Credit Unions and WOCCU: Vehicles for HIV/AIDS Prevention
(Right) An instructor goes over the HIV/AIDS prevention materials for the 2 week program.
Madison, WI—As part of the World Council
Credit Unions' Cooperative Development Program,
twenty-seven credit union leaders, volunteers
and members from the Mwalimu SACCO (credit
union) complete a 10 day intensive training
program on HIV/AIDS prevention in Nairobi, Kenya
today. These participants are the first group of
peer leaders at Mwalimu.
Agnes Kamene Muema, a teacher at the
Girls Secondary School in Tala, Machakos and a
member of Mwalimu SACCO shared, "I have gained a
lot of knowledge. This training will strengthen
my self confidence to talk with my with my
colleagues at school about the facts on
HIV/AIDS, the very personal behavioral issues
around it, and also with the girls I teach." She
continued, "There are a lot of rumors and myths
around HIV/AIDS. Most people do not know the
facts. After completing this training I will be
able to tell them real facts on
Participants learn about group exercises to help dispel myths about HIV/AIDS.
The next step for these peer leaders is to
train five selected peer educators (also from
credit union's membership) in order to receive
certification as an HIV/AIDS peer leader from
JHPIEGO Corporation, the non-profit health
organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins
University that is implementing the training and
certification of peer leaders program. The
training course includes segments
on presentation skills, as well as basic facts
about HIV/AIDS, comprehensive HIV/AIDS care and
prevention, assessing HIV/AIDS risk and behavior
The Mwalimu SACCO was a natural choice to
participate in the Peer-to-Peer education
program, with its membership being made up of
45,000 secondary teachers throughout Kenya.
Catherine Ford, World Council's Cooperative
Development Program manager, shared, "Who better
than teachers to educate credit union members
and the community."
Participants were chosen from over 400
applicants in 8 different regions of Kenya that
applied to attend the 2 week educational program
on HIV/AIDS prevention. Both peer leaders and
peer educators will be responsible for
disseminating information in schools, community
events, public forums and other avenues.
Millicent Dahiambo, teacher at Majengo Mixed
Secondary School remarked, "I have learned now
that we have to talk openly and frankly about
the facts about HIV/AIDS - with our colleagues,
our students, our husbands, our boyfriends, our
neighbors, our brothers and sisters, every body.
Here we learn not to be shy about the facts."
The program is counting on the facts and the
interest in the program to have an impact
behavior and transmission rates of HIV/AIDS.
WOCCU's Cooperative Development Program is
funded by the U.S. Agency for International
USAID administers the US foreign assistance
program providing economic and humanitarian
assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.
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.