First CU Training Workshop in Liberia a Success
Liberian credit union leaders with Jamie Raile, World Council business development manager, at the training workshop.
Madison, WI—More than 40 Liberian
union directors and staff attended a two-day
training workshop last month sponsored and
conducted by World Council of Credit Unions,
Inc., in Monrovia, Liberia.
World Council business development manager,
Jamie Raile, and a Malawian credit union
consultant, Robert Mbeza, facilitated the
workshop. Sessions included training on model
credit union building, savings mobilization,
governance and World Council's PEARLS financial
performance monitoring system.
Workshop attendees participate in one of Raile's training sessions.
Credit union directors and staff from 18
unions, along with officials from the Liberian
Cooperative Development Agency, Liberian Credit
Union National Association (LCUNA) and the
United Nations Development Programme,
attended the training.
Dozens of credit unions were established in
Liberia in the 1970s and 1980s around
the "traditional" model of credit unions, but
much of that system was destroyed due to the
decade long civil war and conflict. Many of the
workshop participants received training for the
first time at the workshop. They were
enthusiastic and involved, despite the heat and
a noisy generator used to power the computer for
Otto G. Lombaye, co-chairman of Gbeh
Credit Union, traveled over seven hours by road
to attend the workshop. He said he was very
pleased with the training and thanked World
Council for coordinating it.
"Since we organized our credit union, we have
never gone through this type of workshop, and I
believe because of this training our credit
union will improve," Lombaye said. "The war in
our country disrupted the operations of the
credit unions, and their performance went down.
Right now we are working towards rebuilding the
credit unions, so this training—and more
of such training programs in the
future—are going to help a lot."
In addition to participants' enthusiasm to
what they had learned back to their credit
unions, LCUNA invited all credit union
chairpersons to attend a meeting the following
Saturday to discuss revitalizing the national
The workshop resulted from a World Council
assessment and visit in May conducted by Raile
and Brian Branch, chief operating officer. World
Council is currently seeking donor funding to
create a comprehensive project to provide
training and technical assistance to Liberia's
credit unions, its national association and
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.