ING and UNICEF
The partnership between ING and UNICEF is about making a positive contribution to the lives of children, youth and families. We both believe that a strong and healthy community has far-reaching benefits for future generations and businesses. Since the launch of our partnership in 2005, we have touched the lives of over 1.5 million children.
Our partnership is centred around our Power for Youth programme, and more recently, our ‘Fintech for Impact’ programme.
'Power for Youth'
Our 'Power for Youth' programme focuses on adolescents. There are 1.2 billion adolescents (aged 10–19) worldwide, with nearly 90 percent living in developing countries. Many of them need support to become socially and financially independent.
ING and UNICEF believe the time to invest in this generation is not when they find themselves unemployed and without prospects, but at an earlier stage when their critical thinking and problem-solving skills can be developed and exercised.
Therefore, we aim to empower teenagers around the world by providing them with the skills and tools they need so that they can be the future entrepreneurs, the future work force, and the future leaders of their countries. Together with UNICEF, we help kids transition successfully from childhood to adulthood.
We recently extended this partnership, now focusing on empowering adolescents in five countries: Kosovo, Montenegro, the Philippines, Vietnam and China.
We teach them 21st century skills, including critical thinking, collaboration, and leadership.
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Evidence shows that when adolescent girls and boys are supported and encouraged by caring adults, along with policies and services attentive to their needs and capabilities, they have the potential to break long-standing cycles of poverty, discrimination and violence.
Beyond the traditional skills of literacy and math, adolescents require the social, emotional, and cognitive skills that are often absent in traditional classrooms. Skills like critical thinking, collaboration, and leadership. This helps them identify issues in the community and wider society, set goals, and problem-solve with resilience and determination.
Power for Youth’s focus on innovation helps adolescents develop into problem-solvers, decision-makers, and critical thinkers in both local and global contexts, which contributes to a nation’s strength and progress.
We want to give them opportunities to create social change. This leads to a greater demand for vital social services, such as education and health care, and thus to the expansion and improved quality of these services to a larger number of the population.
Fintech for Impact
ING and UNICEF Innovation have introduced ‘Fintech for Impact’ in the Philippines as an expansion of our partnership. This pilot programme will identify and invest in fintech start-ups that aim to solve financial and banking challenges for young people in the country.
The Philippines is the second-fastest growing economy in Asia. The country has a large and tech-savvy youth population, but youth are faced with stark inequalities related to education, future opportunities and health. These inequalities are highly dependent on the geographic location and economic situation they’re born into.
The programme will invest up to $100,000 in up to six fintechs that create technologies to address challenges in financial services, credit, insurance, transparency or financial education. The technologies will likely be in the areas of blockchain, machine learning, data science, virtual reality or artificial intelligence.
The aim is to build economic security, encourage more equitable access to services, and lift the financial barriers to opportunities.