The Canadian Co-Operative Association (CCA) runs a coaching program that enlists the help of skilled employees from Canadian credit unions to provide technical expertise to partner organizations in various countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas.
In September 2012, I embarked on my first coaching mission with the CCA to Mongolia to work with two credit unions. This was the third year that CCA volunteers went to Mongolia and the program was incredibly successful. It had an impact for the Mongolian credit union system to work more closely on strengthening itself through internal networks to enable cross-networking support through the credit union system. From an international development perspective, we accomplished our goal where complete ownership and capacity is found in a local context.
This year, I have been selected as one of six credit union professionals from across Canada to travel to Malawi, Africa where I will visit rural credit unions with my coaching partner to share my skills and experiences to help our partners succeed.
The CCA shares the experience and strength of the Canadian co-operative movement to form relationships with partners around the world sharing common values.
Co-operatives are an effective tool in helping people living in poverty in developing countries to make sustainable improvements to their lives and living conditions.
Credit unions are making a difference because they promote savings, are community owned, have a democratic structure and provide a range of services.
Malawi Fast Facts
- Malawi is nicknamed "The Warm Heart of Africa"
- Malawi is among the world's least-developed countries
- Population: 16.7 million
- GDP per capita: $857
- Youth Literacy Rate: 82%
- Main industries: tobacco, tea and sugar processing