MADISON, Wis. — World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and the Global Women's Leadership Network announced Wednesday it will offer two new engagement programs this year, one to Belarus and another to Kenya. Both programs will provide credit union leaders a one-of-a-kind, hands-on way to become directly involved in the global credit union movement. Participants will learn first-hand about the challenges other credit unions face within their regulatory environments, as well as work alongside WOCCU development staff on key credit union issues.
"Participants have the opportunity to travel to another country, learn about the local credit union system and provide knowledge that will help other movements flourish," said Brian Branch, WOCCU executive vice president and COO. "Each program needs different expertise, so attendees should select one that best matches their interests."
Belarus, located in Central Europe, will host an engagement program from Sept. 4 – 10, 2011. Work in Belarus will focus on developing credit union legislation and regulation, as well as providing staff training to the credit union trade association there. This is a unique opportunity to help a newly established credit union movement get off the ground.
Another opportunity will be in Kenya, located in East Africa, from Oct. 30 – Nov. 6, 2011. Participants will develop savings and credit products tailored to meet the needs of the rural poor and see first-hand how small credit unions are reaching the unbanked through an application service provider program that WOCCU developed. During the trip, participants will also volunteer at a WOCCU-supported orphanage, Busia Compassionate Centre.
"My trip to Kenya was inspiring on many levels," said Joanne Duncan, CUNA senior vice president and CFO who participated in an engagement program to Kenya last year. "WOCCU and its staff live the philosophy of people helping people and seeing them in action, knowing the impact they've had at Busia, was inspiring. I'm challenged every day to incorporate that philosophy into my work. That's what sets credit unions apart from other institutions."
Men and women alike are eligible to participate in the engagement programs, and participants do not need to be members of the Global Women's Leadership Network. However, network members receive a discounted registration fee. For more information about engagement program and registration fees, visit www.cuwomen.org/engagementprograms.
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.