Brace Social Coop is a Member and Partner of Aflatoun International, a global NGO focused on the child. The activity of the organization is of high importance as it develops a kind of education, which is absent from the official curricula of most educational systems in the world, but is so essential for the lives of children and the society overall. Aflatoun International is based Amsterdam. The number of countries that implement its educational programs now exceeds 100 and it is growing constantly. The number of children in the program offered worldwide amounts to 2,000,000 and almost 22,000 schools and centers of non-formal education implement the program.
Aflatoun is classified in:
• the 50th place among the 100 best NGOs from the Global Journal in 2012
• 2nd place in the category “Children and Youth” (Children and Youth Category) in the list of 100 best NGOs Global Journal in 2013
• and was chosen as a finalist for the Katerva Award in the Behavioral Change Category in 2013.
Aflatoun is a fireball from outer space. It inspires children to explore and engage with the world around them by means of activities, stories and games. The name derives from India, where children named it after a fun-loving, good-hearted and slightly mischievous Bollywood movie character. Aflatoun is also the Arabic name for Plato, the Greek philosopher who promoted an idealistic notion of citizenship. Both seemed a fitting influence, so the name occurρed.
On earth, Aflatoun started in Mumbai, India where in 1991 as an action research project by Jeroo Billimoria, working at the Tata School of Social Studies. They began working with schools to bring rich and poor children together to learn about each others’ lives.
In 1993 the programme was given a new broader moral imperative. The programme focused on combating prejudice and discrimination through rights education.
The global era began in 2005 when Aflatoun (Child Savings International) incorporated in Amsterdam. Jeroo, now a globally recognized social entrepreneur, used her Skoll Foundation Award to bring social and financial education to the world. Once the Aflatoun programme model was developed, a Campaign for Social and Financial Education was launched in March 2008 by Princess Maxima of the Netherlands. The campaign’s ambitious goals were to reach one million children in 75 countries within three years and these targets were exceeded.
In 2011, Aflatoun broadened its curriculum by providing a programme for youth called Aflateen. It also announced that its new strategic targets would be 10 million children reached by 2015.
Aflatoun’s programs contain both social and financial themes. Children learn about themselves, child rights, saving, basic financial concepts, and enterprise. Aflatoun puts children at the centre of their learning process and engages them with the world around them.
Brace Social Coop in collaboration with Aflatoun International offers the following programs:
• Aflatot, on early childhood
• Aflatoun, on children 6-12 years and
• Aflateen, on children 13 to 18 years
Each of the programs can be integrated into the curriculum, or become an independent educational program for Non-formal and informal education. They seek to exploit the early period of a child’s life and to provide an educational experience with positive connotations about proper money management and social change.
Children learn about themselves, children’s rights, how to save, basic financial concepts, and enterprise. They are given space to express themselves, to act on their own, and to solve practical problems together. They act in these situations according to the Aflatoun motto ’Explore, Think, Investigate and Act’. Methods of learning include storytelling, song, drama and dance, games, savings clubs, financial enterprises and community improvement activities.
Aflatoun in Greece
Brace Social Coop aims to develop a wide network of trainers in Greece for the programs Aflatot – Aflatoun – Aflateen. The trainers will convey the information to the children through formal or informal education. Volunteer work is a basic element for Aflatoun’s development and growth.