Other Programs
Supporting the Pacific Islands

The goal of the Bougainville Youth Initiative was to address a major education gap and the subsequent unemployment issue that existed across Bougainville resulting from the Bougainville conflict which occurred from 1988 – 1998.

During this decade of civil conflict, a whole generation of children and teenagers were unable to go to school and missed out on an education. Cufa sought to bridge this education gap through the Bougainville Youth Initiative. The problem was approached in 4 ways, village training, high school and job training, micro-enterprise development and mentorship.

The village training helped participants to learn the skills and knowledge they needed to better manage their money. Education covered financial literacy, life skills, employment skills and micro-enterprise development.

Targeted skills training was delivered to a variety of students from high school (grades 9-10), secondary schools (grades 11- 12) and Technical Vocational Education and Training Schools (TVETs).

Participants were not always able to gain employment so they developed their own small businesses in order to earn an income. Communities preferred to collaborate and work in groups on a business together. Cufa helped develop their skills and knowledge of micro-enterprise skills and experience.

The mentoring program was put in place after the village training workshops. Mentors shared their knowledge, skills and experience. In May 2017, a hugely successful 3 day Youth Congress was held for young people and mentors as a forum to present and discuss new ideas.

Bougainville Youth Initiative

Cufa has been providing financial and technical support to the Oceanic Confederation of Credit Union Leagues (OCCUL) after helping establish it a decade ago.

OCCUL is a membership organisation with the goal of helping credit unions, village banks, and provides technical assistance via cooperatives across the Pacific so that they can better serve their communities.

In 2016-17, Cufa supported OCCUL in 3 core ways; assisted in building a mutual network of its members via email and regular phone calls; supported the secretariat to conduct visits and support credit unions across the Pacific, and by supported affected OCCUL members using funds raised from the Fijian Cyclone ‘ Cyclone Winston’ in February 2016.

Cufa is proud to announce that as of 1 July 2017, the Oceanic Confederation of Credit Union became independent. Board representatives from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, the Solomon Islands, New Zealand and Australia met to sign the Deed of Arrangement to transfer ownership and governance functions from Cufa to the OCCUL Advisory Board. The transition from establishment to independent governance is a major step forward for OCCUL, and we’re delighted to see the transition.

Social, Economic and Enterprise Development (SEED) Cambodia

The goal of the SEED program was to strengthen the economic development of 1,500 women and men, especially those people with disabilities.

This program was implemented across three provinces of Cambodia and utilises opportunities through education, vocational training, and financial inclusion.

SEED helped participants to gain the necessary business, husbandry and livelihoods skills to effectively improve their economic situation. They also gained the financial literacy skills and knowledge to allow them to make better decisions about how to manage their money and were linked with a community-owned banking institution.

The SEED program was the precursor to Cufa’s current LEED program.