Basic financial literacy is an important building block towards achieving economic empowerment. Before starting a business, becoming employed or just navigating personal finance, AGYW must know how to make a budget, develop a savings plan, and apply for a local loan. Unfortunately, girls and young women have few opportunities to gain financial literacy or are not encouraged to do so.
The Goal Programme, an award-winning sport, life skills, and financial literacy programme, integrates important foundational skills and financial literacy within a sport experience to help adolescent girls move towards economic empowerment. During the programme, sport offers girls a platform to reinforce financial literacy and life skills education by building their assets (financial skills, social networks, mentors), providing access to resources (safe spaces and social/financial services) and developing their agency (encouraging girls to act in their own self-interest and realise their potential).
In 2010, the Population Council initiated a baseline survey of adolescent women participating in the Goal Programme in India. Goal, implemented by the Naz Foundation with support from Standard Chartered Bank, focuses on adolescent girls aged twelve to twenty, from low-income families in urban areas. Goal in India is offered weekly, over a period of between six and 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, before starting the Goal Programme, only three-fifths of registered participants 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 300,000 girls in over 20 countries.
The Goal programme includes a module on financial literacy, Be Money Savvy, that can be incorporated into existing educational initiatives within sport programmes.