Media
19 September 2018
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australia
Volunteer Tourism: Provocative New Podcast Episode

Volunteer Tourism Stephen WearingCufa’s podcast, Conversations in Development, will be releasing a new episode to mark World Tourism Day on Thursday 27 September. A new guest will be welcomed to discuss volunteer tourism with the hosts. The episode will reveal the complexities of volunteer tourism. This follows on from episodes on microfinance, child labour and other important development topics.

http://www.ConversationsInDevelopment.com.au

Volunteer tourism is a form of tourism in which travellers participate in voluntary work, typically for a charity. This particular form can be a very divisive topic. It can be extremely beneficial for many involved. Adversely, however, there are often negative implications for unskilled tourists working in developing countries.

Stephen Wearing joins the episode as an expert guest in the field. He is a conjoint professor at the University of Newcastle and an associate professor at the University of Technology Sydney. His research focuses on sustainable tourism and the importance of community-based approaches in the tourism and volunteering sector. Stephen also ran VOICE Volunteers in Community Engagement for 22 years. This was a not-for-profit organisation that sent volunteers on grassroots, community-identified development projects.

The episode explores the multi-billion dollar industry of volunteer tourism. Podcast hosts, Dr Peter Mason and Olivia Rosenman, join with Stephen discussing what we are missing in an industry that is rarely researched and empirical data is scarce. Stephen uses his expert insight to describe how the industry is changing. Additionally, he explores how it could be regulated and how the media plays a role in popular perceptions of volunteer tourists.

Get up to date by listening to the previous episodes. Simply search “Conversation in Development” into Apple Podcasts or your favourite podcast streaming service. Episode 5 on volunteer tourism streaming from World Tourism Day, Thursday 27 September 2018.

 

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19 September 2018
·
australia
Colette McInerney: Cufa’s Newest Board Member

Colette McInerneyWe are delighted to announce that Colette McInerney has joined the Cufa Board of Directors.

Colette brings over 20 years of experience in leading NGO’s both in Australia and internationally. With this, she brings a unique synthesis of effective and respectful leadership skills and practical experience. These have been gained through various roles such as the Laos-based Country Director for a global NGO. She also spent time as the CEO of an Indigenous financial inclusion foundation and as a strategic public-private partnership manager.

With an extensive knowledge in microfinance and financial inclusion, Colette brings a great deal of expertise in female-centred economic development programs. In addition, she is a skilled fundraiser and strategic stakeholder management advisor. With considerable experience leading NGO’s, Colette has also delivered best practice programs that are responsive to community needs, underpinned by rigorous governance and management standards. 

Moreover, Colette has a unique capacity to work adeptly across diverse and often complex environments with ease and confidence. This only further assists in her development of stakeholder relationship management.

As Cufa runs multiple female-focused programs aiming to empower women across the Asia-Pacific, we are excited for the invaluable insight of Colette McInerney on our board!

Read more about Who We Are

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30 August 2018
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australia
MEDIA RELEASE – Cufa Makes Extensive Social Return on Investment, Report Finds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 30th August 2018                                                       

 

Cufa announced today the release of their Social Return on Investment (SROI) report, quantifying how much social value is created as a ratio of investment into the programs.

For every $1 invested into Cufa’s programs, $12.33 of social value is created. Overall, $30.4 million of value was created in the form of education, employment, enterprises and economic institutions. The number has more than tripled since the last report in 2014, as a result of the expansion in the scope and scale of Cufa’s development programs.

The report provides a review of all of Cufa’s programs while measuring the sustainable development Cufa provides within communities. It is Cufa’s aim to not supply financial handouts, but instil long-term economic development that alleviates poverty for current and future generations.

Some of the outstanding results included:

  • Created over $13.5 million of social value in the Bougainville Youth Initiative
  • Returned $28 of social value for every $1 invested in the Village Entrepreneur program
  • Increased total community savings in Timor-Leste credit unions to $266,456
  • Provided financial access in rural Cambodia with 21 credit unions formed
  • Encouraged female empowerment with multiple women’s focused self-help groups in Myanmar

Cufa’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Peter Mason commented, “Social return on investment reporting provides an opportunity to measure social and environmental value not currently reflected in conventional financial reports. Cufa has conducted the SROI report to measure the success of our programs across the Asia-Pacific. The results of the report affirm Cufa’s commitment to implementing sustainable development throughout disadvantaged communities.”

