International Credit Union Day
IRISH CREDIT UNION IN AFRICA
Thursday last was International Credit Union Day and the event was celebrated in Newry with a book, “Caritas et Amor…In the Footsteps of Love” by the author Rowan Hand
The book, a substantial work of record, tells the story of the school building and health projects in Africa and India, was written by Rowan over a twelve year period when he travelled to both countries with the Irish Order, the Society of African Missions.
All money raised by the sale of the books has gone to the Credit Union International Foundation which funds development projects across the world.
The Foundation gave 145,000 Euro over a ten year period to Rowan’s projects in schools in northern Nigeria and in Abuja. The work occurred in southern India as well.
Now, in Africa, there are one thousand children in education where no education existed before.
Michael Gannon for the Foundation said that the African Schools were a successful example of the Credit Union ethos.
Where the schools were built the community grew and in that growth there existed the possibility of a role for Credit Union.
“Until the arrival of that moment we are pleased to be associated with The Saint Mary’s Primary and Secondary schools in Papiri in northern Nigeria. These are schools built to last and many generations to come will benefit from the grants we have given in our outreach on behalf of the Credit Union members of Ireland,” said Michael.
Newry Credit Union Manager, Brendan Jackson, welcomed Michael Gannon and praised the Credit Union members in Newry for their commitment to its work.
“Newry Credit Union was founded in 1963 by local people who had the desire to provide for their financial well-being. NCU grew from very modest beginnings to be a strong financially sustainable cooperative with the primary aim of serving its members. The fact that we are now in a position to nurture other fledgling credit unions is a testimony to the ideals of the Credit Union Movement. We are very proud of our pivotal role in setting up St Mary’s School in Nigeria which will undoubtedly sponsor the growth of the credit unions in that country”.
Rowan Hand thanked the Credit Union movement for the support given to the schools’ project and was pleased to report that children who went into the Primary School twelve years ago were now studying at the regional Nursing College and would bring their skills back into their community..
“On behalf of the children in the deep interior of northern Nigeria and on behalf of Father Donall O’Cathain SMA, our school-building priest, I am pleased to tell you that our schools are spoken of as our Credit Union schools in Africa. You are highly regarded among our people there.
Without the support of Credit Union our task of building would have been more difficult and a great deal slower.
You are the heart and soul of all we do. Thank you.”