Media
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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19 June 2018
·
12th Russian Credit Union Forum

The 12th Russian Credit Union Forum was held in the beautiful Russian resort city, Sochi from 23rd May – 25th May, 2018. Hosted by the Russian Credit Union League (RCUL), this year’s theme was Credit Cooperation is 25: Achievements, Experience and Potential for Development.

Both Cufa’s Chair Margot Sweeny and Cufa’s CEO Dr. Peter Mason have previously attended the Russian Credit Union Forum. This year, Cufa  sponsored Michael Koisen from the Papua New Guinea credit union movement to speak at the forum. As the CEO of Teachers Savings and Loan Society in Papua New Guinea, and with over 30 years’ experience in the savings and loans industry, Michael shared his valuable insight into the regulation challenges faced by credit unions.

 

 

While being honored to give the opening address, Michael Koisen said of the forum, "The Russian Credit Union Industry has had stops and starts, pre and post Soviet Union and is going through what I would term as a revitalization. There seems to be a mixture of heavy handed and absent regulation driven by a mixture of variables including GFC, distrust, a lack of capacities due to fragmentation and inadequate regulatory resources across a vast geography. There is a huge potential for growth once they get past their teething phase. There are some similar experiences and close similarities to Credit Union development and evolution in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific."

The Russian Credit Union Forum is a platform for discussion of sector development, issues facing by credit cooperatives, including regulation and self-regulation, financial sustainability, new ideas and technologies

Cufa’s history with the RCUL dates back to its induction in 1994. Cufa and RCUL continue to connect as both organisations contribute towards cooperative development around the world.

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19 June 2018
·
cambodia
Learn about some unique Village Entrepreneurs

Cufa’s Village Entrepreneur program lets you join an individual villager on an amazing journey towards a sustainable business. This means a financially independent future, breaking the cycle of poverty for their family and future generations.

There are a wide range of businesses that Village Entrepreneurs often set up with chicken and pig farming being some of the most popular.

Here are some of the programs more unique businesses!

Name Eoun Seng

Business Bike Repairer

Name Phalla Hein

Business Sugar Cane Juice Seller

Name Sokun Chheun 

Business Tailor

Name Bein Sovan

Business Barber

 

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19 June 2018
·
Conversations in Development: Child Labour

Conversations in Development LogoCufa’s podcast series, Conversations in Development, will soon be covering child labour. The podcast provides a unique opportunity for listeners to stay informed about key issues in the development field with input from special guests. Previously, the podcast has covered the relationship between aid and conflict, and Australia's foreign aid.

http://www.ConversationInDevelopment.com.au

The upcoming episode will focus on child labour and is released shortly after the recent World Day Against Child Labour, which focuses attention on the global extent of child labour and the action required to eliminate it.

This episodes guest, Brynn O’Brien, is a lawyer, strategist and advocate. She is currently the Executive Director at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, a non-profit organisation that works to promote better performance of Australian companies on human rights, environmental and governance issues.

In the episode, Brynn takes on some of the complex issues behind child labour. She covers supply chains, the link between big business and exploitation, consumer behaviour and examines how it would be possible to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goal of eliminating child labour by 2025.

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 3 streaming from Tuesday 26 June 2018.

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15 June 2018
·
cambodia
Thoughts from Cambodia with TMB

In March, Cufa hosted a group from Teachers Mutual Bank (TMB) on a tour through Cambodia to see our programs and learn about the local culture, history and way of life

This is what some of them had to say!

 

Name Smitha Ramaswamy

What were your expectations of the trip? “I grew up in India and had heard that many Cambodian kings were of Indian origin, hence had a lot of religious influence from India during ancient times. I was keen to see the similarities and differences with some of those influences in culture and the Cambodian way of life.”

Who did you enjoy meeting from the Cambodia trip? “The Cufa staff, Pichar, Kundi and Tola, that accompanied us during the day and night trips and were our guides, translators and escorts. We exchanged a lot of personal stories and they definitely were a key to making this study tour a memorable one.”

Any other comments? “I would like to thank Cufa for the wonderful hospitality and what this tour had to offer. Congratulations Cufa for doing amazing work in this space. I am so grateful for this opportunity and so proud to be associated with organisations that believe that building a better future begins with education and a small change in mindset.”

 

Name Joanna Damianakis

What were your expectations of the trip? “To be going on a trip with my colleagues, visiting schools, Village Entreprenuers, credit unions, but being a part of it and to see it for real was amazing and overwhelming. I didn’t know the severity of the poverty.”

