Media
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
 
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
 
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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