Australian Domestic Activities
The AMF’s domestic activities will provide financial support for programs that assist children and youth who are at risk of abuse or neglect, or who are disadvantaged by lack of housing, medical care or education.
After considering a number of worthwhile projects the AMF has agreed to partner with Barnardos Australia for the next three years. Barnardos is Australia’s leading child protection charity providing foster care and children’s family and youth services. Barnardos Australia believes that many children become abused and neglected when parents do not have the resources to raise children. They are often stressed by poverty, social isolation, mental illness, violence in families or drug and alcohol usage. Barnardos programs directly improve the lives of abused and neglected children.
The AMF also supports Barnardos Reconnect Program which is a project aimed at assisting disadvantaged children and youth in the greater Sydney area who are vulnerable and isolated, and experiencing homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse and breakdown in family relationships.
From the 1 January 2017, the AMF has agreed to fund Barnardos activities with $100,000 per year for three years. This commitment would not be possible without the financial support from Select Encompass Credit Union. The AMF is now one of the top 10 supporters of Barnardos Australia.
The AMF’s international activities are intended to provide financial support to programs that encourage the growth of sustainable cooperative financial systems, using the cooperative credit union model, for developing countries in South East Asia and the South Pacific.
The credit union cooperative model aims to provide a structure for the provision of basic banking services, and education in the value of regular saving and the wise use of credit. The AMF plans to provide financial support to activities conducted by the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU). The Asian Confederations of Credit Unions (ACCU) represents credit unions/co-operatives which have over 31 million members.
ACCU presently delivers credit union development programs in Laos, Myanmar and Bhutan.
Laos – (with financial support from ten Australian mutuals and the Rabobank Foundation) The development of twenty-five credit unions in northern Laos to provide affordable banking services and financial literacy skills to some of Asia’s poorest communities. There are 10,000 saving members, with 35% of these being women. The ACCU project aims to improve financial outcomes and lift communities out of poverty, and assist with staff training programs, policies and processes to ensure a robust foundation for growth and development.
Myanmar – (with support of United Nations Capital Development Fund UNCDF) twenty five new and existing savings and credit cooperatives have been formed or strengthened, with a total outreach of 50,000 savers, of whom at least 50% are women, and at least 50% are in rural areas.
Bhutan – (with support from ten Australian Mutuals) This project is in its infancy and is designed to enable rural communities to have access to affordable financial services to improve the quality of their lives by the promotion and development of the first credit cooperatives in Bhutan. The potential outreach for the project is 50,000 savers.
ALLIANZ INTERNATIONAL CREDIT UNION DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION PROGRAM
The Credit Union Development Education (DE) program began in the USA in 1982, reached Australia in 1991, and continues to be delivered in Asia through the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions.
The DE program is designed to provide critical lessons in cooperative & mutuality principles, credit union philosophy and international development issues while incorporating the challenges that mutuals face today.
Every year, people from all parts of the world become certified as Credit Union Development Educators (DEs). These individuals commit and volunteer their professional time to take the credit union message to audiences where they reside and throughout the world. In addition to promoting the cooperative ideal, continued involvement in the DE program provides DEs with an excellent opportunity for career development and personal enrichment.
The learning outcomes for the DE program are to:
• Demonstrate effective presentation skills
• Work effectively in groups
• Work effectively in a cross-cultural setting
• Understand social and economic development concepts
• Learn how cooperatives contribute to development
• Become an advocate of cooperative organisation
• Complete social responsibility/development project