Madison, WI – Irishman and former politician John Hume has spent his life advocating for the rights of the "common man". At the 2006 World Credit Union Conference in Dublin, Ireland, he will receive this year's Distinguished Service Award in recognition for his work in promoting the credit union movement in Ireland.
Hume's credit union work began at the age of twenty-three, when he and a few friends founded the Derry Credit Union – the first in Northern Ireland – with less than £10. Within four years, Hume was named president of the Irish League of Credit Unions. He later sat on the board of CUNA International (a precursor to WOCCU) and is the only current life director of the Irish League Board. Hume was instrumental in developing the links between WOCCU, CUNA and the Irish League of Credit Unions.
In addition to his credit union work, Hume was a leading figure in Ireland's civil rights movement in the 1960s. He is the only person in history to have won the three biggest peace awards in the world: the Nobel Peace Prize (of which he was the Catholic co-winner with Protestant David Trimble for fostering peace in Northern Ireland), the Gandhi Peace Prize and the Martin Luther King Award. He will be the second Nobel Peace Prize winner in four years to attend this year's WOCCU Conference.
Though he was one of the key contributors to Northern Ireland's peace process, Hume publicly acknowledges that his greatest accomplishment was establishing Northern Ireland's credit union movement. As a distinguished speaker at the 2001 Annual WOCCU International Conference in Killarney, Ireland, he spoke about credit unions' important humanitarian role in today's world.
"Credit unions lay the foundations of new societies built upon strength, equalizing humanity throughout the world," Hume said.
World Council's Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor paid to individuals and institutions by the worldwide credit union movement, recognizing outstanding contributions to international credit union development. It is awarded at the annual World Credit Union Conference. Last year's recipients were Gerry Foley, former WOCCU board chairman, and the Roman Catholic Church. The 2006 World Credit Union Conference in Dublin, Ireland, will be from July 27-30, 2006. To save on registration fees, sign up by May 19, 2006. Visit WOCCU's website for more information and to register: http://www.woccu.org/dublin06/welcome/ .
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.