Credit Union Leagues from Indiana, Dominica Sign Agreement
Memorandum of Understanding covers cooperation and technical support
Source: Dominica Co-operative Societies League, Indiana Credit Union League
April 19, 2019
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind—John McKenzie, President of the Indiana Credit Union League (ICUL), and Phoenix Belfield, General Manager of the Dominica Co-operative Societies League Ltd. (DCSLL), signed a historic cooperation agreement to foster greater collaboration between the two credit union movements. The agreement will span areas of technical cooperation, sharing of best practices and strategic initiatives to benefit both movements.
The signing comes on the heels of Dominican credit union executives visiting Washington, D.C., Wisconsin and Indiana. This interaction is the third phase of a three-prong collaborative approach facilitated by World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU). The delegation from Dominica benefited from strategic planning sessions and training with executives from the ICUL, Wisconsin Credit Union League and several of the organizations' member credit unions. They learned strategies and practices related to agricultural lending, local micro-finance and adaptation, financial positions and risk analysis.
In September 2018, World Council President and CEO Brian Branch led a delegation of Indiana Credit Union League members on a historic visit to Dominica, as part of WOCCU’s efforts to help the country’s credit union movement recover from Hurricane Maria by rebuilding resilient systems through technical empowerment.
The Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions raised more than $200,000 through its Caribbean Disaster Relief Fund to assist Dominica, the Dominica Credit Union movement and other Caribbean nations. WOCCU also partnered with the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU) in providing support to the government of Dominica by providing tents and chairs to assist in the reopening of schools.
“We have been very impressed by the dedication and efforts of the leaders of the DCSLL and Dominica’s credit unions,” said ICUL President John McKenzie. “They are advancing the crucial role of credit unions to help families and individuals in Dominica build a stronger financial future. We were pleased to assist them through our delegation going to their country in September and hosting them in Indiana this week, and look forward to the continuing partnership.”
DCSLL General Manager Phoenix Belfield emphasized the importance of cooperation among different credit union systems regardless of their geographical distance.
“Cooperation among cooperatives should not be a cliché, but rather concrete actions rooted on the core ideology of cooperativism. The solidarity shown to the Dominica movement by the Indiana League and the other strategic partners of the World Council and the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions demonstrates that geographical boundaries pose no hindrance to fostering greater ties,” said Belfield. “The wealth of experience and knowledge of the ICUL will provide immeasurable benefits to the credit union movement in Dominica in the areas of compliance, advocacy, corporate governance and strategic planning, and enhanced best practices.”
The ICUL is comprised of 154 credit unions with an aggregate membership of 2.5 million members and assets equaling $27.9 billion. A core focus of the ICUL has included advocacy, compliance support services and creation of strategic initiatives to assist its members. The DCSLL has a consolidated membership of 76,130 members from six credit unions and combined assets of $326 million.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform 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 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 89,026 credit unions in 117 countries serve 260 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.