The 2022 World Credit Union Conference on July 18 featured a joint presentation by Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions and the WOCCU Credit for Agriculture Producers’ (CAP) Project on the bravery being exhibited by credit union professionals in Ukraine who are dealing with Russia’s continued assault on their country.
“I’ve talked to some farmers who are applying for a loan right now. I’m like, ‘do you dare (take a) risk like that? They say—‘it’s about food security. It’s not just about food security in Ukraine, it’s about food security all over the world. We have to take the risk.’ And the credit unions take these risks together with their members and their agricultural producers,” said Alisa Stesyshyn, a Ukrainian citizen who serves as a consultant on the CAP Project.
Ewa Sierzynska, Chief of Party for the CAP Project, explained that such decisions aren’t easy for credit unions in Ukraine, even in areas that are considered safe.
“What feels safe one day might not necessarily be safe the other. The shelters we showed in the photos were built in Vinnytsia. Vinnytsia was considered very safe. We staffed many projects originating out of Vinnytsia. It just recently got really badly hit a week ago, so, we have to be also really mindful of where we are, where we go and what decisions we make,” said Sierzynska.
The aforementioned shelter in Vinnytsia was built by the Podolian Agency for Regional Development (PARD), which used money disbursed from the Worldwide Foundation’s Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund.