GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala—More than 69 participants from seven countries in Central and South America assembled at Hotel Vista Real here last week for World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) Manager Certification Program. The two-year program, which focuses on training current and aspiring managers in the global credit union movement, was held concurrently with WOCCU's Latin American Regional Forum for the second consecutive year. Attendance exceeded expectations and surpassed the program's original capacity.
Session instructors taught first-year participants how to use historical trends, the regulatory environment, competition and appropriate product pricing to better forecast and drive the growth of their own financial institutions. Second-year students showed significant progress after having put first-year lessons into practice, according to Mark Cifuentes, senior vice president and head of WOCCU's global technical services efforts who facilitates and teaches the program together with other WOCCU staff.
"It's incredible to see the change in people when they learn about cooperative and financial principles," Cifuentes said. "Now that they have completed their second year, they have a clearer vision for the future and are ready to turn their credit unions into model institutions."
The first-year class of 53 participants included representatives from credit unions in Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Nicaragua. The second-year class of 16 included attendees from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Peru. Students at both levels benefitted from the expertise of WOCCU's instructors.
"It's been very important to have this wonderful experience during which I not only have been learning about the theory of business planning and interpretation, but also different cooperative concepts at the global level," said Rosa María Aviles, a second-year participant from Nicaragua. "I learned a lot that I will be able to implement in my credit union to reach greater success."
The next Manager Certification Program will be held in conjunction with the Pacific Credit Union Technical Congress, scheduled for Sept. 29-Oct. 3 in Nadi, Fiji. Subsequent programs will be held in October in Banjul, The Gambia, and in November in Bucharest, Romania. For more information and to download a registration form, visit www.woccu.org/events/mcp or contact Nicole Bice 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 103 countries serve 208 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.