Jennifer Gurbin Harley
YouthInvest: A case study of savings behaviour as an indicator of change through experiential learning
The burgeoning youth population worldwide and associated challenges of economic integration, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), have created the need for innovations in programming to support young people's economic participation. This article focuses on one aspect of economic inclusion - savings - that has positive impacts beyond the targeted activity. Using the YouthInvest project as a case study, this article will look closely at ways in which behaviour change is possible through experiential learning for youth in Morocco. Early indicators have been found of increased savings behaviour of young people aged 15-24 after having been trained in the areas of life skills and financial education, using an experiential teaching approach. YouthInvest is a MasterCard Foundationfunded project being implemented by MEDA in Morocco. Over the course of the ‘100 Hours to Success’ training, 96 per cent of participants surveyed in a recent field study have started saving and more than half of those grew their savings during the training period. These young people are more selfconfident than they were before the training, are planning for the future, and are more likely to increase their incomes.