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New Zealand Credit Union Foundation (NZCUF)
Development that takes place at community level is driven by the people who are directly affected. This is the place of Credit Unions, as they are owned and operated by the people who benefit from their services.
Credit Unions are recognised by many agencies – such as AusAID, UN, World Bank, NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as having the capacity to:
- mobilise local capital
- promote credit for productive purposes
- promote the savings ethic
- develop people through training and participation in democratic processes
The NZCUF is responsible for for managing New Zealand’s participation role in international Credit Union development and provides a structure to manage fulfilment of this important role.
Currently, the NZCUF supports staff, management and directors of Credit Unions by part-funding their participation in CUFA’s DE Program and by way of financial support of CUFA’s Village Entrepreneur Scheme as described below.
Development Education Scholarship Scheme
On an annual basis the Foundation awards scholarships to credit unions to part fund attendance at Credit Union Foundation Australia’s Development Educator’s Course held annually in the last quarter of the year. The scholarship covers course costs, accommodation and travel. The scholarships are open to Credit Union Directors, Managers and Staff.
Recipients of the scholarships are asked to undertake a project in their community that will help the Foundation raise funds for development work within New Zealand or overseas. The project outline is presented to the Foundation Managers as a written report within three weeks of completing the course. It is expected that the project itself be completed within twelve months of completing the Development Education course.
The 2013 DE Program was held in Auckland, New Zealand – this program was aptly named KIWIDE.
To take a look at the 2013 KIWIDE Programme – click here
Village Entrepreneur Scheme
This Credit Union Foundation Australia (CUFA) scheme aims to provide opportunities for individuals to take action and improve their lives through micro-business development - where Community Investors provide financial support and CUFA manages the selection and support of Village Entrepreneurs as they are guided towards financial independence.
Many people in developing countries, especially those that live in rural and remote areas, do not have access to financial services - for savings or access to affordable credit. This makes it difficult or impossible for many people to create or expand small businesses, the backbone of strong and sustainable communities.
By providing the means for individuals to consider and then start a small business, Community Investors provide Village Entrepreneurs with the potential for future growth and stability.
Currently the Foundation supports Cheoung Ratana, a Cambodian Village Entrepreneur.
The Foundation raises money in a variety of ways to fund initiatives such as those outlined above and offers hardship funds (on a needs basis) to those in communities affected by natural and man-made disasters, both here in the New Zealand and further afield.
Fundraising takes the form of appeals as and when required, selling of promotional items such as pens and bumper stickers, and an Annual Auction – held at the NZACU Annual Conference dinner.