Madison, WI – Last week, a new high-tech network system was installed at the World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) office in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The installation of the network makes WOCCU-Bolivia a central financial facility, fulfilling one of the goals of the partnership agreement between Bolivia and Ohio. Participating representatives included, Steve Schaefer, WOCCU technical officer to Latin America and the Caribbean; John Elden, IT systems operations manager of Corporate One Federal Credit Union (Ohio); and Julio Fernandez, project director of WOCCU-Bolivia.
Two servers connect 33 credit unions in remote locations all over Bolivia to a centralized data network housed in the WOCCU-Bolivia office. Corporate One, in partnership with WOCCU-Bolivia, developed the software needed for this network at no cost to the project. Because of their efforts, credit unions in Bolivia will now be able to send transfers from one credit union to the other via a website called "ServiRed." A family living in one rural area will be able to easily and inexpensively transfer money to other family members in another rural area; a man working in the city can wire money to his wife living in the country.
Further, all workstations in the office are now networked to each other so that it will be easier for staff to share files and collaborate on projects.
"We could not have moved as quickly and efficiently without the help of Corporate One," said Schaefer. "Their involvement in the development of the network software and the installation of the servers is an immeasurable contribution to the credit unions of Bolivia. In short, they have been fantastic!"
"The Ohio Credit Union League is thrilled with the progress made because of the efforts of our partners at Corporate One FCU," added John Florian, the League's Chief Operating Officer. "We are also looking forward to having Sue Helmreich and Kathy Kanipe travel to Bolivia in January to further assist the project."
The partnership between WOCCU-Bolivia, the Ohio Credit Union League, and Corporate One Federal Credit Union began in February of 2003. Both the Ohio League and Corporate One have contributed considerable time and resources to the partnership since its inception and have been instrumental in the success of the WOCCU-Bolivia project.
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, 56,000 credit unions in 101 countries serve 200 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.