READ THE FULL REPORT

 

– ENDS –

 

For all media enquiries, interview and image requests, please contact:

Carolina Flores

Marketing and Communications Manager
1300 490 467

carolina.flores@cufa.org.au

MEDIA RELEASE in PDF format

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20 August 2018
·
cambodia
British Embassy Funded a Project to Empower Cambodian Women

British Embassy Phnom Penh Empower Cambodian WomenCufa is extremely excited to begin a new project in rural Cambodia with the aim of empowering women. The project will be funded by the British Embassy in Phnom Penh with the specific focus of strengthening Cambodian women’s voices and encouraging participation within communities.

The project covers four key topic areas:

  • Benefits of community engagement
  • Confidence Building
  • Public Speaking
  • Women’s Networking Forums

The community relationships that Cufa has formed through our Credit Union Development program and extensive experience working in rural Cambodia will assist us in the project’s implementation. It will be delivered across 21 villages in four provinces and measure the participation rates of women in organisations such as credit unions and village committees. The results will see a higher participation rate and deeper engagement for women within communities. This will enable women to gain skills in areas such as public speaking and create a platform for networking, both within and across rural communities.

We will keep you updated with the project as it unfolds!

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20 August 2018
·
timor-leste
Timor-Leste Credit Unions: Some Amazing News

Cufa has been developing Timor-Leste credit unions since 2009. The project covers three districts with 13 credit unions. Like many of our other Credit Union Development projects, these areas were identified because they had low levels of community savings, high levels of debt and limited access to formal financial services. Our project in Timor-Leste fills this economic and educational gap, teaching people how to save and its importance while linking them to a community-owned bank.

 

Timor-Leste Credit Unions: Some Amazing News

 

The credit unions we have developed in Timor-Leste are extremely successful and hence, they have provided us with some amazing updates.

The area of Remexio, near the capital Dili, has received great news. Three of the credit unions are preparing to register with the government at the culmination of their project term. This is possible as the profits they have gained are enough to sustain them without Cufa’s assistance. Another credit union, also in Remexio, has recently reinvested their profits into building a new office for their members use. Additionally, some of the credit unions have reported more members showing interest and gaining knowledge in successful agriculture businesses. This type of self-determination is encouraged and extremely beneficial for the local community.

A recent report done by Cufa has also indicated that the Timor-Leste credit unions are undergoing a high level of financial success. The report determined:

  • For every $1 invested in the project, over $12 of social return is created
  • 539 new credit union members over the past 1.75 years
  • $266,456 in total community savings

Timor-Leste credit unions continue to impress, continuously motivating each other towards success with study visits and coaching groups. They provide a multitude of opportunities for local people. These lie in educating communities about financial literacy and providing safe and affordable banking access. In doing this they are able to empower women and people with disabilities, benefiting communities across Timor-Leste.

We look forward to hearing more great news from our projects there!

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13 August 2018
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australia
MEDIA RELEASE – Microfinance Expert, Mahir Momand, Joins New Cufa Podcast Episode

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 13th August 2018

 

Today, Cufa announced the release of a new episode that focuses on microfinance in their podcast series, Conversations in Development. The podcast is hosted by Cufa’s CEO Dr Peter Mason and journalist Olivia Rosenman.

The episode features microfinance expert Mahir Momand as a special guest. Mahir is the founding CEO of Thrive Refugee Enterprise, a not-for-profit focused on providing microfinance and mentoring assistance to refugees in Australia for starting their own business.

More than 150 million of the world’s poorest people are assisted by microfinance. It is a market-driven approach to development, alleviating poverty through the creation of local economies and sustainable livelihoods. The microfinance programs run by Mahir have helped establish a total of 165,000 small and medium business enterprises in Afghanistan. These have provided a livelihood for nearly 1 million people.