Which Cufa projects did you find most interesting and why? “They were all interesting, but what I found inspiring was the Village Entrepreneurs. The way they are serious about getting involved in starting a business and so grateful for the help they get.”

Any other comments? “I found the study tour an opportunity to see firsthand how determined these people are and that the work that Cufa does is so great.”

Thank you, Smitha and Joanna from Teachers Mutual Bank for sharing your thoughts!

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14 June 2018
·
MEDIA RELEASE – Cufa and CPA Australia Launch Educational App in Myanmar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 13th June 2018                                                            

CUFA AND CPA AUSTRALIA LAUNCH EDUCATIONAL APP FOR CHILDREN IN MYANMAR

Cufa and CPA Australia today launched the Count4Kids Myanmar App at Mt. Pann Ta Pwint Monastic Education School in Taik Kyi Township, Myanmar.

This project powerfully combines digital technology with an educational tool to teach basic financial literacy to school children in rural Myanmar. The innovative tablet technology expands on Cufa’s successful partnership with CPA Australia on the original Count4Kids Cambodia App that has been integrated into Cufa’s Children’s Financial Literacy (CFL) program in Cambodia since 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.

CPA Australia’s Head of Policy, Paul Drum FCPA, said, “Following on from the success of the Count4Kids App Cambodia Project, CPA Australia is proud to continue our partnership with Cufa supporting financial literacy in Myanmar. We recognise that this tool enables local children to effectively learn the basics of finance, creating the opportunity for further education and long term career options. This project collaboration confirms CPA Australia’s commitment to helping improve financial literacy in the Asia Pacific region.”

Cufa’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Peter Mason commented, “Cufa’s CFL classes have had a significant impact on early financial literacy in Cambodia and Myanmar, with 72% of children continuing to save two years after the program completion. The impact of the digital interactive games as a technological tool to teach rural children financial literacy cannot be underestimated. Thanks to the support of CPA Australia, disadvantaged children will access financial education, and also gain exposure to technology so they will not be left behind in an increasingly digital world.”

The CFL program was established by Cufa after its work with adults in poor communities showed the need to establish financial literacy skills at a young age. With printed and digital support materials, children in participating schools learn the basics of financial literacy and create sustainable futures for themselves. The development of early financial literacy creates independence and with positive long term impact, brings great benefits for the whole community.

– ENDS –

 

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

Tanya Ho

Marketing and Communications Manager
1300 490 467  |  0438 227 479

info@cufa.org.au

 

MEDIA RELEASE in PDF format

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29 May 2018
·
australia
Australia’s role in aid and conflict

The theme of this year’s International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers Day is “70 Years of Service and Sacrifice.” This day pays tribute to the past and present contributions of those working to create peace in countries torn apart by conflict. But what role does Australia play in contributing to conflict around the world, and why should we care?

Our screens and airwaves are filled with stories of violent conflict. Causes of conflict range from the political, cultural, economic, religious, to contested access to resources. Whether it is the geopolitical quest for influence or religious identity wars playing out, conflict is often fuelled by poverty and inequality. As a consequence of this disenfranchisement, many communities feel politically and economically marginalised and inevitably, this leads to conflict.

Australians are very generous people. However, as the recent Federal Budget release demonstrated, our foreign aid budget is often hauled out to assess whether it couldn’t be better spent elsewhere. While the development sector have been good at communicating the benefits of aid in the alleviation of poverty, it has not been successful in mounting the case of its contribution in addressing causes of conflict in our region. I suspect that this message’s complexity requires deeper conversations than just an image and a tag line.

Australia is surrounded by emerging economies that are struggling to develop equitable economies, and face challenges of political or economic inclusion. As good neighbours who have a stake in the stability of our region, Australia can play a role through its aid budget. This role is critical if we want to curtail potential conflict, and if we want to have a prosperous region with politically and economically stable neighbours.

In recent discussion with peace and conflict academic, Aime Saba for Cufa’s Conversations in Development podcast, it was evident that prevention of conflict through development aid is far less costly than the resulting humanitarian response that follows violent conflict. The identification of the drivers of conflict are often recognised by local NGOs, but unfortunately, those voices are often not being heard by developed countries, according to Saba. The competition for resources is fierce and the immediacy of assisting those in need following the aftermath of conflict often takes priority addressing the less evident precursors such as poverty and inequality. This is until we are confronted with pictures of a humanitarian catastrophe and the associated imagery of people in dire distress and disadvantage. While Australia’s aid dollars are addressing economic inequity within our region, we are not recognising nor communicating the contribution this aid makes to keeping our region relatively stable.

