East Coast Credit Union Participates in Canadian Co-operative Association’s Women’s Mentoring Program

Media Release
May 3, 2012

Tity Lidra from Indonesia is spending 10 days with the staff of East Coast Credit Union in Dartmouth, NS. She is one of 14 women currently in Canada, working alongside Canadian credit union staff as they share skills and knowledge in a women’s mentoring program.

For the past 10 years, more than 200 Canadian credit unions and 150 women from the developing world’s credit unions have participated in Canadian Co-operative Association’s Women’s Mentoring Program. They learn leadership skills and the ins-and-outs of day to day credit union operations.

Tity is the manager of a new credit union in Jakarta with 420 members. She supervises 10 staff members and hopes to learn skills during her mentorship which will help with member growth and member product needs. She also needs skills and knowledge which will help her work with members to improve loan repayment and reduce delinquency. Also, she would like to see improved training for the credit union’s board of directors so it makes good decisions which will help the credit union be successful.

As well as helping Tity with her training needs, the mentoring program engages Canadian credit union staff in a learning opportunity which supports the sixth co-operative principle – “Co-operation among co-operatives”. They also learn first-hand about the challenges credit union staff face in a less developed country and share their skills and knowledge to help.

“In this year, 2012, the United Nations’ International Year of Co-operatives, the women’s mentoring program is a perfect example of why co-operatives are so important in the global economy,” says Laurie Tennian, Canadian Co-operative Association’s Women’s Mentoring Program manager. “Whether you are in Dartmouth or Indonesia, the co-operative principles are the same. The mentoring program really drives that home and I think our Canadian and international partners recognize that the same principles and values are the foundation of the growth and success of our co-operatives.”

The mentoring program includes two weeks of training in Ottawa before the women are placed in credit unions across the country. After their placements, they return to Ottawa for a week of review and reflection. To learn more about the program and its past participants, go to http://www.coopscanada.coop/en/international_dev/CCA_International_Programs/Women-Mentorship-Program

For more information about Tity’s visit to East Coast Credit Union, please contact Ken Shea, ken.shea@eastcoastcu.ca, or Bev Locke, bev.locke@eastcoastcu.ca   For more information about the mentoring program, please contact Laurie Tennian, Canadian Co-operative Association at laurie.tennian@coopscanada.coop.