Welcome to CCA’s international development blog page devoted to the Uganda/Malawi Coaching program. Enjoy the sights and sounds, the people and places as experienced by 3 credit union volunteers on the frontline of development.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Charlie: living and breathing co-operative values

As those of you who followed the blog last year know, at the end of our visits at the SACCO’s we meet with as many of the board members as we can. It's a final meeting where we review our findings and provide recommendations to them and their manager on strategies they may wish to undertake to address their operational, governance and other challenges. Today’s meeting with 6 out of 9 board members of the Burere SACCO was one of the best I have attended in the five I have been to, including last year. I know I also said this last year but its such a “co-operative” eye opener to see people who live and breath the principles and philosophies of the movement every day. What an engaged board we met with. We spent over two hours discussing our report and many other off-topic items which inevitably surface when a group like this has an opportunity to sit in front of two people from a far off land with help for their SACCOs and especially considering these will be people that they will likely never see again. The warmth and hospitality they exhibited to us is truly awesome.

The other great thing about today’s meeting was that it was held outdoors at the top of this little mountain village overlooking a valley where all sides of the surrounding mountains were covered with tea plants. We did a bunch of other things today including visiting “Harriet” and her SACCO (she was in Canada in June hosted by OMISTA CU and stayed with Tammy Christopher and her family). We also visted a primary school where our UCA rep Felix’s wife works. We donated a soccer ball to the very grateful teachers and kid’s there. The ball was donated to me from the Heart and Stroke Foundation  - I have a good connection who works there. she gave me four in all so I will be stopping at other schools to drop them off over the next few days (thanks honey). One more thing - it was hot today - like Africa kind of hot - my mellon is toasted. Bye for now.  - Charlie

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