Registration for the Development Education (DE) Program Opens

News Now

January 22, 2004

Contact: Kris Hoffman Ackley
Organization: Credit Union National Association

MADISON, Wis. (1/21/04)--The National CU Foundation (NCUF) is accepting applications for its Development Education program, which explores the social mission and uniqueness of credit unions.

NCUF's DE program will be held June 3-8 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Participants study community development, low- income credit unions, and cultures and movements of developing nations.

"After six years working with this program and the people who have gone through it, I will say without hesitation that the Development Education program can be life altering," said Bruce Wheeler, DE program director and the NCUF's director of grants and communication. "It truly opens peoples' eyes as to the power that credit unions have to impact the world around us."

Wheeler cited Lois Kitsch, regional manager of Asia and Europe for World Council of CUs Inc. (WOCCU), and her dramatic shift in career paths as an example of the power of the program.

Kitsch is preparing for a two-year stint in Afghanistan to help the country's citizens open up to 15 credit unions using Islamic banking principles. Kitsch emphasized the need for credit unions in Afghanistan because the general public lacks many basic saving and credit services, with options limited to borrowing from local grocery stores.

Kitsch recently returned to the U.S. after five years in the Philippines where she helped establish several credit unions. "The Development Education program changed my life," Kitsch said. "It not only changed what I thought of my life, but also what I thought of myself."

To be eligible for the program, staff and volunteers must:

Be an employee or volunteer of an organization affiliated with CUNA (credit unions, leagues, associations and service organizations) or, in the case of international participants, an association affiliated with WOCCU;

Receive employer and league signatures on the application as an endorsement; and

Be willing to devote a reasonable amount of work and personal time for development-related volunteer activities of their choosing.

The program is presented by the NCUF with support from WOCCU, CUNA and CUNA Mutual Group.

Deadline for registration is May 7. For more information and application materials, call Bruce Wheeler at 800-356-9655, ext. 4979, or use the resource link.

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 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 68,882 credit unions in 109 countries serve 235 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at