The Russian invasion of Ukraine has not only brought suffering to the Ukrainian people, it has also disrupted previously functional communication and transportation channels. In the new reality of wartime Ukraine, digital channels are playing a key role in connecting people and ensuring access to necessities and humanitarian help.
Ukrainian credit unions first faced issues caused by the lack of digital components during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, World Council's Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project organized Digital Marketing and Telemarketing Schools for partner credit union employees—sharing best practices for using modern communication tools to enhance sales and better serve their members.
During the war, applying this technical knowledge through the use of new tools has proved instrumental for the credit unions and their employees working to provide services to members and their families and volunteering with initiatives aimed at providing assistance to Ukrainian soldiers and civilians.
For instance, a credit union in Chernivtsi Oblast created a special chat group through the Viber messaging app to organize fundraising for emerging needs. Many credit union members with accrued interest on their deposits now donate it through that Viber group to support the Ukrainian military. Using those donations, the credit union purchased roll mats, sleeping bags, food and medications and delivered them to brigades of the Ukrainian Armed Forces located around Kyiv. A separate room in the credit union office is allocated to collect, sort and pack a variety of aid items.
Another credit union that operates across several regions of Western Ukraine has set up a call center at one of its facilities. There, credit union staffers help internally displaced people find accommodations and facilitate the collection of humanitarian aid. The level of people’s trust in the institution remains very high, which makes it a reliable intermediary in the process of helping those in need.
The CAP Project continues to provide digitalization-related assistance to its partner credit unions, recently launching an initiative to organize cloud back-ups for the institutions’ data and to get it stored on remote servers outside Ukraine.
World Council of Credit Unions' Credit for Agriculture for Producers' (CAP) Project, a USAID-funded activity, provided the content for this post. The names of specific credit unions and their employees were omitted for their safety.