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We’re proud to say that almost credit unions from the Irish Credit Union movement donated over €526,000 to our work in 2020. These generous donations enabled the Foundation to support our dedicated local partners to develop and strengthen their 426 credit unions with over 176,000 members in our three core countries – Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.

Donated by Irish Credit Unions
Credit Unions Supported
Members Included
Irish Credit Unions Who Donated

Highlights from the year include:

  • 7 Irish Credit Union staff and volunteers gave their time and support to travel to West Africa to share their expertise and success of the Irish Credit Union movement to support their peers.
  • We supported NaCCUA, apex body in Sierra Leone, to provide technical assistance to credit unions in the area of liquidity management, loan management and HR.
  • We supported the Credit Unions in Sierra Leone to respond to the threat of COVID-19 by distributing masks and sanitation kits for credit unions and members nationwide. 
  • A pilot project was undertaken to oralise passbooks for GMF members in rural communities to address their low levels of financial literacy.
  • A second regional apex organisation for credit unions was established in the region of Amhara, Ethiopia.
  • A deep dive research project examining mobile money and digital financial services resulted in a pilot project in remote rural credit unions in a southern region of Ethiopia.
  • We signed a memorandum of understanding with both NACCUG in The Gambia and ACCOSCA, which sets out our support to both organisations in the short to medium term.
  • A core Credit Union Curriculum was developed for Sierra Leone and Ethiopia. The curriculum covers a number of key areas that all staff and volunteers must undertake as part of their training.


the amount donated in 2020 from almost 150 Irish Credit Unions to support the Foundation’s work.


the number of credit unions in developing countries who have benefitted from financial education and support programmes through the Foundation.


credit union members in Ethiopia, The Gambia and Sierra Leone who are benefitting from our expertise. 


donated through online fundraisers in support of our work.


the amount received from institutional donors such as IFAD and Irish Aid in 2020.

There are currently 1.7 billion people in the world without access to any form of financial services.

This means they have no means to securely save their money, no access to ethical loans, no financial education and as a result, are at risk of becoming indebted to high-interest loans.

Most of these people are living in low-income developing countries, where careful financial management is necessary to support the families and businesses in the communities they reside, to effectively prepare for, respond to and recover from livelihood shocks and stresses. 

Access to basic financial products and services can transform a community. It can unlock opportunities for education, employment, entrepreneurship and can provide a safety net to manage their finances and absorb financial shock in times of crisis.

The Foundation plays an important and key role in educating people and assisting in the development of credit union movements internationally, providing safe and ethical financial solutions for communities and working towards the goal of achieving financial inclusion for all

A Special Thank You To

  • Credit unions and their members, for their donations and continued support.
  • The Irish League of Credit Unions for bearing staff, fundraising and administrative costs. To the ILCU Board, management and staff, thank you for your continuous support, and for your help on various projects and aspects of our work.
  • The volunteers who travelled to Sierra Leone and The Gambia to participate in the Volunteer Coaching Programmes, and your respective credit unions for their support.
  • The Foundation advocates and volunteers who worked alongside us to raise awareness at chapter meetings and Credit Union events.
  • Credit Union staff, management and boards of directors who met with the Foundation staff early in the year.
  • The various Chapters that allowed us to make presentations at their respective meetings.
  • CUMA for allowing us to promote our work at their Spring conference.
  • The corporates who generously supported our work: GreyGarde, Moore Ireland and RBK.
  • The Foundation acknowledges the funding received from Irish Aid and IFAD.