By Kundi Lay, International Projects Supervisor CUFA
Mr Adelino Da Costa is 27 years old, the eldest of three siblings and the breadwinner of the family. He lives in a small house in the Remexio District Timor-Leste with his mum, dad and three siblings.
Adelino had to give up his studies when he was in year 7, instead to take a job to support his family. Each day, he spends an average of 8 hours working at the local church, earning just US$70/month.
In addition, he receives about US$60/month from vegetables that he and his parents grow behind their house. Adelino left the church to work for a primary school as a school guard two months ago.
In September 2011, Adelino attended his first group meeting organised by CUFA, as part of the Credit Union Development (CUD) project. The CUD project is working in communities that don’t have access to financial services to help the communities to establish their own credit union. He found the CUD program very interesting and had since joined all the project meetings and offered his help with a range of administration tasks. Following the training he strongly believes that savings is the best way to improve his community.
He has been integral to gathering community members to the meeting and recording member’s savings, as well as how to calculate interest on members’ savings. As a result of his commitment and passion to learn, he has been selected to be a Credit Union Treasurer.
Currently Adelino works as a full time school guard and supports the CUD on the savings day. He is very excited to be part of the program and to be able to help his community. He never expected that he would have the skills required to work in a credit union as a bookkeeper given his low level of education. Adelino told CUFA that he is busy encouraging other people in neighbouring villages to join their credit union.
To find out more about the development of credit unions in the Asia Pacific region visit www.cufa.com.au