Abstract

The transition of young people from adolescence to adulthood can be precarious as they try to navigate in a sea of new and growing responsibilities and begin to assert their independence. For youth living in poverty, such a transition is even more challenging, characterized by tensions between increasing financial pressures on the one hand and limited access to resources and opportunities on the other. These factors can recreate a vicious cycle of poverty as these youth grow up and start their own families. Freedom from Hunger reasoned that offering young people a combination of practical financial knowledge, skills and instruments to help them manage their limited resources could build their financial capability during this transitional period and set them on a solid path to a more secure future. To assess the impact and effectiveness of this theory, Freedom from Hunger partnered with The MasterCard Foundation to launch the Advancing Integrated Microfinance for Youth (AIM Youth) initiative. Through AIM Youth, Freedom from Hunger and local implementing partners provided access to financial services—primarily in the form of savings—and financial education to 40,000 young people 13 to 24 years old in Mali and Ecuador.