Children learn the ins and outs of the digital world from a young age. But they can’t learn how to spend real money in the real world on a mobile phone or tablet. That’s why Rabobank helps them learn how to handle money responsibly. The bank also listens to what young people want, sponsors educational events and creates opportunities for them to become active members of society.
Learning to handle money
Lessons learned in youth last a lifetime. That’s also true when it comes to handling money. Research shows that children who learn to handle money when they are young are less apt to have financial problems as adults. This is why Rabobank raises financial awareness among young people in a number of ways.
The Bank in the Classroom
Rabobank, in association with other banks and the Dutch Banking Association, organises Money Week every year. The objective of the week is to encourage young people to save and handle money responsibly. The banks do this through a number of channels including the 'The Bank in the Classroom' programme, which is an educational programme about handling money wisely for pupils aged 9-12. A key component of this programme entails bank employees serving as guest teachers at schools during Money Week.
Managing your money (M.Y.M.)
M.Y.M. is Rabobank’s youth website that provides information about handling money. Young people can go to the site with questions about earning, spending and saving money. The bank helps them get off to a good start with handy tips and tricks and lets them compare their income and spending with that of their peers.
KidsGeldwijs App (KidsMoneyWise) App
Rabobank provides the KidsMoneyWise App to teach children that they have to save money before they can spend it. And that you can earn money by, for example, doing chores.
‘Learning to handle money’ teaching package
The ‘Learning to handle money' teaching package gives children insights into topics such as saving and digital money. The teaching materials fit in with the basic primary school curriculum. KlasseTV (ClassTV), an educational portal for primary education, developed this package in association with Rabobank.
Rabobank sponsors numerous projects that are socially relevant for children. These projects focus on the role of money in their and other people’s lives. They also highlight other activities that can enrich their lives.
Handling money wisely is the theme of the interactive youth theatre performance Crisis about three boys who have money worries. The actors interact with the audience to explore both the limitations and opportunities of money. Rabobank supports this initiative during Money Week and throughout the year.
Children can visit museums across the Netherlands during the autumn mid-term break. The museums have special activities, designed to let children discover art and their own imagination in a creative way. This is carried out under the banner of KidsMuseumWeek, which is a joint initiative of Rabobank and the Museums Association.
Young sport fans can meet their idols at the special FanDays that Rabobank organises in partnership with successful athletes and teams that it sponsors. They include the Dutch men’s and women’s field hockey teams and the equestrian team that have won multiple medals in the Olympic Games.
As a cooperative, Rabobank has members rather than shareholders. These members help consider and decide on the bank’s course. Many local Rabobanks have a Youth Committee through which young Rabo members can let their voice be heard.
'The starting point for a Youth Committee is the world of young people rather than Rabobank’s ambitions. The Youth Committee meets five times a year to discuss topics such as: What should the bank do for young people? Why do we need a bank? How can we improve our services? Which social projects do you think we should support?'
'The members of the Youth Committee are our ambassadors and advisers. They also act as our “eyes and ears”. They give us a better understanding of what interests young people in the field of finance.' Youth Committee Member Marjorie Hopman: 'Rabobank is special because it is based on cooperative principles. This translates into visible involvement in society. That involvement is what really appeals to me. The other members on the committee and I work together to bring this to the attention of young people in our region.'
'Young people are extremely important to our bank; they are after all the members of the future. That’s why we want to know what’s going on in young people’s environment so we can strengthen the relationship. How do you find out what is on young people’s minds? It’s easy: just talk with them.'
Rabobank participates in the Children’s Council initiative via the Dutch Banking Association. Based on this initiative, representatives of Dutch banks visit children to talk with them about the future of banks.
Creating employment opportunities
Rabobank helps strengthen the position of young people on the Dutch labour market in a number of ways ranging from internships to networks. Local Rabobank Utrecht, for example, is a signatory to the Netherlands Employment Accord, an employers’ declaration of intent to expand employment opportunities for young people. Rabobank Leiden-Katwijk provides guest lectures and organises network meetings for 'Move Your Skills', an initiative that brings students and the business community into contact.
Many businesses in the Helmond region of the Netherlands report that it is often hard for them to find motivated and qualified employees. Knowledge institutes in turn say that they have difficulty finding internships for all of their students and would like more opportunities for students to tap into the knowledge and expertise found in companies. The solution: close the gap between the business community on the one hand and students and educational institutions on the other. Helmond Intern City consequently aims to bring about better cooperation in the field of internships, practical assignments, consultancy work and contract research.
Investing in people who work hard to stand on their own two feet and can use a helping hand. This is what Rabobank Foundation, the Rabobank Group’s social fund, does through supporting various youth projects.
The Colour Kitchen is one of those projects for young people who have autism or a behavioural disorder. The 'Colour Your Dreams' educational programme gives young people the opportunity to learn the hospitality trade with the help of instructors and coaches.
Products and services
A child’s first bank account marks an important first step on his or her road to independence. The Rabo TopKidAccount lets children from the age of four put their savings in their own accounts so they can save up for things such as a toy castle or a game console. It’s a fun way for them to learn how to manage their allowance and birthday money.
The Rabo YouthAccount is available to young people aged 9 to 18. It comes with an own bank card for making cash withdrawals and debit payments. This gives them control over their own money that they get in the form of pocket money, birthday money or wages from after-school jobs.
The Rabo StudentPackage is a free payments package for college and university students. They can use this package to conduct their banking via online or mobile. The bank card can be used in the Netherlands and internationally.
Brazilian theatre project
Outside of the Netherlands, Rabobank also supports children's activities. Rabobank Brazil, in association with the Brazilian government, supports a theatre project for children that focuses on sustainable agriculture. More than 5,000 children at rural schools across Brazil have now seen the play entitled 'O Guardião da Agricultura' (The Guardian of Agriculture). The theatre producers hope the play will sow the first seeds of a new awareness among the future generation: because they hold the future.