Jeroo Billimoria grew up in Mumbai, India. Drawn to children, she studied social work and founded Meljol, an organization that provides opportunities for children to make friends across classes and castes and become leaders in their communities. Jeroo also gave out her phone number and took calls for help from street children, which led her to found Childline. Starting with just $6,000, she built a national institution that in 5 years fielded more than 10 million calls for assistance in India’s 74 largest cities. She then founded an international organization, Child Helpline International, which now supports help lines in 153 countries. In 2005, Jeroo founded Aflatoun to apply the same international replication model to Meljol’s child empowerment curriculum and in-school savings and financial education program. This program, symbolized by an “Aflatoun” (explorer) who helps children envision a better future and act on their dreams, promotes a culture of saving, builds skills for using money and develops responsibility and pride.
Impact since joining the portfolio in 2006:
- Child Social and Financial Education through Aflatoun now reaches over 2.34 million children in over 27,347 and informal education centers in 109 countries worldwide.
- Through Aflatoun, 40% of students in the program save small amounts weekly. The average amount saved per year is 2.23 Euros, with a total amount saved of 2.76 million Euros.
- Aflatoun students started 5,177 social enterprises and 11,449 financial enterprises.
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