Representatives of the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) visited their International Partner Macedonia this week to provide support in a number of areas. Mr. Drew Egan, executive vice president of MCUL and CUCorp, and Mr. Hank Hubbard, CEO of Communicating Arts Credit Union of Michigan, conducted a staff training session entitled "Seven Habits for Effective People" and worked on business planning with the FULM Management Boards. They also participated in a number of publicity events, including a TV interview and a meeting with the Mayor of Strumicza, and visited the Parliamentary Commission of the Economy, the Ministry of Economy, and the Ministry of Local Governments.
The Association of Citizens FULM has been working together with World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) since 1995 to develop and implement credit unions as a new type of financial institution in the Macedonian Market. FULM Savings House was founded in 1999, and it has been working with MCUL through WOCCU's International Partnership Program since 2003. Since then MCUL has been instrumental in providing FULM Savings House support through continuous lobbying of the government of Macedonia for savings and credit union legislation, fair banking regulations as well as technical support for training, and marketing design assistance.
USAID has also been instrumental in the growth of the credit union movement in Macedonia. Since 1993 they have invested more than $400 million to support projects that promote Macedonia's transition to a free market-based, multi-ethnic democracy. These projects have included initiatives to accelerate economic growth, develop democratic institutions, and educate citizens for a modern economy. More than 30 projects worth $35 million a year are currently being implemented. This week, USAID furthered its support by delivering a statement on Macedonia' credit union movement to national press at the Central Offices of FULM Savings House and participating in the celebration of International Credit Union Day at JSP branch in Skopje. USAID representatives in attendance included Mr. Brock D. Bierman, Chief of Staff, USAID Bureau of Europe and Eurasia and Mr. Richard Goldman, Mission Director, USAID Macedonia.
"AC FULM and FULM Savings House's celebration of International Credit Union Day recognizes the support of its partners WOCCU, MCUL and USAID," says Martha Ninichuk, WOCCU's technical officer for Asia and Europe. "Without the hard work of all involved, FULM Savings House would not have been able to achieve the level of success as seen today."
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, 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries serve 208 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.