17 January 2019
Financial Inclusion for Women, Why is it Important?

Financial inclusion is where individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs and are delivered in a sustainable way. Financial inclusion for women is a key enabler in reducing poverty and boosting prosperity. Here at Cufa, we focus on the most disadvantaged rural communities where we find women need the most assistance and thus, many of our programs focus on providing them financial products, training and education, forming the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.


Financial Inclusion for Women, Why is it Important?


What is financial Inclusion and how does it help women?

Obtaining access to a bank account is the first step towards financial inclusion. This access facilitates day-to-day living and helps both families and businesses plan for the future. As an account holder, people are more likely to begin using other services like loans and insurance, expanding their earning potential by investing in business, education and risk management. Great strides have been made worldwide with 1.2 billion people gaining a bank account since 2011 and now 69% of adults have a bank account. However, there are still over 1 billion women that are unbanked.

Why is it important to empower women with financial inclusion?

Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. Women make vast contributions to economies whether it is in business, agriculture, as entrepreneurs or in unpaid work such as care at home. Basically, when more women work, economies grow. It is estimated that gender gaps can cost an economy over 15% of GDP.


Financial Inclusion for Women, Why is it Important?


How does Cufa provide women with financial inclusion?

Many of Cufa’s programs focus on empowering women. The Female Financial Empowerment program in Myanmar has a sole focus on providing financial inclusion for women through support, financial services and business skills. Members gain access to a savings account and microfinance and are taught financial literacy and a variety of business skills alongside a leadership skills workshop.

If you would like to find out more about some of our amazing programs that empower women you can here.

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20 December 2018
Why you should donate to Cufa this Christmas

Do you want to make a difference for someone less fortunate these holidays? Find out why you should donate to Cufa today!

Our programs

At Cufa, our programs focus on providing sustainable change within communities, a hand up, not a handout. We supply the most disadvantaged people the tools to break the poverty cycle.

Cufa’s work focuses on alleviating poverty through economic empowerment. We teach young people the importance of saving, empower women to gain financial access, provide employment services, help finance and train rural entrepreneurs and much more!

Our results

We have reached over 4 million people each year through our programs and our results show the impact that we have had on developing communities.

For each $1 of donor funds we create $12.33 of social value and over a 1.75 year period Cufa created over $30 million of social value in the form of jobs, businesses, community-owned banks and much more.

Some of our programs have performed exceptionally with some of these examples including:

Village Entrepreneur - $28 of social value for each $1 invested

Bougainville Youth Project – $13,530,299 social value created

SRIRI Project – 707 people employed

Credit Union Development Cambodia - 21 credit unions formed

Credit Union Development Timor-Leste - $266,456 total community savings


Why you should donate to Cufa this ChristmasWhy you should donate to Cufa this ChristmasWhy you should donate to Cufa this Christmas


You can read more about our amazing results in our Social Return on Investment report.

Our success stories

We have seen countless unique stories about the way in which Cufa has had a life-changing impact on people’s lives. All of these stories are special and portray the importance of different aspects of our work.

These range from young people with savings goals such as Samnang Sun saving up to one day study to become an engineer to Chek Chin overcoming various setbacks to start his own business.

Read some of our latest success stories here.

Make a life-changing contribution these holidays and give someone less fortunate a much needed helping hand!


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29 October 2018
Over 100,000 Students Educated and Counting

Cufa’s Children’s Financial Literacy program has recently reached the milestone of teaching over 100,000 students.

The program was first started in 2008 as a fun and engaging way to teach financial education to disadvantaged students. Cufa has been able to grow the program immensely in the past few years. It has expanded from Cambodia to Myanmar, growing the number of children reached. Cufa has also worked together with Teachers Mutual Bank and CPA Australia to develop the program further with CPA Australia helping develop the Count4Kids app.

The program encourages students to set both short and long-term goals and hence, we continue to witness a multitude of success stories such as Samnang, who maintains aspirations of studying to become an engineer in Cambodia.

The growing success of the program has seen 66% of participants actively saving over the past 3 years. Alongside this, there has been a 236% increase in savings per child over that same time period. In the past 1.75 years, Cufa has educated over 22,500 students with over 1000 lessons. As a result, the growth and development of the program is constantly increasing.

Read about the vast impact that the program and Cufa’s work has on children in our recent Social Return on Investment report.


CFL teaches over 100,000 students Myanmar


The success of the program doesn’t stop with the children educated. The student's families also benefit from their participation in the program as they are provided access to community-owned banks. Consequently, they can gain financial services like a savings account and access to finance in the form of business loans.

Over 100,000 students have been imparted the tools to develop lifelong savings habits at a young age thanks to the program. Therefore, many have been able to steer clear of poverty using these financial tools. We hope to reach many more to provide this opportunity in the future!

Find out more about the amazing Children’s Financial Literacy program.

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29 October 2018
Team Makes Field Trip in Myanmar

Cufa’s team has recently made a field trip in Myanmar to Pa Tauk Tan Village in Taik Kyi Township to visit and assist participants of our Credit Union Development project.

The program is initially set up within a community signing people up to a community-owned bank to gain financial access. Following this, the program looks at increasing the member’s financial education. This is achieved via a range of methods such as bookkeeping training and learning about loans and interest.

