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07 de abril de 2004

WOCCU Makes Pilgrimage to Rochdale, Home of Cooperative Founders

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Madison, WI—During their March visit to the U.K., World Council of Credit Unions' Chairman, L. R. (Bobby) McVeigh and WOCCU's President and CEO, Arthur Arnold made a pilgrimage to Rochdale, home of the first cooperative society. While in Rochdale—which is in Lancaster County, England— they took an extensive tour of the Rochdale Pioneers Museum and also received a welcome from the Lord Mayor, Mr. Sultan Ali, at town hall.

Accompanied by museum warden Dorothy Greaves and Mr. Malcolm Price, McVeigh and Arnold viewed documents and pictures of the first-ever cooperative society, founded in 1844 by 15 merchants in order to provide local workers with affordable food. This original cooperative inspired a number of mid-18th century co- operative societies. These societies centered on farmers and their communities, were bound by common interests, led by volunteer officers and were rooted in a philosophy of self-help. They were the forerunners of the late 19th-century, cooperative movement that spread to urban Germany, resulting in the foundation of the first true credit unions. Credit unions were soon established on the other side of the Atlantic in the early 1900's, first in Quebec, Canada and later in the United States following the model set by their European counterparts.

Following their museum visit, McVeigh, Arnold and the Lord Mayor, met with local leaders at town hall where John Wilson, General Manager and Members of the Board of the local credit union, Streetcred in Rochdale, highlighted its upcoming expansion. Since Rochdale is the birthplace of the Co-operative movement, it is appropriate that the first Metropolitan Borough wide Credit union in the country should be set up there. Streetcred Credit Union is a community based financial co- operative controlled by a voluntary board of directors and serves all who live or work within the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale.

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 105 países atienden a 217 millones de personas. Obtenga más información sobre el impacto global del Consejo Mundial en

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