WOCCU Launches HIV/AIDS-Credit Union Program
Emmanuel Lubembe, chairman of Afya SACCO Society, opens the HIV/AIDS peer education training by challenging participants to use this training to find a way to help credit union members.
Nairobi, Kenya – Sixteen credit union staff
members from Afya SACCO began innovative training
here today as part of a World Council of Credit
Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) program seeking to utilize
strong credit union networks to address the
HIV/AIDS pandemic. The intensive two-week "train
the trainers" peer education training will equip
participating credit union staff to pass along the
knowledge gained during this training to
colleagues, and eventually to credit union
"HIV/AIDS is the greatest scourge on humanity,"
said training participant Dionne Mulumba, who
works at Afya's headquarters in Nairobi.
"Training of trainers is the best opportunity I
have to learn on how to save lives of both
infected and affected. I am here because I want
to make a difference."
Upon completion of the course, participants will
be required to train a minimum of five colleagues
before becoming certified in HIV/AIDS peer
education by JHPIEGO, the non-profit health
organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins
University implementing the program in partnership
with WOCCU. The training course includes segments
on presentation skills, as well as basic facts
about HIV/AIDS, comprehensive HIV/AIDS care and
prevention, assessing HIV/AIDS risk and behavior
Representatives from Afya SACCO's headquarters and
three of its 104 branches are participating in
this training and will pilot the peer education
program while Afya considers opportunities for
expansion. Afya is a closed-bond credit union,
serving health care workers throughout Kenya.
Funding for this pilot program comes from the
Cooperative Development Program administered by
the U.S. Agency for International Development
Sixteen staff members from Afya SACCO, a Kenyan credit union with more than 100 branches across the country, spend the first day of their HIV/AIDS training learning about making effective presentations.
"The implications of this pilot program are
monumental," said WOCCU governmental affairs
manager Molly Schar, who is observing the training
program on behalf of WOCCU. "Imagine being able
to harness the strength of the relationships
between staff and members of credit unions
embedded in the very communities most affected by
HIV/AIDS. Credit unions by their very nature have
incredible potential to reach out to their members
to educate them, to spur behavior change and to
offer a support system for people affected by
HIV/AIDS. This program is a crucial first step
towards making that vision a reality."
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, 56,000 credit unions in 101 countries serve 200 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.