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Credit Union Women discuss Economic Development
On Oct. 18, 2018, credit union members around the world will celebrate International Credit Union Day®, an annual event to commemorate the credit union movement’s impact and achievements. This year marks the 70th anniversary, a platinum celebration and the theme for this year’s celebration is “Find your Platinum Lining”.
The ultimate goal is to raise awareness about the tremendous work that credit unions and other financial cooperatives are doing around the world and give members the opportunity to get more engaged.
As a lead up to this year’s celebrations, the Trinidad and Tobago Sister Society (TTSS) of the Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN), hosted its inaugural Women’s Forum on Saturday June 16, 2018. This event was held in partnership with the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU) as part of the CCCU 2018 convention, held at The HYATT Regency Hotel. In keeping with the theme for International Credit Union month, this Forum brought together over seventy (70) persons from twenty-five (25) credit unions including regional Co-operative Societies, at Paradise Villa, Paramin to participate in the forum titled “The Role of Women in Economic Development”.
The objective of the forum was to provide an opportunity for women in all stages of their professional credit union journey to network; gain new insights on credit union trends; develop new skills and participate in the global credit union movement.
Guest speakers Tammy O’Hara, VP Sales & Member Relations, CUES; and Angelique V. Nixon, PhD, UWI, built on this platform. They encouraged participants to embrace “Women Empowerment”. The overarching theme among the presenters was the importance of empowerment, gender equality and equity – in both professional and personal capacities. Minister of Trade and Industry, Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon was also a guest at the function and she addressed the group on the issue of women and their impact on sustainability and national development.
Sister Societies serve as autonomous chapters of the GWLN. They further the Network’s global mission by making a local impact in their credit union communities. The purpose of the groups are to get local credit union women together, exchange ideas, impact local credit unions, and share information with other network members.
Trinidad and Tobago Sister Society’s Co-Founders Gail Rajkumar and Jamila Draper strongly believe that credit union women can play a major role in helping women and girls. They can be agents of change- helping them to develop themselves, achieve their ambitions and lift themselves out of poverty, or unhealthy situations. There is a collective responsibility to Credit Union members and communities to move the needle of the sustainable development goals using the co-operative principles of co-operation among co-operatives, by caring for community and continuous education.
We hope that the participants were able to gain and apply knowledge from this forum when they returned to their credit unions. For further information, please email TTCUSisterSociety@outlook.com or call 1(868)759-3292.
GWLN Sister Society Narayani, Chitwan Chapter
GWLN Sister Society Narayani, Chitwan Chapter , Nepal organized fund raising program on July 16. Fund was raised by putting on Heena Tattoo on women's palm. Those who put on the heena on their palm donated fifty rupees (Nepali Currency) for the task to be done. Nearly one hundred women participated in the program and Seven thousand Five hundred and fifty rupees ( Nepali Currency) was raised. Though this seems a little amount, but the way the event was able to call all the women in one place and change the traditional fashion statement a way of earning is remarkable.
The concept of organizing Mehendi ( Heena) function came from the traditional values and practice in Nepal. In Nepal there's a ritual of decorating hands and feet by a particular herb whose scientific name is Lawsonia inermis in the last day of the month Ashar according to Nepali Calender which falls in July . Nepal, being a nation whose near about half of the citizen depend on traditional agriculture for livelihood has its own typical reason to celebrate this ritual. People work on muddy and wet land to grow paddy "the main food" in the month of Ashar ( June/July). People's hands and feet used to get infected , different itchy diseases and rashes were seen as the result. Thus to get rid of those ugly looking hands and feet our ancestors used the herbal product Heena which works as ayurbedic medicine too. It was believed after working near about a month in the field i.e late June to early third week of July which is the last date of Nepali month Ashar , the next month Shrawan was welcomed with colorful beautiful hands and feet and celebrated the festive" Shawane Sankranti" also known as first date of the month. It has a long history of the practice here in Nepal. By now the tradition is followed to put on Heena/ Mehendi on hands though most of the people don’t work in the field like before. Though male and female both used to put on the herb to decorate their palms and feet in earlier days now adays most of the female only put on the heena. It has become like a fashion statement too. People specially women put on Heena in different pattern and in different form. Special courses of Mehendi design is run to train students so that they can start as a profession too.
Thus, GWLN Sister Society Narayani, Chitwan Chapter thought of raising the fund among women by giving their traditional belief a professional and business touch. Those women who were for sure to put on heena in the evening to celebrate the festival were even more happy to gather socially and participate in the program . Women leaders Parbati Silwal and Reena Gurung were the guest in the program. They were followed by renowned business women, activist, social worker and influencer whose presence made the program a big one.
In keeping with our goal of education, our meeting also included a guest speaker who led a discussion on Sexual Harassment at the workplace. We discussed the two definitions of unlawful harassment and what is not harassment, what companies can do in the #MeToo movement to discuss and respond to conduct in violation of their policies, as well as some ideas for how to respond to unwelcome conduct if it happens to you.
The local charity chosen for this meeting was New Day for Children Organization. New Day for Children seeks to recover children caught in the despair of child sex trafficking and to restore their stolen childhoods. In partnership, New Day for Children provides housing, school, medical and mental health care, horse therapy and more. They operate from safe and secure locations in the western United States (in our case, San Leandro, California). Working with law enforcement other faith based community organizations and families themselves, they provide for the needs of American girls ages 10 to 18 and 18+ (in separate programming) suffering from the desperation of human trafficking. We are pleased to say that our Sister Society members donated $1150.00 to the New Day for Children Organization.
43 members of the The Arizona Sister Society gathered in Tucson, AZ on 8.23.17 including 2 female board members. Since we are focused on becoming better leaders within our respective roles, we spent the morning learning the importance of how we communicate in the workplace (verbally and non verbally) and it's impact on how the message being delivered is received.
Business Communications Lecturer, Lesli Pintor from The University of Arizona Eller College of Management presented on the topic "From Competence to Confidence" which provided real life applications to show the value of intentional communication and it's positive impact/outcome or it's negative impact/outcome in the workplace. (Intention vs Perception) We left with concrete tips and techniques to help all us manage intention vs. perception in our every day communications.
To maintain and/or grow our CU Financial Literacy, training was provided in the areas of "Understanding Credit Union Financials" and "Understanding Credit Union Key Ratios" and delivered by CEO, Margaret Hunnicutt. Our goal is to help participants gain and apply knowledge from these sessions when they return to their credit union.
Impacting a charity is a foundation of GWLN and at this event we collected over $100 and 12+ boxes of donations for: Treasures 4 Teachers of Tucson, a non profit established to help provide supplies to teachers and their classrooms.
TC BOD Chairperson MONICA L. SALIDO is elected as the President while TC BOD Vice-Chairperson FE J. ADLAWAN is elected as the Vice-President of the Sisters Society (Tagum Cooperative Chapter).
Recently in Malawi we had our sister society meeting whereby our theme was career Woman Of Impact. I enjoyed a presentation from our Guest Speaker Maureen Masamba, who said, "Women we should not give ourselves limits, we should always focus on our future, identify our strengths and core competencies, build and nurturing our self-esteem; brain storm. If we fail to achieve something we should always search our souls, know what we are, have confidence, change strategy and try something different"