Blog Post: Savings Song Launches YouthSave's Financial Education Workshops in Colombia
By Alejandra Montes Saenz, Save the Children Colombia
As part of the overall Financial Capability strategy for Colombia, Save the Children has conducted several launch events in the same schools where the implementation of the financial capability workshops will take place. The overall goal of these events is to gather the students, teachers and school staff and encourage them to start thinking about the importance of saving as a mechanism for young people to achieve their goals and dreams. We used ‘edutainment’ strategies—different forms of entertainment to deliver educational messages—to develop a fun and interactive design for the youths’ first encounter to financial capability topics, so that positive expectations could be built around the upcoming financial capability workshops.
In our brainstorming sessions, we agreed that the launch events would have to be short, engaging, and fun. They would also have to deliver a clear message to young people that could be easily recalled and shared with others. We decided that a song for the launch events would deliver the message in a fun and interactive way. We enlisted the creativity of Wamba, a Colombian pop group that has been volunteering for Save the Children in Colombia since 2009. They wrote the lyrics and composed the music using the phrases and messages that we wanted young people to embrace: Save to achieve your dreams, save responsibly, and don´t put yourself at risk while saving. Wamba accompanied us to the launch events and engaged students in the “savings song” by teaching it to them.
Since March, we have conducted more than ten events at schools in Medellin and Pasto and recently conducted four more in Cali. Events are usually held in an open space, such as a court or an auditorium within the school premises. Wamba takes the leading role during the event, singing the savings song and teaching the students a choreographed dance routine that helps them learn the song by heart. Wamba has been able to motivate both younger and older children and integrate them into the activities, which have been key factors for the success of the events.
So far, the launch events tied to the savings song have been a great way to motivate youth and get them to start thinking about the importance of saving. Returning to the schools has been very satisfying, and we are seeing that the students immediately associate us with the “savings project”—many of them actually start singing the savings song when we arrive! We have also received positive comments from teachers and school staff regarding the pertinence and innovation of our approach. The success of these launch events demonstrates that thinking outside the box and trying different methodologies and edutainment strategies can really pay off in our work with children and youth.