The hardest winter for credit unions in wartime Ukraine
Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions has been here to help
The full-scale war launched by Russia against Ukraine nearly a year ago has brought horrific loss, destruction devastation to Ukraine’s entire credit unions and the communities they serve. Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions (WFCU) could not stand idly by while that continued. Through the establishment of its Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund, WFCU has raised $1.9 million to date thanks to the generous support of our global credit union community.
The first relief programs launched by WFCU went to support food security, reduce the financial burden on Ukrainian credit union member farmers and support them with the free diesel fuel, which was in scarce supply in Ukraine at the time. But our partners in Ukraine faced another challenge – blackouts and power outages caused by Russia’s shelling of Ukrainian critical infrastructure. With winter coming, WFCU focused its efforts on ensuring credit union employees in Ukraine could stay warm and continue to serve their members, even under these severe conditions. WFCU co-financed the purchase of 285 alternative power sources to be used in the offices of 90 credit unions throughout the country, including 33 power generators, 31 power stations, 73 power banks and 148 other devices, including uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), inverters, chargers and energy-saving bulbs.
“Thanks to the charity assistance from Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, we could purchase power banks and set up our work through mobile phones and tablets. Such design made it possible to serve our members, despite regular power outages”, wrote Mykola Tryfonov, CEO of the Credit Union “Yednannia Cherez Pryrodnyi Zakon” in his letter of appreciation.
The credit union is located in Dnipro Region in the center-east of Ukraine and suffers from frequent Russian bombing but is still keeping its doors open for members.
Two more programs were recently launched to support the credit unions in Ukraine to cover their operational expenses and reimburse lost income on loans provided to servicemen and women. With the first year of full-scale war and the hardest winter in Ukraine coming to its end, WFCU and its partners are eager to continue their efforts to help the Ukrainian credit union movement for as long as needed.
“We do believe that with your help and devotion to the People Helping People cooperative principle, soon we will be able to greet you from Victorious Ukraine!”, said Petro Kozynets, President of the Ukrainian National Association of Credit Unions.
To find out more about WFCU’s impact in Ukraine please see the link to the February report on WFCU’s relief activities under the Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund.