Longford Credit Union Ltd hosted a delegation from the Kenyan Credit Union movement recently.
The Irish Credit Union movement is one of the most popular credit union movements in the world, and other countries look to Ireland as they develop and strengthen their own respective movements. The Kenyan delegation comprised a Board of directors and CEOs and they received a wonderful ‘Céad Míle Failte’ from everyone in Longford Credit Union Ltd on Tuesday, November 26.
In Kenya, credit unions are known as savings and credit cooperative organisations (SACCOs), but as financial cooperatives they have many similarities with the credit union movement in Ireland. The visit to Ireland was jointly organised by the Irish League of Credit Unions International Development Foundation (ILCU Foundation) – the international development arm of the Irish credit union movement - and Kenyan Union of Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisation (KUSCCO) – the apex body for credit unions in Kenya.
The focus of the week-long visit is around ‘growth, innovation and sustainability’. The week-long visit incorporated a mix of training sessions and field visits to credit unions and was a great opportunity for the delegation in Kenya to hear about the credit union experience in Ireland and to see at first-hand how credit unions operate.
The delegation were warmly welcomed to Longford Credit Union by the Chair, management and staff. They provided information on the history of Longford Credit Union as to its current operations and future plans. They discussed and shared knowledge across a wide range of credit union operations and best practices. Topics discussed included: engaging members, products and services for the members and long-term growth of the credit union.
The delegation were very grateful for the information they received. They appreciated a very open discussion on all things credit union and they learned a great deal from the visit. Following the visit, Longford Credit Union presented the delegation with a lovely gift in recognition of their visit and the delegation also had the opportunity to visit St Mel's Cathedral.
Helen Whitney, Manager, Longford Credit Union, noted: “Longford Credit Union were honoured to host the delegation from Kenya. We have always been strong supporters of the ILCU foundation and recognise the great work that it does.
“We found the group very interesting as they had different roles in their Credit Unions and from different size Credit Unions. We discussed the Credit Union movement at national and international level and Longford Credit Unions growth over the years.”
Elijah Mulwa, Education and Training Manager, KUSCCO, said the delegation was very thankful to everyone in Longford Credit Union.
“Thank you for taking the time to host us and for sharing all this information with us. We have learned a lot; there was very good interaction and we appreciate the information you provided. We will take this information back to our SACCOs in Kenya.”
Sinéad Lynam, Engagement Officer with the ILCU Foundation thanked everyone at Longford Credit Union for their wonderful hospitality.
“Credit Unions are financial cooperatives, and around the world financial cooperatives face similar challenges. By sharing experiences and best practice we can address challenges together to ensure sustainability of the cooperative movement globally.
“The Irish credit union movement is renowned across the world over and this visit to Longford Credit Union allowed the delegation to understand how credit unions are embedded within the community and learn more about the excellent services it provides to their members. The ILCU Foundation is grateful to Longford Credit Union for their continued support of our work.”