CU Celebration Draws Over 5,000 Women
WOCCU Representatives Attend FOCCUS Summit and SCWE Grand Assembly in Davao, Philippines
Luis Sasuman, WOCCU-Philippines project director, speaks to SCWE assembly.
Madison, WI - World Council of Credit Unions,
(WOCCU) recently coordinated the travel of a group
of United States credit union representatives to
Davao, Philippines to participate in the first
annual Finance Organizations Achieving Certified
Credit Union Standards (FOCCUS) Summit and the
third Savings and Credit with Education (SCWE)
Grand Assembly. The group included WOCCU's
technical development senior manager, Dave
Richardson; Tiffany Kultgen, IRnet Officer,
Kathy Chartier, CEO, Members Credit Union; Tom
Graves, CEO, King's County Credit Union; and
Dennis Cutter, CEO of Numerica Credit Union.
Shortly after their arrival, the group met the
Credit Union Empowerment and Strengthening (CUES)
staff for an orientation of the events to follow.
Project director Luis Sasuman and the other CUES
staff work under the direction of WOCCU and are
funded by a grant from the United States Agency
for International Development (USAID).
The FOCCUS Summit began the next day.
and directors attended from savings and credit
cooperatives throughout the Philippines, some
traveling as long as 16 hours to attend.
Following the opening remarks, Chartier spoke
about the importance of credit union leagues,
including the Philippines' recently formed Model
Cooperative Network (MCN), bringing value to
member credit unions. Other summit topics
included supervision and examination, regulation,
safety and soundness, international remittances
(IRnet) and branding.
Later in their visit, the group attended the
Grand Assembly. SCWE, a micro-finance program
developed by the CUES project, has served over
40,000 Filipino women and their families to date.
SCWE staff members visit rural areas to form
groups of low-income women who are economically
active and capable of microenterprise. The groups
meet weekly to make a deposit and receive
education on health practices, self-development
and better business skills. The women take turns
borrowing the money that they save, and every loan
is used to improve their families' quality of
SCWE attendees celebrate cooperatives.
Over 5,000 women from SCWE groups organized by
six different Philippine cooperatives attended
this year's SCWE Grand Assembly, a bi-annual
event. In an inspirational message to the group,
Kultgen encouraged the women to share what they
have learned with others on a regular basis. "I
would like to challenge you to share your
knowledge and experience with at least five other
people by the end of the year. Many of you have
said that the cooperative has changed your life.
I want you to remember today and always that you
are the cooperative, you and the other women
around you. You are truly people helping people
and that's what it's all about."
Also during the event, a representative of each
cooperative spoke of her successes made possible
by participation in the SCWE program. "Although
we were asked to give inspirational messages, the
women were the true inspiration," said Chartier.
"It was amazing to see the sheer volume, the
enthusiasm and the commitment of these women. We
all felt proud to be part of the worldwide credit
union movement, knowing that they were all there
because they had been touched by the
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries serve 208 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.