This Conversations in Development episode, with the aid of Mahir’s experienced insight, explores the basics behind the topic of microfinance, using examples from his work in Afghanistan. He details how he reduced poverty, addressed gender inequality, and ultimately threatened the basis of the Taliban insurgency.

Microfinance is a proven method in alleviating poverty in developing nations.” said Dr Peter Mason, CEO of Cufa. “Microfinance provides an opportunity to develop microenterprises for those that do not have access to financial institutions. By combining the teaching of business skills and microfinance, the most disadvantaged individuals can build a successful business.”

Conversations in Development is available to download and stream with Apple Podcasts or your favourite podcast platform.

Visit the podcast website: http://ConversationsInDevelopment.com.au

Conversations in Development: RSS feed

Dr. Peter Mason is the CEO of international development agency Cufa. Cufa’s programs focus on economic development of underserved and disadvantaged communities across the Asia Pacific region. With multiple approaches including education, employment, enterprise, and financial institution development, Cufa’s projects are implemented by local Cufa offices and country staff who work with local communities, organisations, and government. Peter has worked in Cambodia, Timor Leste, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and the Federated States of Micronesia. His research interests include examining the way in which the social and the economic interact within the development environment and he has recently published a chapter, Credit Unions, in The Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization.

Olivia Rosenman is the executive producer of Fourth Estate, a weekly media affairs show radio broadcast in Sydney on 2SER. She has previously worked as a reporter for news agencies in both Sydney and Asia. As an AusAID Youth Ambassador for Development, Olivia ran the communications department of a disability services organization in Nanning, China. Olivia holds a Master of Journalism from the University of Hong Kong and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney.

 

– ENDS –

 

For all media enquiries, interview and image requests, please contact:

Carolina Flores

Marketing and Communications Manager
1300 490 467

carolina.flores@cufa.org.au

MEDIA RELEASE in PDF format

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18 July 2018
·
myanmar
Women’s Self-Help Group Given Reason to Celebrate

Last month, Shwe Myanmar Self-Help Group (SHG) celebrated its 2nd anniversary. The SHG is located in Tha Yet Chaung Village, Taik Kyi Township and currently has 124 members. It is also one of our many female-focused groups, allowing for women to have greater access to financial services and financial education.

The SHG is part of Cufa’s Credit Union Development project, providing the members of credit unions an opportunity to participate in training sessions on varying topics to further their financial education. It also acts as a platform where members can meet and initiate open discussion. The aim of the day was not only to celebrate the group’s achievements but also to inform other self-help groups about their success and look towards the future.

The ceremonies agenda included:

  • Opening address from the Village Tract Administrator
  • Speech delivered by the Cufa Country Manager
  • History of the group presented by the Chair
  • Presentation on the journey so far
  • A general look ahead to the future of SHGs in the local township
  • Q and A session

Daw Nyunt Nyunt Kyi, chairperson of the group committee had a very active role in the ceremony. After submitting the financial reports, she guided the day through presentations and a Q and A session. She was extremely happy with the turnout, looking ahead to a brighter future.

Committee members of other SHGs were also in attendance, taking notes on how to improve their own groups. The day was full of fruitful ideas and we look forward to seeing more of the same from other groups in the future!

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18 July 2018
·
australia
New Podcast Episode on Microfinance: Building economies, improving lives

Conversations in Development Logo

Cufa’s podcast, Conversations in Development, will welcome a new guest to discuss microfinance with the hosts. Following on from previous episodes that have focused on child labour and foreign aid, this episode explores microfinancing in developing countries and breaks down the idea of integrating refugees into society.

http://www.ConversationInDevelopment.com.au

Microfinance is a market-driven approach to development, alleviating poverty through the creation of local economies and sustainable livelihoods. 

This episodes guest, Mahir Momand, is the CEO of Thrive Refugee Enterprise, an organisation that provides microfinance and business support to refugees and asylum seekers in Australia. Mahir’s prior experience in Afghanistan included as the CEO of the National Association of Credit Unions and positions with the World Bank and UNHCR. He has helped establish a total of 165,000 small and medium business enterprises in Afghanistan, providing a livelihood for nearly 1 million people.

