Duluth, GA – Seventeen representatives from eight Georgia credit unions and the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA) recently participated in the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the People to People Partnership in Krakow, Poland from June 21-26, 2005.
The highlight of the trip was a symposium entitled "Focus on the Future-The Next 10 Years." The event included a presentation of the highlights and successes of the first ten years of the partnership and an open dialogue session led by Mike Mercer, President, Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA) and Grzegorz Bierecki, President, National Association of Cooperative and Savings Credit Unions (NACSCU).
The symposium also featured partnership success profiles presented by the Georgia and Polish credit unions, and discussions on identifying priorities for future partnership collaborations.
"This celebration was one of the most fulfilling and thought provoking events of our 10-year partnership with the Polish credit union system. Participants left the celebration with a deeper appreciation of what the Polish credit union system has achieved in terms of serving the consumers of Poland. In addition, the Polish credit union movement has been instrumental in the growth and development of credit unions within several former east block countries," according to Dan Denning, Staff Liaison for the Georgia/Polish partnership at GCUA.
Additional highlights of the trip included the delegations' participation in the 13th Annual General Meeting of NACSCU. In addition to the Georgia delegation, there were hundreds of attendees from the eastern European countries of Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, Romania and Moldova; all of which have been assisted in starting their own credit unions by the Polish credit union system. Representatives from the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) were also present.
The Polish Partnership was formed on May 12, 1995 to establish cooperation for the benefit of the Poland and Georgia credit union movements. This partnership has focused on assistance in developing new products and services, direct training for leaders of new Polish credit unions, sharing information and expertise, funding special projects, providing technical assistance and participating in exchange visits. Thirteen Georgia credit unions have participated in the program since its inception.
The Georgia credit unions represented on the trip were: BOND Community Credit Union, Delta Employees Credit Union, Gwinnett Federal Credit Union, Health Center Credit Union, Lockheed Georgia Employees' Federal Credit Union, MACO Educators Federal Credit Union, Robins Federal Credit Union and TIC Federal Credit Union. Since its rebirth in 1991 the Poland credit union movement has become Poland's largest network of financial services. They have accumulated more than $1 billion USD in consumer savings with more than seventy-seven credit unions serving more than 1 million Polish citizens.
Georgia credit unions are cooperative non-profit financial institutions that help members and their families achieve their financial goals. Credit unions' service and operations are guided by four cooperative principles: "Members, Not Just Customers," "One Member, One Vote," "Service Makes the Difference," and "Profits Belong to the Members."
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El Consejo Mundial de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito es la asociación gremial y agencia de desarrollo para el sistema internacional de cooperativas de ahorro y crédito. El Consejo Mundial promueve el crecimiento sustentable de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y otras cooperativas financieras en todo el mundo a fin de facultar a las personas para que mejoren su calidad de vida a través del acceso a servicios financieros asequibles y de alta calidad. El Consejo Mundial realiza esfuerzos de defensa activa en representación del sistema global de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito ante organizaciones internacionales y trabaja con gobiernos nacionales para mejorar la legislación y la regulación. Sus programas de asistencia técnica introducen nuevas herramientas y tecnologías para fortalecer el desempeño financiero de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y profundizar su alcance comunitario.
El Consejo Mundial ha implementado 290 programas de asistencia técnica en 71 países. A nivel mundial, 57,000 cooperativas de ahorro y crédito en 103 países atienden a 208 millones de personas. Obtenga más información sobre el impacto global del Consejo Mundial en www.woccu.org.