Indianapolis, USA: The President of the Indiana Credit Union League (ICUL) Mr. John McKenzie and The General Manager of the Dominica Co-operative Societies League Ltd. (DCSLL) Mr. Phoenix Belfield signed an historic Co-operation Agreement to foster greater collaboration between the two credit union movements. The Agreement will span areas of technical co-operation, sharing of best practices and strategic initiatives to benefit both movements.
The agreement signing comes on the heels of the visit to Washington, D.C., Madison, Wisconsin, and Indiana by executives from the Credit Union movement of Dominica. This interaction is the third phase of a three-prong collaborative approach facilitated through the auspices of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU). The credit union executives will benefit from Strategic Planning sessions and Credit Union understudy and Exchanges with Executives from Afena FCU, Whitewater Regional FCU, Beacon CU, Interra CU, Financial Center First CU, Financial Health FCU, Centra CU, Fort Financial FCU, and ICUL.
In September 2018, the President and Chief Executive Officer of WOCCU Dr. Brian Branch led a delegation comprising of six (6) management representatives from the Indiana Credit Union system on a historic visit to Dominica as part of WOCCU’s efforts to assist the credit union movement and by extension the Commonwealth of Dominica recover and rebuild resilient systems through technical empowerment.
WOCCU raised more than US$200,000 through its Caribbean Disaster Relief Fund to assist Dominica and the Dominica Credit Union movement rebuild post Hurricane Maria. WOCCU also partnered with the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU) in providing support to the Government of Dominica with the provision of tents and chairs to assist in the reopening of schools.
“We have been very impressed by the dedication and efforts of the leaders of the DCSLL and Dominica’s credit unions,” stated Indiana Credit Union League President John McKenzie.
“They are advancing the crucial role of credit unions to help families and individuals in Dominica build a stronger financial future. We were pleased to assist them through our delegation going to their country in September and hosting them in Indiana this week, and look forward to the continuing partnership.”
The General Manager of the Dominica Co-operative Societies League Ltd. Mr. Phoenix Belfield emphasized the importance of credit union systems Co-operating amongst each other regardless of the Geographical distance. He stated “Co-operation among co-operatives should not be a cliche, but rather concrete actions rooted on the core ideology of cooperativeness. The solidarity shown to the Dominica movement by the Indiana League and the other strategic partners of the World Council and the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions demonstrates that geographical boundaries pose no hindrance to fostering greater ties.” He further stated that the credit union movement in Dominica will benefit significantly from this co-operation agreement,
“The wealth of experience and knowledge of the ICUL will provide immeasurable benefits to the credit union movement in Dominica in areas of Compliance, Advocacy, Corporate Governance and Strategic Planning as well as enhanced best practices.”
The ICUL comprises of 154 Credit Unions with an aggregate membership of 2.5 million members and assets size equaling USD$27.9 Billion. A core focus of the ICUL has included advocacy, compliance support services, and creation of strategic initiatives to assist its members. The DCSLL has a consolidated membership of 76,130 members from six credit unions and a combined asset count of USD$326 million.
The 2-week visit by the credit union executives from Dominica touched on areas of Strategic Agricultural Lending, Micro Finance-local and Adaptation Practices, Financial Positions and Risk Analysis, Strategic Planning among others. This exchange was facilitated by WOCCU under a broader agenda of promoting 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 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries worldwide with affiliations of 68,882 credit unions in 109 countries serving 235 million people.