WOCCU Volunteer Bill Raker Makes an Impact in Cambodia
Volunteer staff members of Krang Ampil Village Bank credit union met
with Raker to discuss their credit union’s operations. Pictured (l-r):
Vong Sarinda, Cambodian Community Finance Institution Network
coordinator, Bill Raker, Kundi Lay, Cambodian Credit Union Foundation
of Australia project manager, and Van Sam On, Krang Ampil Village Bank
treasurer. Photo courtesy of Bill Raker.
Madison, WI—Bill Raker, President and
of US Federal Credit Union, traveled to Cambodia
last month to assess prospective credit unions
as part of the World Council of Credit Unions
(WOCCU)-Credit Union Foundation of Australia
(CUFA) collaborative effort to foster credit
union growth in Cambodia.
One-third of Cambodia’s 14 million people
below the country’s poverty level of US$0.50 per
day. Raker visited credit unions in two villages
in the rural rice farming area 100 kilometers
from the capital city of Phnom Penh.
Of his trip, Raker reported, “The two credit
unions I visited were in an area that has an
agrarian, underdeveloped, minimalist economy.
The visit to Cambodia was an eye-opening, life-
He found people living in wooden homes on
surrounded by rice fields. Pigs, chickens and
ducks roamed freely around the dirt floors and
cattle were tethered inside the houses. Water
flowed only from hand-pumped wells, and there
was no electricity.
Raker met with Takeo Farmers’
volunteer credit union directors in a multi-purpose community building
that served as the central office for the credit union’s operations.
Photo courtesy of Bill Raker.
Raker was one of the first foreigners ever to
visit the remote village of Krang Ampil Village
Bank credit union. First organized in 2001, the
credit union has 47 members from a village of
about 125 families. Members pool their savings
to provide loans for fellow members to buy
chickens for raising and selling, fertilizer and
rice for planting, and goods for selling in the
One female member used a loan from Krang
Village Bank credit union her to buy a sewing
machine. She now uses the machine to make silk
items that she sells to support her family.
Given the history of conflict in Cambodia,
people tend to mistrust government, politicians
and each other. “Yet members are learning to
trust each other through their experiences with
their credit unions,” Raker commented.
Founded just last year, Takeo Farmers credit
union brings together 1,402 members from 26
village associations. Village members elect
volunteer “directors,” who oversee the credit
union by receiving and accounting for the
deposits and approving and administering loans.
Takeo Farmers’ loans are primarily for
agriculture and retail commerce for self-
One credit union family explained to Raker
they were saving for emergencies, illness and
old age. The same family had accessed a credit
union loan for an ox cart to carry fertilizer to
the fields and to haul their garden produce to
sell in the local market at harvest time.
Brian Branch, Chief Operating Officer and
Vice President of WOCCU explained, “There is a
tremendous amount of talent and good will in the
credit union movement in Cambodia. Through
collaboration within the international credit
union system, volunteers like Bill Raker reach
out and make an impact in some of the most
remote and underserved communities in the world
The WOCCU-CUFA development program will
credit unions with solid growth potential so
they can construct buildings and generate
confidence in their communities to attract new
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, 51,000 cooperativas de ahorro y crédito en 100 países atienden a 196 millones de personas. Obtenga más información sobre el impacto global del Consejo Mundial en www.woccu.org.
Contacto principal: Mike Muckian
Organización: World Council of Credit Unions