COVID-19 pandemic | 27 July 2020
Praslin students learn how to cope with financial changes
By Nadia Bedier
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents worldwide find themselves struggling to keep their family together.
With financial pressure from left, right and centre how do I get through this month? How do I settle the utility bills? Will I still have a job by the end of the month? How do I break it to my kids that I have to reduce their school allowance?
Our Seychellois parents are no exception. But what about our Seychellois children? How are they coping with the financial strain brought by this pandemic?
Speaking to Seychelles NATION, Grand Anse youth worker Ryna Esther said: “We believe that not much is being done for the children. What are we doing to help them adapt to this ‘new normal’ which will not disappear any time soon? It is with this in mind that the Seychelles National Youth Council (SNYC) decided to hold this session with the students this week. It is meant to be an interactive session where they get to learn how to cope with the financial changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
This was during the one-hour financial education session run by Jean Marc Athanase, senior compliance officer for the youth department on Praslin, at the island’s secondary school and which was attended by 20 students from different levels.
The session started with an overview of the pandemic nationally and the impact it has had on life generally. It eventually focused on the financial strains brought by the pandemic on families, especially the children. The students had the opportunity to reflect and understand the importance of making wise financial decisions and playing their role in helping the family save for an uncertain future.
Mr Athanase highlighted that each student can make a significant difference in their families’ budget and should strive to adopt a change of mindset towards spending.
“Discuss the family budget with your parents and see what input you can contribute to help alleviate your parents’ financial pressure. Prioritise your expenses and appreciate the importance of living a simple but comfortable life. Find ways in which you can help towards savings, example saving energy, avoiding food wastage, understanding the reduction in your school allowance and other simple actions which are often taken for granted. The future is very uncertain at this point and your parents are experiencing much stress so ensure to be of help,” he said.
The students were also encouraged to help their family develop an emergency budget which can be of help in difficult time.
The importance of following the health measures was also emphasised in order to ensure that the country remains free of COVID-19 and it was motivating to see how well versed the students were with the different health measures and their significance.
They are now expected to share their newly acquired financial knowledge with other students and their families, with hopes that same will encourage a general culture of better financial discipline in the future.
The session which was greatly appreciated by the students as Jude Belize explained: “The session was fun and I got to learn about the COVID-19 pandemic and how I can help my family save. I really enjoyed it.”
According to Mrs Esther, the students showed much enthusiasm towards the subject and the SNYC will consider holding a similar session with parents as well to help them discuss their financial decisions with their children so that they are aware of the stressful situation and as a result lend a helping hand to the family.