World Council and RCUL Launch Russian CU Training Program
(l-r): Valery Kasatkin, RCUL chairman, Paweł Grzesik, NACSCU director of international programs, John Kalfayan, World Council senior manager of technical services, Dina Plakhotnaya, key founder of the modern Russian cooperative movement, and Alexander Solomkin, RCUL deputy CEO. Photo courtesy of RCUL.
Madison, WI—World Council of Credit
Unions, Inc. and the Russian Credit Union League
(RCUL) unveiled a three-year credit union
strengthening program at the 5th National
Conference on Microfinance held in Moscow,
Russia, November 29 December 1.
The conference, "Microfinance in Russia:
Elements of Success," was co-hosted by RCUL, a
World Council Member, and
the Russian Microfinance Center. RCUL chairman,
Valery Kasatkin, and World Council of Credit
Unions' senior manager of technical services,
John Kalfayan, spoke about the direction of the
new program, which focuses on building a safe
and sound Russian credit union system.
The program stems from a World Council and
assessment in June, when US league volunteers
began developing a long-term strategy for
strengthening Russia's 1,240 credit unions and
rural credit cooperatives. That trip was
followed by a visit in September, which resulted
in the signed agreement between RCUL and World
Council to conduct the three-year program.
"The promise of the Russian credit union
is immense," said Kalfayan, who recently helped
design a training curriculum for Russian credit
union executives visiting California. "Extremely
accomplished and energetic people will be
involved in this effort throughout Russia."
The effort includes advocacy support to
legal obstacles to credit union activities,
training and technical assistance, and measures
intended to strengthen the national and regional
network of credit union associations.
In partnership with RCUL and with expertise
the Louisiana Credit Union League, World Council
is founding a permanent training institute in
Russia. The institute will provide instruction
in both the basic credit union curriculum and
the use of advanced World Council tools to
produce certified trainers that will conduct
national, regional and distance learning
RCUL will host a training session on PEARLS
financial performance monitoring system, and
Poland's National Association of Co-operative
Savings and Credit Unions (NACSCU) will organize
a marketing training during RCUL's annual
general meeting in Siberia in February. World
Council, RCUL and NACSCU will
also co-host an inaugural conference with
intensive training sessions for eastern European
countries in September.
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, 51,000 credit unions in 100 countries serve 196 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.