Once the program is established, smaller livelihood projects are delivered to improve the living standard of the local communities. All of the pictured participants below are members of their local community-owned bank. They are working in Roselle fields picking and packaging it to be sent to the markets for sale.

The Cufa team members field trip in Myanmar provided a learning experience for both themselves and the participants. They assisted and encouraged participants to build a deeper engagement with the program. At the same time, they gained a better understanding of the living conditions of the participants and their types of work.


Team Makes Field Trip in Myanmar interacting


The program fosters independence within disadvantaged communities. It provides the tools for people to break the cycle of poverty through businesses and financial access. The program makes a life-changing difference by encouraging locals to work hard, spend wisely and by encouraging them to learn.

Roselle is an extremely common farming plant in rural Myanmar. It is the most widely eaten and popular vegetable in the country. Its uses vary but the most popular include in curries and soups. Other uses of roselle include the making of jam and tea from the flowers and in salads as the leaves are used as a spicy equivalent to spinach.

The Credit Union Development program targets disadvantaged communities in the rural areas of Cambodia and Myanmar. It provides financial access and education and consequently makes a massive difference to the lives of people within these communities.

Find out more about Cufa is providing financial access with the Credit Union Development program.

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19 September 2018
Financial Empowerment for Women in Myanmar

The Female Financial Empowerment program was started in Myanmar using concepts from our Credit Union Development program. The aim of the program is to develop financial empowerment for women in rural areas and provide essential financial services.

Women in rural villages are empowered through support and education, this comes in the form of self-help groups. Participants are also provided access to financial services such as loans and savings account and taught business skills.

The program is currently operating in three rural villages in Myanmar, Tha Yet Chaung, Suk Su and Ywar Tan Shae Sout Win Gyi.

We recently spoke with Daw Kyi Pyar about her experience gaining financial empowerment in the program.


financial empowerment for women Daw Kyi Pyar


Daw Kyi, tell us a bit about yourself? I am 38 years old, living in Tha Yet Chaung Village with my husband and my young son.

What was your situation like before you joined the program? I didn’t know much about the importance of money before Cufa came to my village. I didn’t know why I should be saving and what I should be saving for.

How has your life changed since you joined the program? Since I joined my local community-owned bank in 2016 I have been constantly saving. I was able to take out a loan and use it for my business – a grocery store. I am now seeing the benefits as the profits from my store have been increasing steadily.

How else are you getting involved? I have attended all the training sessions provided by Cufa staff. They teach about savings, loans and more. It makes finance easy to understand for most households.  On top of this, I convey the good news about my self-help group to my village and help explain to other villagers the benefits of savings.

Thanks for sharing with us Daw Kyi!

The Female Financial Empowerment program provides an opportunity for women in rural areas to collaborate and access a support group. Subsequently, financial empowerment for women is built through access to financial services, education and support but primarily also by coming together as a collective.

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18 July 2018
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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19 June 2018
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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14 June 2018
MEDIA RELEASE – Cufa and CPA Australia Launch Educational App in Myanmar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 13th June 2018                                                            


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




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18 May 2018
Count4Kids app in Myanmar!

We're getting ready to launch the Children's Financial Literacy App next month in Myanmar! The Count4Kids app has been used in Children's Financial Literacy classes in Cambodia since 2015, making the lessons even more fun and playful! Now localised into Burmese, this customised app for Myanmar classes has been made possible through a partnership with CPA Australia. 

This app is a digital classroom tool in this transformative program for poor and disadvantaged children. Cufa's Children's Financial Literacy classes teach financial literacy skills, and encourage the importance of saving from a young age to children 6-12 years old.

Cufa's Myanmar team are so excited to unpack the phablets loaded with the customised local version of the Children's Financial Literacy app!

Cufa's Myanmar team unpack the phablets for the CFL app

The Children's Financial Literacy program has taught over 90,000 children in Cambodia and Myanmar, with an enormous impact on the lives of young children and their families. Evaluations of the program highlight the impact of good savings habits, and 72% of participants continue to save two years after the program completion.

Watch this space as we'll share photos and stories from the June launch of Children's Financial Literacy app for Myanmar.

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

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21 November 2017
Creating Infinite Value in Myanmar

Since 2015 we have been working with Self Help Groups in 30 villages across Myanmar, supporting them to develop their own village savings bank through our Credit Union Development (CUD) Project. The impact has produced life-changing results for the village women, men, children and their community. 

Our Myanmar Country Manager, KZ (real name Kyaw Zin Myo), thinks there are many ways to alleviate poverty. But KZ believes that our CUD Project "is the best way because it provides affordable and accessible financial services tailored for the villager." 

Villager and member, Daw Aye Pone (pictured above), explains; 

"Now I will keep saving in the Self Help Group so that my family
will not have to struggle, and so they don't need to worry about money." 

Another member, Daw Than Than Cho, shares some of the benefits she experiences;

"By having the Self-Help Group in our village,
there is no need to leave the village to save money.  It is also good for creating business in our village, and for our children's education."

We will soon be releasing a new video filmed in Myanmar, sharing some of the personal stories directly from the villagers themselves!  

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