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 AS OF JAN. 2013:
- Child Social and Financial Education through Aflatoun now reaches over 1.3 million children in over 8,391 schools and informal education centers in 94 countries worldwide.
- Through Aflatoun, 40% of students in the program save small amounts weekly. The average amount saved per month is 0.11 Euros, with a total amount saved of 1,439,561 Euros.
- As of 2010, the latest that figures are available, Aflatoun students started 3,218 social enterprises and 5,111 financial enterprises.