After traveling 8,600 miles, six representatives from the Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Unions came face to face with their global peers at the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA). Through a partnership fostered by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), MCUA hosted the group from Malawi, a small country in the southeast region of Africa, May 5-16.
The visitors, led by Sylvester Kadzola, CEO of the Malawi Credit Union League, represented five credit unions from three districts in Malawi. During their stay, the group participated in the State Credit Union Foundation Conference, visited local credit union branches, were recognized by the Missouri General Assembly in Jefferson City and traveled to Washington, D.C. for a Credit Union National Association (CUNA) briefing and a meeting with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
“It’s astonishing how two leagues serving different countries and continents can mutually assist each other by sharing philosophies, best practices and ideas,” says Mike Beall, MCUA president/CEO. “We are proud to share a partnership with our friends in Malawi to strengthen the international spirit of cooperation.”
The purpose of WOCCU’s international program is to foster the sharing of information and technology among state and national organizations for the economic wellbeing of credit union members across the globe. When asked what the Malawians will take back from their experience with MCUA, they said strengthening the cooperative spirit among credit unions and members, standardizing reporting techniques, sharing back-end analysis on quarterly reports and implementing financial literacy programs to better educate members on products and services and how they can improve one’s financial health.
“The visit has been truly inspirational and educational, and the delegation from Malawi is going back with renewed confidence and optimism of the enormous benefits that will accrue to the Malawi SACCO movement from this partnership," says Kadzola. "We see tremendous growth and financial services diversification and sophistication ahead of us as a result of this partnership."
The Malawian delegates include: Albert Moyo, Mzimba Teacher’s SACCO (Northern Region); Faith Manganda, Malawi Union of Savings & Credit Cooperatives (MUSCCO); Itai Msiska, Karonga Teachers SACCO (Northern Region); Brian Chyuse, Fodya SACCO LTD (Central Region); Sylvester Kadzola, Malawi Union of Savings & Credit Cooperatives (MUSCCO) and Charles Nyekanyeka, Bvumbwe Community SACCO (Southern Region).