Kids Finance Initiative

Meet the KFI educators

“No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship” – Dr. James P. Comer

We firmly believe this and our highly trained and qualified educators have a deep passion for teaching and strive to build warm and trusting relationships with the kids. These strong social bonds help the kids connect and learn better, resulting in better learning outcomes.

They say there is no school better than its teachers and this is true for Kids Finance Initiative. Our team of educators are our best asset and the lifeblood of our success.

Manisha Daya

I’m a mother of young children and a qualified accountant (ACCA) from the UK. The first seven years of my career were with Ernst & Young, where I gained immeasurable knowledge of audit and accounting, especially of small to medium businesses. This was followed by five years with a UK listed company as a management accountant. In that time, I also participated in voluntary child numeracy coaching as I had an underlying passion to teach; both my parents are teachers.

Each school subject gives our children the opportunity to make their own career choices, but every entrepreneur, doctor, engineer or even full-time parent needs to have one core life skill – and that’s financial literacy. This is not formally taught and it’s something rarely spoken about in many homes. I believe the Kids’ Finance Initiative will give our young generation a great foundation for being financially responsible.

My finance career, voluntary work and my role as a mother blend into a path where I look forward to engaging with young minds and teaching them about financial literacy. I believe it’s time to follow my passion and impart my knowledge and experience to the next generation.

Sia Mlay

I’m a parent and a finance professional (CPA) with over 14 years of experience, gained at Commercial Bank International in Dubai and Chase Bank in Kenya. I’ve also held significant positions with PricewaterhouseCooper and Ernst & Young and hold a Master’s Degree in Finance from the University of London and a Bachelor’s of Commerce from the University of Nairobi.I have recently completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (International) with the University of Nottingham.

My expertise ranges from financial analysis and reporting to auditing and tax consultancy, and I’ve also been involved in employee development and training in accounting, finance and mathematics. I enjoy learning and sharing my knowledge with others.

Like all parents, I’d like to ensure my children are prepared to be independent adults in the future, that they grow up understanding the value of money. In addition to getting a sound general education, I firmly believe youngsters should be financially literate. Learning money management skills at an early age will create an awareness, and stimulate ideas about how to manage finances. It will show that finance doesn’t have to be scary or dull – it can be fun.

I look forward to playing an active role in the journey our students are taking towards becoming money-savvy.

Dana Abusalhieh

I’m a business graduate and I’ve held teaching and training positions in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Canada, working with students of different ages, including children. I’ve taught Business English and English as a Second Language at training centres in Dubai, and English and Social Studies at both primary and intermediate levels in Riyadh and Jeddah. In Toronto, I provided e-marketing and website consulting services to small businesses in a programme at Humber College, where I earned a Bachelor’s in Applied Business (e-business). I also hold Cambridge’s ESL teaching certification from International House in Dubai.

I have a passion for teaching, and as an educator I find nothing is more empowering for children than making informed decisions and taking ownership of the results. I believe that this is exactly what the Kids’ Financial Initiative promotes – tools to help youngsters make micro financial decisions. Being part of a generation where schools did not promote financial responsibilities or basic skills such as filing taxes, I strongly believe in the importance of this programme for children. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and enthusiasm with them.

Pooja Bhargava

I’m a researcher, educator and curious mother. My eagerness to understand children led me to earn my doctorate in Child Development / Developmental Psychology from Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, in 2011. That followed my master’s in Child Development (2004) and my bachelor’s in Home Science (2002), both also from Lady Irwin.

In efforts across India, Germany, Italy, Greece and Dubai, I’ve designed and facilitated educational workshops for parents, teachers and children, worked with several nongovernmental organisations, taught and lectured frequently, presented many training sessions, conducted several seminars and authored more than a dozen papers.

I believe children are inherently clever and sharp. We as adults need to nurture these talents and help them to complement the formal education pupils acquire over the years. KFI programmes do just that, preparing children for the world that awaits their entry.

Bringing up my two daughters compels me to call upon my training in child development, constantly challenging and reinventing the norms. As an educator at KFI I naturally extend my role as a child development professional to share – and enrich – my base of knowledge.

Maria Fiedorczuk

I am a devoted and accomplished educationalist, with a passion for student development. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Teaching English Language, as well as a Master’s degree in English Philology.

I possess a unique blend of expertise and extensive exposure in the field of lecturing, consulting, lesson planning and delivery, classroom management, restructuring classroom strategies, and student performance evaluation.

I readily apply highly developed interpersonal and communication skills to create a productive and proactive learning environment in which my students thrive. In my lessons, I always try to incorporate moral values and real-life situations for the participants to relate to.

During the years I have taught so far, I have realized that money management is a foreign concept to most of the youngsters I work with. Through the Kids Finance Initiative course, I hope to teach children how to become financially responsible, wise and organised with regard to their assets. I believe that this will set them up for life, and give them a sound foundation on which to grow.

Shahista Sheik

As an educator with a Bachelors degree in Education and 8years of experience in the primary sector I feel that kids need to be knowledgeable on money matters and how to handle it, In order to prepare them to be our future global leaders. I’m passionate about teaching as these skills are vital especially with the economy and preparing them to deal with the financial challenges in adulthood! It will also help them understand from an early age the “value” of money and the role it plays in our everyday lives.

Clodagh Musgrave

I am a Science and Mathematics teacher with over 5 years’ experience teaching Primary and Secondary students in Ireland and the UAE. I am currently working as a Head of Science in a UAE International School, where I am actively involved in promoting an innovative approach to teaching and learning. I am a highly motivated, enthusiastic and skilled teacher with a strong commitment to student development and progress.

I believe that all subjects should be made relatable and that what students learn inside the classroom should be implemented and practiced outside of it. Students should be enriched with skills that will benefit them in the working world and more importantly raise their awareness of money management and finance. The Kids Finance Initiative offers a unique and exciting way for kids to become educated and skilled in their understanding of effective money management. Hence, I am thoroughly looking forward to teaching and engaging in such a stimulating and informative program.

Kyla Benade

I’m from Cape Town, South Africa. I have a Bachelors of Education from the University of Stellenbosch and I’ve been an educator since 2010 with the past two years having been lived as an expat teaching and living in the UAE. I’m excited to get involved in this fantastic initiative because I come from a strong entrepreneurial background. I hope that through this initiative I can help young people understand the positives of bringing their own ideas and passion to the world whilst still earning money in a responsible and self-sustaining way.

Kasia Szelag

I graduated from the Warsaw University of Management and Law with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Public Relations and obtained an MBA diploma from the Australian University, represented by Chifley Business School, here in the UAE. With over 10 years of experience in business and marketing, I’m able to apply a unique combination of skills to achieve positive outcomes when teaching kids.

I’m excited to be part of this excellent initiative and I’m looking forward to sharing some moments of fun, creativity, productivity and of course financial management, leadership and entrepreneurship knowledge with the younger generation. Children are our future and it’s up to us to prepare them in the best way for what’s yet to come.