WOCCU Haiti Relief Fund Tops US$1 Million
Georgia CU Affiliates Donation Tips the Scale
Prior to the Jan. 12 earthquake, the Magloire Ambroise branch of KOTELAM credit union was the busiest branch of the largest credit union in Port-au-Prince.
MADISON, Wis. — A US$25,000 donation from Georgia Credit Union Affiliates and its members has helped push World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) Haiti Relief Fund past the US$1 million mark. The fund, which provides immediate relief to victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake, will also be used to finance the rebuilding of Haiti's credit unions so they can assist members and support local relief efforts.
WOCCU's fundraising drive, launched in the wake of the earthquake's devastation, attracted donations from individuals, credit unions and credit union groups worldwide. Some of the largest single-donor gifts came from CUNA Mutual Group, Melrose Credit Union in Jamaica, N.Y., and the Irish League of Credit Unions and its international development foundation. The U.S. National Credit Union Foundation, The Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada and the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions each led national fundraising efforts to support the campaign that also resulted in major contributions.
The quake's tremors caused the KOTELAM branch's building to collapse, killing two employees and reducing the once-busy branch to rubble.
"The fact that so many individuals, credit unions and credit union organizations have responded to our call illustrates the compassion and unity found within our movement," said Pete Crear, WOCCU president and CEO. "We are honored and humbled to be able to help the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere begin its rebuilding efforts after suffering such a terrible disaster.
WOCCU was seven months into its first development efforts in Haiti, which began last July, when the January earthquake struck. WOCCU staff is currently working with credit unions, local organizations and even the national regulator to provide short-term emergency relief in the form of food, water and tents in Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince and in nearby Léogâne, the earthquake's epicenter. Intermediate efforts also are underway to research possibilities for establishing a credit union-to-credit union remittance network to allow Haitians living abroad to cost effectively send money to friends and relatives back home. A WOCCU team is developing a long-term plan for rebuilding damaged credit unions, which may also include consulting on providing credit union products and services most in need.
The WOCCU Supporter regular renewal campaign will begin soon. To support global credit unions and their members through the WOCCU Priority Fund, make payments via check, or wire to:
Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, Inc., 5710 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI 53705, USA
Credit card donations may be made online at www.woccu.org /give. For wire transfer information, contact Valerie Breunig, Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, 608-395-2055, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 105 countries serve 217 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.
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Contact: Rebecca Carpenter
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions