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2020 ICU Day: Celebrating the Global Spirit of Co-operation.

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The 2020 International Credit Union day, and this year’s theme is ‘inspiring hope for a global community;’ to celebrate the spirit of the global credit union movement. Its a day to reflect upon the credit union movement’s history, promote its achievements, recognize the hard work and share member experiences.

The ultimate goal is to raise awareness about the great work, that credit unions are doing around the world and give members an opportunity to get more engaged. The focus reflects how all co-operatives can contribute to a brighter future, by providing financial empowerment to people all over the world through financial services, education and support.ICU Day has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948.Despite of the pandemic, credit unions have been staying true to their co-operative principles and stepped up during this time of economic uncertainty, offering hope to members.

This year’s ICU Day theme, helps to promote the power of credit unions and highlight the incredible impact they make in their communities every day. Credit unions worldwide have been a source of hope for their members and community throughout the pandemic. The uplifting stories deserve to be shared, to remind people that credit unions are there for them during and after the pandemic, thereby inspiring hope. Chosen by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and the US Sector body, Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the theme is meant to encourage credit unions across the world, to share stories about how they are providing financial services, guidance and relief to help members and communities overcome everyday hurdles, unexpected loss or disaster.

” This year’s theme for ICU Day is Inspiring hope for a global community. What better way to show how credit unions from across the world provide hope through financial services, education and support than to highlight how credit unions have advanced the lives of members during the economic uncertainty wrought by Covid-19” said Michelle Kamke, marketing projects manager at CUNA. Brian Branch, President and CEO of WOCCU, added: “Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, credit unions around the globe have continued to provide a high level of service to their members and demonstrated a generosity to their local communities that has set them apart from other financial institutions. We are truly inspiring hope for a global community. I can’t think of a better theme around which to celebrate International Credit Union Day 2020.”

In Kenya, Saccos have transformed the lives of many people, in a myriad ways from starting business ventures, educating children, providing insurance services, emergency loans among many other ways. Savings and Credit Co-operatives(Saccos) make up about 45% of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Program (GDP), with an asset base of over Ksh. 1 trillion, mobilized savings and deposits in excess of Ksh 732 billion and a loan portfolio of 700 billion. In addition, the sector employs more than 500,000 people whilst necessitating self-employment especially through lending. The Ministry of Co-operative Development estimates that 80% of Kenya’s population derives their income either directly or indirectly through Co-operative activities. In the long term pursuit of Vision 2030, Co-operatives were identified as key vehicles with flagship projects and Medium-Term Plans already underway.Co-operatives are also key partners in the achievement of the Big 4 Agenda, birthed by the President, all working towards the same endeavor; the ultimate realization of vision 2030.The Big 4 Agenda programmes cover affordable universal healthcare, decent and affordable housing, food security and nutrition, job creation and economic growth through manufacturing. Saccos should be greatly feted for their remarkable impact, in the lives of many in Kenya and across the world. Happy Credit Union Day!

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