal Saxena found that only three-fifths of girls surveyed in the Goal programme in India knew how to count money correctly, barely half were aware of savings institutions, and just one-fourth could identify one or two services or products provided by banks. Since its founding in 2006 as a pilot programme in Delhi, Goal has reached more than 14,000 girls in India, Nigeria, and Jordan. Its goal is to reach an additional 25,000 girls by the end of 2011.
The Standard Chartered Goal curriculum, Be Money Savvy, provides a curriculum for financial literacy that can be incorporated into existing educational initiatives of sport programmes.