Worldwide Foundation Champions celebrate 2021 Bridge The Gap campaign
Hundreds learn how they are helping credit unions worldwide at virtual event
MADISON, WI (March 2, 2021) —
More than 200 credit union professionals attended Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions’ March 1 Virtual Champions Celebration to learn how their financial support has helped credit unions worldwide over the past year and how the 2021 Bridge the Gap Campaign will continue that effort going forward.
The Worldwide Foundation shared video updates on how Champions supported credit unions in 2020—and how the Bridge the Gap Campaign aims to raise $1.7 million to support four key initiatives in 2021, by bridging the:
- Digital Gap.
- Safety Gap.
- Gender Gap.
- Leadership Gap.
Attendees saw how donations to Worldwide Foundation’s Priority Fund paved the way for credit unions in Ukraine to increase their agribusiness lending to farmers, and for hundreds of Venezuelan migrants and vulnerable local populations in Peru and Ecuador to access formal financial services, employment and entrepreneurial training. In 2021, the Priority Fund will be used to bridge the digital gap by striving to digitize credit unions worldwide to deliver mobile and online services safely to millions seeking remote access to basic financial services. The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the urgency for credit unions to provide these digital services.
Project Storm Break was launched in 2019 to get immediate funds to credit unions facing natural disasters. Champions saw how that fund was tapped in 2020 to help with both hurricane relief and to fund shipments of masks, hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment to battle COVID-19 at credit unions in more than 30 countries. Project Storm Break will continue to bridge the safety gap in 2021.
Videos also showed how the Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) will be leveraged to help Champions bridge the gender gap by smashing gender inequality for female credit union colleagues and members worldwide, and how the World Council Young Credit Union Professionals (WYCUP) program is bridging a leadership gap by building our global young professionals’ network up to a community of 10,000 strong through networking and leadership opportunities.
The Worldwide Foundation’s Bridge the Gap Campaign supports the key work of each initiative, encouraging broader and deeper global engagement by credit unions, system partners and individuals.
“This event celebrates our work, it celebrates you.” Worldwide Foundation Executive Director Mike Reuter told attendees. “We have the opportunity to transform a billion lives worldwide using credit unions. Bridging these four gaps are challenges our movement has the time, talent and treasure to overcome. Join our Bridge the Gap campaign during 2021.”
The Worldwide Foundation Champions’ Celebration was sponsored by CUNA Mutual Group and emceed by Mike Lawson of CU Broadcast.
The Worldwide Foundation is the fundraising and engagement arm of the World Council. Join us on a global journey to transform a billion lives worldwide using credit unions. Visit www.doglobalgood.org/btg to start your global journey and join the Bridge the Gap campaign.
Mike Reuter, Worldwide Foundation Executive Director
About World Council of Credit Unions
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 82,758 credit unions in 97 countries serve 404 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.