The first Africa Credit Union Development Education (DE) program was held recently in Nairobi, Kenya. The Africa DE program was organized by the African Confederation of Cooperatives Savings and Credit Associations (ACCOSCA) in partnership with the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF), along with the World Council of Credit Unions and National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), with the aim of instilling the cooperative values among the leaders in the African credit union system.
Graduates of the 1st Africa DE Training with training staff in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Africa DE program was inspired and co-created by four African graduates of NCUF’s DE Training in the last few years (otherwise known as CUDEs). The program was primarily convened and led by George Ombado from ACCOSCA in Kenya with assistance from Victor Botha from the Sibanye Cape SACCO Ltd in South Africa, Sylvester Kadzola from the Malawi Union of Savings & Credit Cooperatives in Malawi, and Elkanah Odembo from the World Council of Credit Unions in Kenya.
“It is amazing to see the ripple effect of NCUF’s DE Program to strengthen credit unions around the world, particularly with this new DE Program in Africa,” said Lois Kitsch, NCUF Program Director and co-facilitator of Africa DE. “Not only did George and others bring lessons learned around credit union and cooperative values back to their respective organizations after completing NCUF’s DE Program, but now they helped instill it in others throughout Africa, who will do the same at their organizations.”
This first Africa DE Program joins seven other international DE programs, which are based in Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Europe, Great Britain, the Philippines and the United States. They too, were all started by graduates of the NCUF program.
Africa DE Program Participants
In Africa, credit unions are known primarily as SACCOs (Savings And Credit Co-operatives) and the Africa DE Training was made up of 36 senior SACCO managers from 13 different countries. All graduates made it their personal responsibility to be DE ambassadors in their respective countries upon their return. One of the attendees commented that the “DE program is a program every [African] co-operator must attend.”
“ACCOSCA recognizes that SACCO’s around Africa are at different level of development and as such, we will use this new DE Program to enhance SACCO’s growth with a common agenda and purpose to the co-operators attending,” said Ombado.
Ombado is already in planning for the next Africa DE Program to take place in South Africa early next year.
Africa DE U.S. Core Staff
In addition to the African participants and organizers, there were many Americans at Africa DE as staff and participants to lend expertise and perspectives. Facilitating the program were Lois Kitsch from NCUF and Mike Beall from the NCBA. Three of the six Africa DE mentors included Kathy Chartier from Members CU, Chad Helminak from the Wisconsin CU League, and Joanne Todd from Northeast Family FCU. Also, U.S. participants in the program included Lisa Brown from Tallahassee-Leon FCU, Nancy Johns from American Airlines FCU, and Jim Morrell from Peninsula CU.
2014 Fall U.S. DE Training Registration Still Open
Registration is still open for the next 2014 DE training, which will be held September 10-17, 2014 at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis. Registration and more information can be found on the NCUF website by clicking the “Register for the September 2014 DE Training” button on the homepage or anywhere on the website under “Foundation Programs>Development Education>Register for the September 2014 DE Training” at the top of every page.
More about the DE Program:
The mission of the Credit Union Development Education (DE) program is to promote credit unions’ social responsibility and domestic and international development through interactive adult education and professional networking. By linking credit unions’ past and present, the DE program brings renewed relevance to credit unions’ seven cooperative principles and the philosophy of “People Helping People.”
Since 1982, more than 1,100 credit union advocates from over 34 countries have graduated from DE Training to become Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs). Once they earn their CUDE designation, people return to their jobs with a sense of personal enrichment and renewed energy to share what they have learned. This growing corps of credit union advocates devotes professional and volunteer time to spreading the credit union message to audiences throughout the country.
For more information on the DE program, visit www.ncuf.coop under Foundation Programs.
About the National Credit Union Foundation (ncuf.coop):
The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is the charitable arm of the US credit union movement and works as a catalyst to improve people’s financial lives through credit unions. Through NCUF grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes. Donations to the Foundation enable credit unions to help their members reach life-changing goals and achieve financial freedom.
The National Credit Union Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. NCUF continues to earn the Better Business Bureau seal of approval as an “Accredited Charity” for meeting all 20 BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for national charities.