World Council Garners Record Funding for Innovative Projects in 2006
Madison, WI—World Council of Credit
Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) expanded the scope and
funding of its microfinance projects in 2006
with a record $34.4 million in signed contracts
and $2.1 million in contributions to World
Council's Worldwide Foundation for Credit
"The real celebration is about how those
translate into tangible impact," emphasized
World Council CEO Pete Crear. "Through
monetization of a wheat donation, farmers in
Kenya will gain training in agricultural
business development; our first-ever project in
Peru assists rural credit union members in
developing market relationships; and Uzbekistan
credit unions are now leasing agricultural
equipment to its members, just to name a few
innovative ways credit unions are empowering
New funding sources for long-term projects
included the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
and Kenya's Financial Sector Deepening (FSD)
Trust. The Gates Foundation recognized World
Council's work in alleviating poverty through
microfinance with a grant to develop tools and a
methodology to sustainedly serve more people
living in poverty. World Council's first long-
term grant from the FSD Trust led to the
creation of a three-year training program for
technical service providers to SACCOs (credit
unions) in Kenya. The training will help
providers better equip SACCOs to meet required
registration and licensing standards.
With a record number of contributions to
Council's Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions
in 2006, World Council was also able to extend
its reach to places where it sees the greatest
need for poverty alleviation. In cooperation
with the Canadian Cooperative Association and
the Credit Union Foundation of Australia,
Supporter money helped fund a new project in
Uganda and an upcoming project in Cambodia.
"While credit union membership dues benefit
World Council's work in advocacy, governance and
conferences, it is through WOCCU Supporter
program gifts that credit unions directly
connect with World Council's international
credit union development field work," said
Valerie Breunig, Worldwide Foundation Manager.
For more information on World Council's work,
please read our 2006 annual report or
us online at www.woccu.org.
The newly redesigned Worldwide Foundation
website also includes information on the use
of funds, a list of current Supporters and an
online donation form.
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.