The DNB Youth Council was established at the start of 2017. DNB wants to hear children's ideas about the issues that will shape their future. This year's topic centres on "learning to manage money so as to prevent debts among young people". Last year, the council discussed the subject of pensions.
The Youth Council comprises 26 pupils between 9 and 12 years old from De Pinksterbloem primary school in Amsterdam. They discuss and give their input on the strategic and current issues facing DNB. The topic changes every school year. This year's topic is: "How can DNB prevent young people from getting into debt?" DNB finds it important that young people learn how to manage money. This helps them to take considered decisions about money matters when they grow up and when they are independent of their parents.
We are putting this question before the Youth Council as children know much better than adults what young people like and value and what they don't, where they buy their stuff and how they pay for it. Children can therefore help adults find ways of teaching young people to handle money matters responsibly, now and later on in life.
The Youth Council has already given DNB a great deal of workable tips, e.g. use vloggers to tell kids how to handle money wisely, create a website aimed at young people in debt, develop a budgeting app to keep track of income and spending, and create a money game. One important point that the members of the Council made was that it is important to break the taboo on debts, which will encourage young people to ask for help sooner rather than later when they run into money trouble. In short, they have given us many practical tips that we can do something with.
How does it work?
Every school year, DNB presents the Youth Council with a question. The Youth Council then takes its time to study the question. DNB provides the members with the necessary information and gives them the opportunity to discuss the topic with experts in and outside of DNB. The Council then presents its findings and recommendations to DNB's Governing Board.
Everyone benefits from having a Youth Council: children have the opportunity to think more about the world around them, decision makers discover new approaches to problems, and teachers are inspired by the children's creative thinking. When setting up the Youth Council, DNB received support from the Missing Chapter Foundation, a partner of Unicef Netherlands. The two organisations aim to ensure that children have an equal voice in the decisions that affect them, now and in the future.