Community Service

CUs Bridge the Gap at Kenyan Orphanage

CU folks donate supplies, help with chores.

January 01, 2011
KEYWORDS busia , orphanage , program
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Credit union representatives delivered supplies and pitched in with chores at the Busia Compassionate Centre—an orphanage in Kenya—during an October 2010 visit sponsored by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU).

Pat Wesenberg
View a photo slide show from the visit to the Busia Compassionate Centre.

WOCCU began working with Busia as part of a program to help mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on economic growth. Program staff helped volunteers gain access to reliable food sources and education for the children, and the staff and children now grow staple crops on the orphanage grounds.

WOCCU also facilitated building renovations and enlisted credit unions to finance secondary school scholarships for older orphans.

With development funding shifting toward community projects such as Busia Compassionate Centre, credit union support for the orphanage opens the gateway for similar projects in the future.

The Busia project also paves the way for the next phase of WOCCU’s Kenya program, which is developing an application service provider, or core banking system, for small credit unions. The new technology is expected to help credit unions expand their growth and outreach in poor rural areas like Busia.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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