Monday, January 31, 2011

The Oldest Credit Union in Africa

This past weekend we headed to Mole International Park. The park is the largest wildlife reserve in Ghana. It hosts many animals that use it's popular watering holes to cool from the scorching sun. It was a time we used to unwind from the long amounts of travels we endured over the past two weeks. 
The drive up to Mole allowed us to see additional credit unions in very rural areas. In most cases it is the only financial institution for miles. They provide much needed services for the many kiosks and small businesses in the area. Evidence of micr-lending were plentiful on the drive. Farming is popular with small areas producing mace, and cashew trees. 
The hotel at Mole was populated by different people who seemed to have something in common. Most visitors there were in ghana to volunteer their services. We had lunch one evening with two doctors who had moved to Ghana 5 years ago to train nurses and doctors for the region. Their story was quite moving as they had retired before taking on this humanitarian task. We also met two young girls from Holland that just finished volunteering at a orphanage for 6 months. Their story was equally moving. Time and time again we explained what our mission was in Ghana. I was never so proud to work in the credit union movement in my life. People were so impressed that we were there to assist our friends in Ghana. Everyone deserves access to financial services, regardless of the level of poverty. The credit unions here are so socially cognizant, it is truly inspirational. 
Today we went further North to visit the first credit union in Africa! Yes the very first one, and what a honor it was. The building entrance has large hearts carved into the cement which just adds to it's beautiful appearance. We were greater with open arms and their hospitality was tremendous. We listened for the better part of the day as they described their challenges and then we provided them guidance. We are working this evening on a report to assist them in their future planning. Again, what a wonderful day! I am trying to learn how to upload pictures so stay tuned! 
Reporting from north Ghana, where the temperature today hit 40' yours truly,


1 comment:

Blake Reynolds said...

Great post Corey! It sounds like you are having an awesome time. It's very moving when you realise the impect SACCOs have in these regions. Keep up the good work and keep the updates coming!