The episode explains microfinancing in the developing world, touches on refugees and their integration both economically and socially into society, and Mahir describes his journey as a refugee being threatened and shot by the Taliban and ultimately ending up in Australia.

Get up to date by listening to the previous episodes. Simply search “Conversation in Development” into Apple Podcasts or your favourite podcast streaming service. Episode 4 streaming from Monday 13 August 2018.

 

Mahir , Peter and Olivia talk microfinance

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26 June 2018
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australia
MEDIA RELEASE – Losing their childhood: Cufa publishes podcast on child labour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 26th June 2018

 

Cufa announced today the release of a new episode focusing on child labour in their podcast series, Conversations in Development, hosted by Cufa’s CEO Dr Peter Mason and journalist Olivia Rosenman.

The episode features lawyer, strategist, and activist, Brynn O’Brien as a special guest. Brynn is currently the Executive Director of the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, an organisation that holds Australia’s largest companies accountable for their impacts on people and the environment.

152 million children throughout the world are currently engaged in child labour. It is a major worldwide issue that deprives children of their childhood and creates a cycle of intergenerational poverty. The recent World Day Against Child Labour highlighted the global extent of child labour and the action required to eliminate it. This includes educating consumers about child labour in supply chains, empowering them to make ethical decisions in order to eliminate the practice.

With the unique insight provided by Brynn, this Conversations in Development episode unpacks many of the processes behind child labour and explores the need for transparency and ethical consumerism. The episode also explores the challenges behind meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goal of eliminating child labour by 2025.

“The link between child labour and intergenerational poverty is unmistakable.” said Dr Peter Mason, CEO of Cufa. “Consumers must be informed about the presence of child labour in companies’ supply chains so they can make informed and ethical decisions. Education is our most valuable tool to combat the issue.”

Conversations in Development is available to download and stream with Apple Podcasts or your favourite podcast platform.

Visit the podcast website: http://ConversationsInDevelopment.com.au

Conversations in Development: RSS feed

Dr. Peter Mason is the CEO of international development agency Cufa. Cufa’s programs focus on economic development of underserved and disadvantaged communities across the Asia Pacific region. With multiple approaches including education, employment, enterprise, and financial institution development, Cufa’s projects are implemented by local Cufa offices and country staff who work with local communities, organisations, and government. Peter has worked in Cambodia, Timor Leste, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and the Federated States of Micronesia. His research interests include examining the way in which the social and the economic interact within the development environment and he has recently published a chapter, Credit Unions, in The Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization.

Olivia Rosenman is the executive producer of Fourth Estate, a weekly media affairs show radio broadcast in Sydney on 2SER. She has previously worked as a reporter for news agencies in both Sydney and Asia. As an AusAID Youth Ambassador for Development, Olivia ran the communications department of a disability services organization in Nanning, China. Olivia holds a Master of Journalism from the University of Hong Kong and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney.

 

– ENDS –

 

For all media enquiries, interview and image requests, please contact:

Sam Priebee

Marketing Assistant
1300 490 467

sam.priebee@cufa.org.au

MEDIA RELEASE in PDF format

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19 June 2018
·
myanmar
Count4Kids App Launch Myanmar

Last week, Cufa and CPA Australia launched the Count4Kids app in Myanmar. The launch was held at Mt. Pann Ta Pwint Monastic Education School in Taik Kyi Township, Myanmar.

 

 

The app is part of Cufa’s Children’s Financial Literacy (CFL) program and will be used as an educational tool to teach basic financial literacy to school children in rural Myanmar. It is the continuation of a successful partnership between Cufa and CPA Australia after the app was released in Cambodia in November 2015.

Through animation and games, the Count4Kids Myanmar App will teach four basic financial literacy concepts: earning money, budgeting for items, saving for future financial goals and making choices about spending money. Since 2008, over 90,000 children aged 6-12 years in Cambodia and Myanmar have been taught in Cufa’s CFL program.

 

 

Thank you to CPA Australia for creating infinite value through financial literacy education!

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