Hawa Daifa is one of 16 women credit union managers who arrived in Canada on May 12 to begin their training in subjects such as loan applications and delinquency, savings mobilization, marketing and financial reporting. It is a month of mentoring and bonding with credit union managers and staff here in Canada while being a participant in the Canadian Cooperative Association’s Women Mentoring Program.
Hawa has been the manager at the Kobko Town Council Saving and Credit Cooperative Society in Uganda for the past five years.
She will be co-hosted while in Canada by Foam Lake Credit Union in Foam Lake, Saskatchewan and Cornerstone Credit Union, in Yorkton, SK.
For the first five days Hawa will be hosted at Foam Lake Credit Union; a single branch, with $116 million is assets and 3,425 members. Audrey Reynolds, an employee at Foam Lake Credit Union was recently a coach to northern Uganda on the CCA Coaching Program.
During the week of May 26th, Hawa will move to Cornerstone Credit Union in Yorkton, SK. Cornerstone Credit Union is a multi-branch (13) credit union, with over $1 billion in total assets, serving in excess of 24,000 members.
Hawa will have multiple learning opportunities as the credit unions are different sized operations and she will see the different roles played by the staff in each - with a single branch credit union and multiple branch locations. At Foam Lake Credit Union staff tend to do multiple duties, while at Cornerstone Credit Union, staff may be more specialized in their duties, depending on the location.
While in Canada, Hawa Daifa would like to learn more efficient and effective methods to improve member savings and make her credit union more financially sustainable.
The Women’s Mentoring Program began in 2002. In 2001, the CCA Africa Region director noted there was a lack of professional development for women in Africa and Asia. A plan was made to connect credit union women leaders in developing countries with Canadian credit union knowledge and expertise. The Program was born and is now in its 12th year. Funding for the program is provided by Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD).
That first year, sixteen women from eight countries attended the month-long training. At the completion of this year’s program, 192 women from 19 countries will have participated. The program is continually adapted to the learning needs voiced by participants.