Cyprus. Yet another crisis. Yet another bailout.

Could the global crisis have been prevented to begin with? There has been a lot of discussion on this very issue, with no real answers. Perhaps we have been too busy putting out fires to really take the time to get to the bottom of it. But the fact remains: this is a critical global issue that needs addressing immediately.

Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) is looking at creating a generation that will prevent future crises of this sort – through increasing the financial education, financial access, employability and entrepreneurship skills of children and youth. After all, they are tomorrow’s leaders, entrepreneurs and economic actors.

Global Money Week is a global celebration in 80 countries, organized by 185 organizations and coordinated by CYFI. Between 15 March 1and 21 March, 1,000 activities are being held to engage 1 million children around the world, who are learning how money works, and about saving, creating livelihoods, gaining employment and starting their own enterprises.

Last year’s Global Money Week – the first such celebration – took place in 26 countries. This year, the participation of organizations and national authorities in 80 countries has shown that the Child and Youth Finance Movement has grown exponentially – a growth rate of 307%. This is a testimony to the conviction of countries that developing the financial skills of youngsters is indeed a necessary approach to developing healthy economic systems. The private sector is also in agreement – in fact, only a few days ago, CYFI was invited to ring the NASDAQ bell in a show of support for this global effort.

There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the impact of the Movement on young children. 16-year-old Shayma lives in Egypt. She attended the Child and Youth Finance Youth Summit in 2012. Inspired by what she and the 70 other youngsters had learned during the summit, Shayma returned home and immediately formed a savings club with her friends. With their savings, they opened a little business from which they earned some income. They used their profits to buy school supplies for themselves and for children in their communities who could not afford them.

Shayma is one of 2.2 billion children in the world who can create a change. You and your organizations can take part in this global effort by joining Global Money Week this year or next year and becoming a member of the Child and Youth Finance Movement. Because every person makes a difference to the Movement.

Author: Jeroo Billimoria, Managing Director, Child and Youth Finance International, Netherlands; Social Entrepreneur, Schwab Fellow of the World Economic Forum.

Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) is set to ensure financial education and financial inclusion for 100 million children and youth in 100 countries by 2015 as a first step, by working with international stakeholders and experts around the world, including financial institutions, the regulatory authorities of over 80 countries and NGOs. Its work includes forming partnerships to widen the concept of Child and Youth Finance and its integration into national and international policies. Child and Youth Finance is supported by the G20 and the United Nations Secretary General.