An Efficient Financial System

Indian charity Butterflies are giving street children a new start in life through education and banking.

A bunch of Indian street kids set up a model bank with tens of branches all over South-East Asia.

In order to save money for a brighter future, they have created their own bank, where they can deposit their money and take advances whenever they need to. A branch of this unusual financial institution is located in a shelter for homeless runaway teens in New Delhi. It’s here that street children who work come to place their money for safekeeping, and take out development or welfare advances to start a business or invest in things they need for school. The most impressive thing about this bank for kids and teens is that it was initiated, implemented and is operated by children. In fact, Satish Kumar, who was elected bank manager for the New Delhi branch of the children’s development ’khazana’ (Indian for ‘treasure chest’) doesn’t look a day over 12.

In a time when the global financial system seems more vulnerable than ever, it looks like a bunch of kids have everything figured out. During monthly meetings they review applications for advances, and based on everyone’s track record of saving and earning, they decide who can get the money and how quickly they have to pay it back. They hold everyone from the account managers to the clients responsible for their financial decisions.

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