A Fruitful Threesome in Sierra Leone.

The Irish League of Credit Unions Foundation (ILCUF) is a peer fund for ElectricAid. ILCUF is the international development outreach of the Credit Union movement in Ireland, primarily focused on aiding the development and sustenance of credit unions in the developing world. Access to micro credit, especially amongst women, is a key driver of successful development.  Micro-enterprise and micro-credit has always been an interest and a funding priority for ElectricAid.  ILCUF’s development programme in Sierra Leone was introduced to us by our good friends in SAVVI (formerly St. Patrick’s Credit Union), who are of course members of the Irish League of Credit Unions, and supporters of ILCUF. The “fit” was obvious and immediate.

Sierra Leone is a focus country for ILCUF, who have a multi-year commitment to the country out to 2025. The well-established CU movement in the country was successively wiped out by a vicious 10-year civil war, and then by the Ebola pandemic in 2013/4. ILCUF is working hard to rehabilitate and regenerate the CU movement in the country, and the funding agreed in July 2017 is a 3-way partnership, with SAVVI contributing €10,000, ILCUF €8,125, and ElectricAid €8,000, going a long way to meet the project total cost of €43,000.  The project is an “add-on” to ILCUF’s annual commitment to Sierra Leone, and is aimed at helping specific credit unions develop to their potential.  ElectricAid’s funding is specifically for two generators to allow two CUs conduct their business in chronic situations of irregular power supply, and for two motorbikes to allow two other CUs develop their business in rural areas.

“Not for profit, but for service” is the slogan of the Credit Union movement; this 3-way partnership is a living expression of those values, helping the people of Sierra Leone to develop themselves and their communities out of poverty.

 

 

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