In 2012, World Council of Credit Unions added three new partnerships to its existing International Partnerships Program. The new partnerships were started between:
The balance of 2012 was focused on signing up new partners and reengaging those organizations that had participated in the program in the past. In 2013, the program will shift its focus to putting together strong work plans for all new and existing partnerships. The partnerships program maintained its strong level of World Council Supporters with all 21 partnerships having at least one partner providing direct financial support to the program. There was a total of 49 financial supporters in the program in 2012, a rise of 12 supporters over last year.
Partnership activities and other events sponsored by the partnerships program received more than their share of media coverage. (See attached.) Articles and stories on international partners and departmental programs often appeared in league newsletters, CUNA’s News Now, Credit Union Magazine, Credit Union Times and, periodically, in non-U.S. financial and trade publications. The program’s efforts resulted in 27 news releases issued throughout the year. Fourteen of those news releases pertained to the International Partnerships Program, four others related to study tours and nine covered the International Credit Union Leadership Program.
World Council’s Customized International Training programs led to further success in 2012. World Council hosted a record number of 16 customized international training programs throughout the U.S., Canada and Costa Rica, serving 136 participants.
In addition, the partnerships program engaged six U.S. credit union, league and regulator volunteers in training events in Belize, the Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Panama and Russia.
The Worldwide Foundation was also granted a renewal of the U.S. State Department grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of Citizen Exchanges, to carry out the International Credit Union Leadership Program in 2013 and 2014, focusing on economic empowerment. The program falls under the Professional Fellows Program, which provides opportunities for industry employees and volunteers from foreign countries to participate in a credit union internship in the U.S. The program has a second component that allows their U.S. counterparts to intern in the selected foreign country. The 2013 and 2014 project will work with Costa Rica and Brazil.
In 2012, World Council's International Partnerships Program supported 21 different partnerships:
Bahamas / Massachusetts
Belize / Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union
Brazil / Texas
Colombia / Maryland & DC Credit Union Association
Costa Rica / League of Southeastern Credit Unions
Dominican Republic / Wisconsin
Estonia / Virginia
Ghana / Jefferson Financial CU
Guatemala / California & Nevada
Jamaica / Texas
Mexico Alianza / Mountain West Credit Union Association
Mexico Caja Yanga / Servus Credit Union
New Zealand / Central 1 of Canada
Panama / Iowa
Paraguay / Minnesota
Peru / Vermont
Poland / Georgia
Puerto Rico / New York
Romania / Ohio
Russia / Louisiana, including Altai CU Association / Barksdale FCU
Trinidad & Tobago / Connecticut