At a time when the Australian aid budget is continually under review, we need to recognize that aid has a broader effect than simply addressing poverty. Surely the 22 cents in every $100 of Gross Domestic Income that is allocated to the aid budget is an extremely small price to pay for addressing economic inequality and enhancing stability in our backyard.

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Dr. Peter Mason is CEO of  Cufa, and co-host of podcast, Conversations In Development. The podcast’s second episode features Aime Saba and discusses the issues of aid in conflict.

http://www.ConversationsInDevelopment.com.au/ep02.html

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29 May 2018
·
MEDIA RELEASE – Cufa releases podcast on aid and conflict for International Day of UN Peacekeepers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 29th May 2018                                                            

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

What is the role of aid in conflict? This episode features special guest Aime Saba who provides valuable insight from his experiences in both peacekeeping field operations and international development. He has served on the Iraq desk of the Department of Political Affairs at the UN and worked for AusAID on humanitarian programs in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, North Korea and the Philippines. After serving as a civilian peacekeeper with the UN in Liberia, Aime is working as a visiting research fellow at the University of Sydney.

The International Day of UN Peacekeepers, 29 May, celebrates 70 years of UN peacekeeping and pays tribute to the contributions of the 3700 peacekeepers that have lost their lives with the theme, “70 Years of Service and Sacrifice”.

This Conversations in Development episode explores the relationship between aid and conflict and draws from examples in Myanmar, Syria and multiple countries in Africa. Aime uses his knowledge to investigate this relationship and discusses what an aid response to stop conflicts escalating to violence would look like. Can aid prevent conflict escalating? How prepared are we for the conflicts climate change may bring?

“Aid is multifaceted and is not only used in alleviating poverty but also addressing issues of conflict in our region.” said Dr Peter Mason, CEO of Cufa. “At a time when the Australian aid budget is continually under review, the public needs all the benefits of aid clearly communicated with them.”

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:

Tanya Ho

Marketing and Communications Manager
1300 490 467  |  0438 227 479

tanya.ho@cufa.org.au

 

MEDIA RELEASE in PDF format

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18 May 2018
·
Why you should donate this End of Financial Year!

How can you help out this end of financial year?

Boy smiling in uniform

By donating to Cufa you will give people a hand up in life by:

  • Educating young people to create a better future
  • Developing village savings banks
  • Supporting rural small businesses
  • Helping the poor and disadvantaged gain employment

The programs that you contribute to can improve people’s lives on a grassroots level. They assist in providing some of the general necessities that we often take for granted. The people that Cufa assist:

  • Are able to send their children to school
  • Can afford medicine and healthcare
  • Install electricity and toilets in their homes
  • Have access to safe and affordable financial institutions

Value created by Cufa

Cufa reaches over 4 million throughout the Asia Pacific with over 90 cents from every dollar donated to Cufa going towards affected communities.

These amazing programs would not be possible without our valued supporters.

Help alleviate intergenerational poverty within rural communities in the Asia Pacific. Make a tax deductible donation today!

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18 May 2018
·
Conversations in Development: Episode 2 Coming Soon

Conversations in Development Logo

Cufa recently launched our very own podcast series, Conversations in Development, last month on 30 April. The podcast provides a unique opportunity for listeners to stay informed about key issues in the development field. The first episode  focused on foreign aid and with the release of the Federal Budget on 8 May, provided unique insight into Australia’s aid contributions and relationship within the Pacific.

http://www.ConversationInDevelopment.com.au

Episode 2 will be released at the end of this month. The episode discusses aid and conflict and will be released on the 2018 International Day of UN Peacekeepers, a day celebrating “70 Years of Service and Sacrifice”.  

The second episode introduces guest, Aime Saba. Aime has recently returned to Sydney after serving as a civilian peacekeeper with the United Nations in Liberia. He has also gained experience working in the Department of Political Affairs at the UN, for the Australian Government’s overseas program (AusAID) and within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Aime uses his experience to discuss with the hosts the question, what is the role of aid in conflict? He details how aid operates in war zones, why the example of Africa offers a case for increasing aid and the question is asked whether conflict is necessary at all.

Get up to date by listening to the first episode. Simply search “Conversation in Development” into Apple Podcasts or your favourite podcast streaming service. Episode 2 streaming from Tuesday 29 May 2018.

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