Sitting with his mother at the conference at I&M bank headquarters, Karema Shema, 6, a nursery pupil at Ecole Belge, is beaming from ear to ear. It is evident that he knows exactly what is happening. He is here to receive a prize, a Rwf 650,00 cheque he won in a Back to School promotion lottery initiated by I&M Bank.“Am happy that I have an account and today they will put money there for me to use as school fees because I won,” says the six year old.
According to his mother, Ndola Kyacine who escorted him to the press conference to receive his cheque at I&M bank, giving a child the best in life is every parent’s dream but achieving this comes with quality education.
“Obviously, a good education is necessary for building a strong foundation for children and this requires money. Am really happy that Shema won and I am confident that he will develop and cement the saving culture in him,” says Ndola.
This is how it started…..Karema’s parents heard of the back to school campaign and opened an account for him at I&M Bank. The mother would often deposit money on Shema’s account knowing that it will come in handy when time for going back to school comes.
Then on 29th January, the mother receives a call from the bank telling her that her son was among the three lucky winners of the I&M “Back to School Campaign” that ended on the 30th January 2018.
On the eventful day, Karema was told that he was a lucky winner of back to school campaign and that his school fees had been catered for. His mother advises fellow parents on the culture of saving. “The saving culture has to develop and parents should know that even when you don’t win the lottery, it helps you reduce the burden of school fees through opening student’s accounts” says Kyacine.
Another lucky winner Ingabire Dative, a student at Huye Catholic University believes that saving is a very good thing and that it helps you become financially secure.
“As a lucky winner of back to school campaign, am really grateful. My financial situation has shifted since winning the money. This will help me in my studies and also after my studies because now am deep into saving,” says Ingabire.
She called upon fellow students to start saving because it is essential in building their long term wealth and that it is important to start saving early in life regardless of their age.
“Students should learn to save a percentage every time they receive money. The everyday decisions they make about money can have a lifelong impact. Saving allows one the capability to meet some financial goals and help to develop good personal finance habits,” she added.
The beginning of the school year can be quite stressful for many parents of school going children. The financial demands that arise from paying tuition and buying scholastic materials at a time when the festive season may have drained ones reserves can be such an uphill task. For some lucky I&M Bank account holders, the stress has been transformed into smiles, thanks to the Bank’s Back to School campaign.
In a bid to promote a culture of saving, Rwanda’s oldest financial institution, I&M Bank Rwanda teamed up with parents to generate support for students through encouraging them to join the Back to School campaign by opening student accounts.
Holders of the bank’s unique products, the Young Savers Account and the FuturePro Students’ Account were eligible for this new campaign which came on the heel of other campaigns the bank has been running for its esteemed clients.
These accounts were not only introduced to promote a savings culture but also to ensure financial inclusion.
It is hoped that young people can now learn about the world of saving, banking and making prudent financial decisions like saving for the future.
The Back to School campaign was aimed at motivating others to open accounts and win prizes each week. Nine winners won school hampers and while 3 winners walked away with school fees for a whole year.
The winners included Karema Shema who is a nursery student at Ecole Belge Rwf650,000, Ngabo Arnold secondary student at Saint Jean Nyarusange Rwf850,000 and Ingabire Dative Student at Huye Catholic University got Rwf 1,000,000.
The bank also embarked on this campaign as a way of supporting the education sector in the country and using it to push Rwanda’s financial literacy goals by involving young people.
I&M Bank Rwanda has gone a long way in listening to clients’ demands and preferences and creating such unique products to cater for the different segments of the market and to improve financial inclusion. It is evident that more work needs to be done to get more people into the financial system.
The 2016 Finscope Survey revealed that only 26% of the adult population is formally banked. Such statistics point to a national challenge viewed by the bank as an opportunity to innovate and serve more people and in better ways using tailor-made products such as the Young Savers’ Account and the FuturePro Account.
To participate in the Back to School campaign, Parents of young savers and students simply had to make deposits on a young saver or FuturePro Accounts. These accounts also come with other benefits such as a waiver on maintenance fee and attractive interest on savings.