Basic Needs



Worldwide Foundation For Credit Unions Inc


WOCCU is dedicated to alleviating poverty through credit union self-help. Currently, WOCCU is active in 16 international development projects ranging from Afghanistan and Bolivia, to Kenya and Uzbekistan.

In Afghanistan, WOCCU is organizing credit unions, financial institutions owned by the member/users, as one of the few public place to save and borrow. New initiatives include loans to female teachers at a girl's school so they can find affordable housing, loans for poppy farmers enabling them to raise other crops, and savings and loans for women in sewing workshops.

In Kenya, WOCCU is serving HIV-AIDS affected communities, teaching sustainable farming techniques, making safe credit union operations serving the poor and helping AIDS orphans save for education and the future.

WOCCU's partnership program is helping implement a shared branching system in Ecuador. making it safer for merchants to travel to market since they deposit money in local credit unions at market no longer carrying cash on the long trip home


In pursuit of its vision of "Quality Credit Unions for Everyone, " the mission of World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) is to assist its members and potential members to organize, expand, improve and integrate credit unions and related institutions as effective instruments for the economic and social development of all people.

Through its development agency and trade association activities, WOCCU promotes the sustainable development of credit unions worldwide to empower people to grow through access to high quality and affordable financial services.


WOCCU traces its roots to the 1850s in Germany when credit unions were formed to give the working poor access to financial services.

Credit unions expanded to North America in the early 1900s. Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the association for U.S. credit unions, was founded in 1934. Twenty years later, Roy Bergengren, CUNA President & CEO, asked representatives to approve an overseas credit union assistance program that would expand CUNA’s existing outreach outside of North America.

Between 1962 and 1970, credit union movements in the United States, Canada and Australia generally started to systematically expand the international credit union movement. By the late 1960s, organizations all over the world joined to form today’s international credit union system.

World Council of Credit Unions incorporated on January 1, 1971 and received United Nations observer status in 1973. WOCCU and subsidiaries are headquartered in Madison, Wis, USA with satellite offices in Washington, DC and with global projects.


Currently, WOCCU has 16 major development programs internationally and several other global programs such as our international partnership program and several educational and training programs. The foundation also carries out international disaster assistance where appropriate.


WOCCU is the leading global trade association and development agency for credit unions. Since 1971, WOCCU increased access to quality financial services worldwide by strengthening credit unions.

Member-owned and established at the grassroots, credit unions are sustainable financial cooperatives serving members of all income and wealth. Last year, WOCCU development programs reached more than 6 million people in 17 countries.

In addition to offering innovative technology solutions, WOCCU programs equip credit unions with the tools necessary to strengthen their management and deliver fairly priced financial services to large numbers of the poor. Unlike most microfinance providers focusing exclusively on credit, WOCCU's approach emphasizes the mobilization of the member’s own savings as the primary funding source. This savings-based approach allows credit unions to reach grow in a sustained and disciplined way.

To support credit union, WOCCU builds national credit union networks that enable safe and sound institutions to reach greater efficiencies of scale, employ new technologies and provide a broader array of services to members. WOCCU also works closely with credit union leaders, government officials and policy makers to create appropriate and effective regulatory environments for credit unions.

WOCCU has implemented more than 250 long- and short-term technical assistance programs with funding from various donors, such as:
• Asian Development Bank (ADB)
• Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
• Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)
• U.K. Department for International Development (DFID)
• U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
• U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
• World Bank


1. Increase sustainability and flexibility of organization by diversifying funding sources to include consumers with direct mail and PR aimed at general public
2. Administer first Grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, supporting rapid credit union growth in Africa and Latin America.
3. In 2007, WOCCU’s development programs reached six million people in 17 countries. WOCCU’s business plans call to increase the outreach of these programs by increasing the number of grants received to support programs with $20 million in new grants.
4. Increase participation in International Partnership Program, which pairs developed movement volunteer leaders with developing countries


Pete Crear is the president and chief executive officer of World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) and sits ex-officio on the Board of Directors of WOCCU, Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, Inc. and WOCCU Services Group, Inc. With more than 30 years experience in the credit union movement, Pete came to World Council most recently from the Credit Union National Association, the US national trade association for credit unions. Crear received the Inaugural African-American Credit Union Lifetime Achievement Award and was further honored by having the award named after him and a college scholarship established in his name. His contributions to the credit union movement have merited his induction into the Credit Union Executives Society Hall of Fame. Crear was also recently inducted into the Cooperative Development Foundation Hall of Fame and received the U.S. credit union movement's highest award, the National Credit Union Foundation Herb Wegner Lifetime Achievement Award. Crear has organized 23 credit unions since he began his career as a management trainee at the Michigan League while attending Wayne State University where he earned a bachelor's degree in accounting.


Chairman-Melvin Edwards, Caribbean; 1st Vice Chairman-Barry Jolette, USA,
2nd Vice Chairman-Manuel Rabines, Peru;Treasurer-Grzegorz Bierecki,
Poland; Secretary-Catherine Roberts,USA

Directors-Mark Bailey, Ireland; Daniel Burns, Canada;Anne Cochran, USA;
John Gilbert,Australia; Ron Hance, USA; Sylvester Kadzola, Malawi; Neil
McDonald, New Zealand; Alcenor Pagnussatt, Brazil; Penny Reeves, Canada


Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Sri Lanka, Uganda, United States, Uzbekistan


Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico


PO BOX 2982
MADISON, WI 53701-2982
Phone: (608) 395-2055
EIN: 39-6093210

Regular price $25.00

Your gift of just $25 can provide basic food and water for a family in a developing country for several days following disaster. With your gift in our disaster relief/rebuilding fund, it will be immediately available when the next disaster strikes, earning interest, and can often be leveraged with fundraising to credit union in the developed world as well.

Regular price $500.00

$500 supports a staff person for a half week who develops and coaches both partners to ensure the partnerships are productive. WOCCU's International Partnership Program is run by just two staffers, who leverage thousands of volunteer hours. Volunteers or their credit union leagues pay their own travel and expenses as well, further stretching our budget to top efficiency.

Regular price $100.00

WOCCU plans an annual Women's Leadership Forum to discuss business management issues run by- and for- women credit union CEOs only. The confidential peer advocate session will give women a chance to coach, confide and share in an open and trusting environment of their peers. Your $100 will support the registration fee of a women CEO from a developing country whose credit union cannot afford...