Challenge: In Canada, 1 in 5 children under the age of 18 live in poverty and many youth face challenges to building life skills. Indigenous youth in remote communities are often most impacted. Canadian debt is at a record high with an average Canadian owing $1.67 for every $1 of disposable income. This is partly attributed to poor financial literacy and financial decision-making skills. Youth unemployment is very high.
Solution: Canada places a high priority on youth well being. We leverage this priority and empower Canadian youth with life skills using the robust technology infrastructure across the country.
Current Project: ‘Financial Literacy and Cyber Security’
Research shows that to ensure the poor do not keep getting poorer, financial literacy needs to be taught to children and youth as early as possible. National surveys by OECD show that young adults have amongst the lowest levels of financial literacy. According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Canadian Financial Customer Agency published by the Federation of Canadian Secondary Students, 80% of Canadian youth were not confident of their financial knowledge and 64.5% of respondents said they had little to no familiarity on how to manage credit card debt.
Financial illiteracy is a risk when making day-to-day decisions that can have dire consequences in the long term. In a developed country like Canada, the average household debt is 167% of disposable income. This has grown from 66% in 1980. Despite a multitude of efforts to spread financial literacy among Canadian youth, there continues to be a gap in skills. This skill gap is pronounced in marginalized youth.
The second component of our project is to reduce the vulnerability of children in the online world where according to a MediaSmarts report:
• By grade 7, 52% of children own cell (smart) phones
• 32% of children in grades 4-6 have a Facebook account in spite of the Terms of Agreement requiring confirmation that the child is not below 13 years of age
• 29% of children post their contact information online at-least once a year
• 43% of children talk to people they have only met online but never in person
Your donations will be used to develop and deliver online modules to youth in Canada.