Helping To Build A Better World
Many of us take our credit union membership for granted. Here in the United States, our standard of living is so high that it is hard for us to realize that there are those in other parts of the world who consider that membership their most valuable possession.
In many countries, the only source of credit is the credit union. Often the credit union's actions determine whether a young person receives an education, whether a sick relative gets medical assistance, or whether a child goes to school barefoot or in shoes. If a farmer can borrow the $500 he needs to buy seeds and fertilizer, he may not have to sell his crops in advance for a third of their value. if a worker can borrow before payday for an imperative need, he won't have to trade his $75 paycheck for $50. To these members, their credit union is of vital importance. It enables them to help themselves with dignity and honor.
Credit unionism is a movement - not an industry. The reason for the movement's existence is the development of mankind and its community. People claiming to be part of a movement generally perceive their activities to be directed more toward the benefit of others than themselves. We, as members, can help to make a better world through the credit union movement. We can effect world peace by helping to provide economic stability.
While credit union may differ in name and size, they are alike in principle and practice. Their greatest strength has not been in their sameness, but in their uniqueness. They are not just financial institutions, but builders of people. They offer thousands of people all over the world an opportunity for growth and development.
Their objective is to promote unity among men by encouraging them to ban together to accomplish collectively that which they cannot achieve individually. To achieve economic independence for the individual by encouraging the habit of thrift. To combat usury and other forms of financial exploitation of consumers. To establish economic democracy through a system that allows each individual to participate in, and exercise control over, the financial institutions serving him.
No matter how large or how small your credit union, it is part of a tangible network connecting credit unions around the world. These credit unions are linked through their special support organizations and associations, state to nation to continent to region. Finally, they are affiliated with the World Council of Credit Unions. Together, they constitute the largest single-purpose cooperative system the world has known. you can be proud of the part you play in "people helping people" around the world.