CU Direct in Ontario and Alberta’s Servus Credit Union (363,000 members, $15.4 billion in assets) contributed to a fundraising effort at the 2018 World Credit Union Conference held in Singapore this past July to raise money for the Busia Compassionate Centre for orphans in Busia, Kenya. The annual conference is organized by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU).
The fundraiser, with a target of US $50,000, took place at the conference’s Worldwide Foundation Supporter’s Reception. The money is needed to build a wall around the orphanage to ensure the security of staff and children. Young men have been trying to break into the girls’ dormitory and there are threats from snakes wriggling into the compound from adjacent sugar cane fields.
Worldwide Foundation chair Bill Cheney stated that the fundraiser was “another example of credit unions coming together and changing lives.”
WOCCU began working with the Busia orphanage in 2007, helping fund food, water and shelter. An additional goal was to provide educational grants to children of HIV/AIDS-affected households through the area’s credit unions called SACCOs, or savings and credit cooperatives. Another project this year involved WOCCU and Worldwide Foundation volunteers planting gardens and banana and other fruit trees to help improve the children’s nutritional needs.
About 2.4 million orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya today are in need of care and support; about 1.2 million are believed to have lost parents due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, reports UNICEF. The Busia centre, located in rural western Kenya, cares for 90 orphaned children and 150 foster kids. ◊