Teachers Mutual Bank’s visit to the field

Last month, Cufa hosted Teachers Mutual Bank (TMB) on a Cambodian Study Tour to see the Children’s Financial Literacy program, chat with Village Entrepreneurs, meet savings bank members, and learn more about the local culture, history and way of life. 

Let’s meet some of the group from the trip!

Camilla Gallacher from Teachers Mutual Bank visits a CFL program

Name Camilla Gallacher, Business Analyst at TMB

What were your expectations of the trip? “I was looking forward to seeing how the donations and support from both Teachers Mutual Bank and staff themselves, help the people in Cambodia with their small businesses, and help the children learn about financial literacy. I also wanted to get an understanding of what the Cambodian people went through during the Khmer Rouge.”

Which Cufa projects did you find most interesting? “I absolutely LOVED experiencing the classroom lessons as part of the Children’s Financial Literacy program. That was by far my most favourite part. The children were just beautiful and very welcoming. They were drawn to us like magnets and were very happy to see us take part in their lessons.

The Village Entrepreneurs program was pretty special too. To see the determination of these villagers in expanding their businesses to increase their income (even though very minimal) was admirable.”

Any other feedback? “Thank you for this wonderful opportunity that I will forever treasure and be grateful for. Cufa’s work with the Cambodian people is something to be very proud of and hopefully will continue long into the future to allow these people to develop and rebuild their communities.”

David Goska from Teachers Mutual Bank on Cambodia Study Tour

Name David Goska, Project Manager at TMB

What were your expectations of the trip? “I looked forward to working with Village Entrepreneurs, and children in the financial literacy program and discovering things about the Cambodian culture and way of life.”

How was the trip different from your expectations? “I really had no idea about the Khmer Rouge and everything that happened in the 1970s. It was a grounding and eye opening experience.”

Which Cufa projects did you find most interesting? “The Village Entrepreneur program is most interesting to me. These are real people with real stories. People with so little, are so happy and optimistic about their future, and the approach Cufa have to helping them help themselves is fantastic.

I also liked the Children’s Financial Literacy (CFL) program. The CFL program is essential now, and over time, these lessons about savings and needs, versus wants will become part of the culture and passed down from parent to child as they were to me. 

The small savings banks are interesting because we work in the same industry. I can imagine Teachers Credit Union starting out 50 years ago in a similar fashion, and think the movement is fantastic for the people of Cambodia.”

Thank you, Camilla and David from Teachers Mutual Bank for sharing your highlights!

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