Credit Union Foundation of BC supports credit union projects in Kenya, Malawi, Trinidad and Tobego, St. Lucia, Dominica and Jamaica through the Canada DE program

International participants converged in Halifax to commit to and advance co-operative principles & values

The International Centre for Co-operative Management at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax offers an annual Canada Development Education (Canada DE) program. This international program tackles the pressing challenges that credit unions face today. It focuses on the member-centred credit union enterprise model, combined with the importance (and potential) to create social, environmental and economic impact.

In the spirit of promoting lifelong learning and strengthening co-operative identity, the Credit Union Foundation of BC (CUFBC) is a proud supporter of the Canada DE program. The CUFBC has contributed over $50,000 to the program since it began in 2017 and these contributions provide bursaries that allow international participants to attend alongside participants from Canada.

The 2022 Canada DE program was a great success! CUFBC funding made it possible for 10 participants from Kenya, Malawi, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Dominica and Jamaica to participate, learn and grow. Funds also supported mentors from Gambia and Jamaica to take part alongside Canadian attendees.

Part of the Canada DE program asks participants to commit to a project that will benefit their credit union and community, using the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) and the Co-operative Enterprise Model as tools. Some of these impressive projects in 2022 included:

OrganizationCountryDE projectUNSDG's
Kenya National Police Savings & Credit Co-operative Society (SACCO)KenyaEmpowering Women - Economic Empowerment of Women: Create a savings & credit vehicle and financial literacy training specifically for women.1 – No Poverty
5 – Gender Equality
10 – Reduce Inequalities
United Civil Servants SACCO MalawiUnite SACCOs in Malawi to support special needs schools. There are 14 of these schools in Malawi and two are supported by their local SACCO. The goal is for all 14 to be supported and connected to a SACCO.1 – No Poverty
4 – Quality Education
10 – Reduce Inequalities
Neal and Massey Credit UnionTrinidad and TobagoFood hamper distribution initiative in five communities for people who have been severely impacted by COVID-19. 3 – Good Health & Well Being
10 – Reduce Inequalities
Kenya National Police SACCOKenyaCreate a program for unemployed youth to find work by motorcycle ownership. Partner with cycle shops, insurance companies, delivery & transportation companies. The credit union will finance the bikes and success will be measured by number of loans and loans paid.1 – No Poverty
8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth
10 – Reduce Inequalities

“Canada DE is grateful for the ongoing and continued support from the Credit Union Foundation of BC. Funding from the CUFBC has made it possible for so many of our participants to contribute to, and experience, a program that not only transforms them, but ultimately, their credit union and community. Thank you for making that happen and partnering with Canada DE.”
Tracey Kliesch
Co-Founder, Canada DE


“The DE program is an immersion training to enhance credit union practitioners, leaders, and emerging leaders’ understanding of the ethos and foremost object of the credit union model. The cultural diversity within Canada and from selected participants from the Caribbean, USA, and Africa made the session enriching. Africa has since contextualized the UN SDGs portion of the Africa DE Program.”
George Ombado
Executive Director, Africa Confederation of Co-operative Savings & Credit Associations (ACCOSCA)


Canada DE will be offered in Halifax and Vancouver in 2023. Click here for more information.

For further information please contact:

Nicole Eich, Program Manager
Credit Union Foundation of BC
[email protected]