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We want to hear from our members. Please share insights and experiences about your organization, credit union, and/or community. To submit a blog, simply log in and click on "Add New Blog Post". Remember to select the corresponding category to help members find entries that are most relevant to them.

Time Travelers

If you're like me, you probably have a few tricks and tips that you rely on for what I like to call "time travel." What do I mean by time travel you might ask? Well, I am referring to how we do business today across different time zones, countries, languages, currencies and social norms.

For me, I always want to make sure that meeting times are correct - that the time I am planning to be on the phone, on a skype call or in a physical meeting room corresponds with the rest of the meeting. For the remote meetings we have across time zones, my "go to" website is TimeandDate (Edit: another site that is more accessible can be found at

Second, when work takes me on a plane to another country, a couple of things I do before heading to the airport:

  1. Register with my country's Embassy website (for US citizens - go to Travel US State Dept)
  2. Consult website of the CIA WorldFactbook for a brief overview of the place(s) that I'm going to visit to get a brief overview of history, economy, politics, and other vital statistics, etc. World Factbook

For language translation (remotely, not in person) - Google has a fast translation site (see Translate). You can plug text right into the website and there is an instant translation into the selected language (often best to consider this translation a rough approximation.)

For money - and figuring out money equivalencies, a quick currency converter website we use is Currency Converter . You can conduct historical currency calculations as well as today's rates.

Finally, social norms are covered in books like Lonely Planet, Rough Guide or best of all, meeting a GWLN member and finding out from her a real perspective of the social norms for the country/place you are headed.

Catherine (WOCCU)

Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, Community Outreach

Savings-linked Conditional Cash Transfer programs (CCTs)

A few years ago, I read an article about government social protection programs and conditional cash transfer programs (CCTs) that provide funds to qualified households or individuals if they fulfill certain requirements (i.e., visiting health clinics or sending their children to school regularly). I was struck by the number of people who receive these government payments—estimated at 124 million in 33 countries—and that the majority of these payments are made outside of the financial system (around 75%). What an opportunity for using these payments as a vehicle for bringing more unbanked people into the financial system.

Today, this idea seems to be gaining traction. In May, the Ford Foundation, United Nations Development Programme, New America Foundation, Citi Foundation and Proyecto Capital released a report and hosted an event on linking CCTs to savings accounts through financial institutions to promote financial inclusion, asset building and poverty reduction. Inter-American Development Bank is also focusing on this topic.

For those of you with CCT programs in your country, you may find the report and webinar interesting.

Link to report:

Link to webinar:

The report covers examples of current programs that enable, encourage or require savings behavior through CCTs as well as design, operational and policy considerations for linking CCTs to savings accounts. It also highlights the potential of savings-linked CCTs to empower women (as has been the case with women connected to financial institutions through microfinance products) and how scope and scale could lead to a business case for financial institutions to manage small-balance deposit accounts.

Credit unions in Ecuador already offer government payments, including CCTs, through the WOCCU WSG investment office in Ecuador, Red Transaccional Cooperativa (RTC). Are others offering these payment services as well?

Stephanie (WOCCU)

Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions

International Women's Day

Today, March 8 is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, which is a day globally recognized to celebrate and honor the unique achievements of women.  At the Global Women’s Leadership Network breakfast event at CUNA's GAC last week, Rep Jackie Speier, the keynote speaker of the event said, “Boards of directors of companies that have women on them have a 65% higher return on investment capital, while 53% have a higher return on equity and 42% have higher sales than those with fewer women in charge....yet women represent only 15% of the Fortune 500 executives”.   

With this in mind, what is your credit union doing this week to recognize the contributions of women staff, members and women in the community?

Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions

Congresswoman Jackie Speier to join us at the upcoming GAC breakfast

We are excited that Congresswoman Jackie Speier (representing California’s 12th congressional district) has agreed to speak at the Global Women’s Leadership Network breakfast at the GAC on March 1st. She has a strong record on consumer finance issues; she was an early supporter of the independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and she is an advocate for credit unions. We look forward to seeing you there!

Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, Community Outreach, CU Boards / Volunteers, Internal Operations

Busia Brainstorm - Suggestion #2

Mairi MacGregor wrote in with this suggestion...."In the UK, a lot of schools set up a 'walking bus'.  This is a way of getting everybody to walk together to make sure everyone arrives safely, everyone in a line of 3-4 abreast, with adults at the front, middle and rear and passing designated points at certain times.  Often parents volunteer, but with children in a home it could be helpers at the home, or if you have kids up to 18 they could supervise the younger ones.  Some schools will issue fluorescent bibs so that children are easily seen and identified as part of the walking bus." 


What a great idea!  Thanks for sharing this with us, Mairi!

Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, Community Outreach, Facilitating Greater Access to CUs Worldwide

Busia Brainstorm - Suggestion

Why not get some three wheel bicycle taxis for the older kids to pedal the younger kids to school? 


Busia Brainstorm

One of the biggest challenges for Stella and the staff at the children’s home is to keep the children clean and healthy in a home that is filled beyond capacity, has dirt floors, and lacks an on-site water supply.  Because of these reasons and many more, the Busia Compassionate Centre and WOCCU have purchased new land and plan to build a new home for the children.  

With this new home comes a new challenge – getting the kids to school. The land is located about 1.5 miles from the local public schools that the children attend. Fifty-five children ages 7 to 18 will travel this distance twice a day to attend classes.  What is the best way for the children to travel as safely and efficiently as possible?

Help us come up with a solution as we discuss this issue!
Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, Community Outreach, Facilitating Greater Access to CUs Worldwide

What did you do to celebrate International Credit Union Day?


10/23/10- Veracruz, Mexico: Greetings from Mexico!  Caja Yanga celebrated International Credit Union Day and the Day of the Board Member by welcoming a delegation from SERVUS Credit Union of Canada.  During the celebration we signed a partnership agreement with SERVUS and showed the group how we utilize PDAs in our credit union.  Eventaully, a few of the Caja Yanga staff will be traveling to Canada to get a better understanding of credit union operations in Canada!

On a personal note, I am getting ready to assume my new position as Manager of Internal Controls at our credit union.

Best Wishes,
Maria de Lourdes de Jesus Montalbo
Caja Popular de Ahorros Yanga
Veracurz, Mexico

Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions

Continued Growth

The cooperative credit in Brazil has gained more credibility every day, with a membership of more people and businesses of medium and small size, this growth has been greater than our technological capabilities to innovate with an even faster. As at the beginning of our history were functioning most strongly in the rural sector would like to share strategies used in other countries to work with small companies and strategies to mobilize additional resources in the medium and long term.

I salute all the women in strengthening their tireless cooperatives

Engaging the Next Generation of CU Members

Pacific Congress - Our GWLN vision lives!
Our GWLN vision lives! Each time we take a next step in our journey towards uniting CU women worldwide, I am in awe of my new sisters. In Papua New Guinea at the Pacific Congress, WOCCU held an impromptu GWLN development session. There were women from all the islands attending and their stories were inspiring. Leaders in their communities, leaders in their homes and leaders at their credit unions. Yet, their greatest pride were their children and their greatest commitment was to a better future for their members! Women globally share our vision!

CU Boards / Volunteers
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