On December 7, the Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) hosted a delegation of 26 representatives from Kenyan Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs). Organized by the World Council of Credit Union, the meeting resulted in a spirited exchange of ideas and perspectives. By the end of the day, it was clear that everyone present left the meeting enriched by the experience and more committed than ever to advancing the credit union movement both locally and worldwide.
The Latino Community Credit Union was the Kenyan delegation’s last stop on a three-day, regional tour. On Monday, John Radebaugh, Carolinas Credit Union League President/CEO kicked off the visit by providing an overview of the credit union system in the US and in North Carolina. The next day, John Bell, the North Carolina House Minority leader treated the delegation to a private tour of the Executive Mansion and House Chambers. From there, the interchange of best practices and ideas started with the Kenyan delegation’s visit to the Coastal Federal Credit Union.
On Wednesday, LCCU was happy to welcome the Kenyan delegation to its Central Services office in downtown Durham. Here, LCCU had a chance to tell its story and showcase it’s nationally-recognize model for helping its members integrate into the mainstream financial system, build wealth, and ensure stability for themselves and their families. LCCU’s message was simple: by offering ethical, low-cost financial products and education we can create economic opportunities for all.
As Luis Pastor, LCCU’s CEO, expressed “it was exciting to see how our mission and approach deeply resonated with our Kenyan friends. Many Kenyan SACCOs also serve low-income communities and have used innovative approaches to empower their members, so it is essential to have these opportunities to connect and learn from each other’s efforts.”
The Kenyan delegation was also impressed to learn that LCCU’s commitment and success extends across the entire immigrant community. As Silvia Rincón, Communication Director, reported, LCCU’ 65,000 members represent 110 countries, and include approximately 1,000 from Kenya.
At the end of their visit, the Kenyan delegation extended an invitation to LCCU to visit their SACCOs and to continue the exchange of ideas. In expressing gratitude for the invitation, Luis Pastor reiterated that “these exchanges provide an important international context to the credit union movement and to the spirit of people helping people.”
LCCU is a community development credit union based in North Carolina, and is the first bilingual and multicultural financial institution in the state, offering services both in English and Spanish. LCCU currently has 11 branches in Durham, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Fayetteville, Winston-Salem, Garner, Carrboro, and Monroe.