CUFA (Credit Union Foundation Australia) develops community access to affordable financial services in the Asia Pacific region, and implements programs that are helping people lift themselves out of poverty. Their work is spread across Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Myanmar, Fiji & the Pacific, Australia and the Philippines.
The CUFA Village Entrepreneur program supports villagers in Cambodia, Timor Leste and Myanmar to develop a micro-business suitable to their specific situation, giving them the chance to become self-sufficient and change their family’s lives. Over the 3 years of sponsorship, individual Village Entrepreneurs are provided with training; start up materials and financial support. They learn new skills and are helped to plan and develop their business to be sustainable over the long term.
CUFA has an impressive success rate in the program, with over 90% of Village Entrepreneurs reaching self-sufficiency during their 3 years of sponsorship. Building their micro-business with the support of CUFA helps villagers make a fundamental difference to their lives, which also includes the ability to access valuable healthcare and education.
Funds were raised during 2 football events held this year in Northern New South Wales in Lismore and Bangalow with the assistance of Banking Solutions for Football Fans Ambassadors, Archie Thompson and Melissa Barbieri.
The funds raised will now provide a new Village Entrepreneur family with financial support. The recipient is a villager in Myanmar, Than Than Sint, and for the next 3 years she will receive funds to develop a new sustainable micro-business.
Than Than Sint is a member of See Pwar Myittar Village Self-Help Group, Taik Kyi Township, Myanmar.
“I am Than Than Sint and I am 35 years old. My four children are aged 4, 6, 10 and 13 years old. My husband is a farm labour worker, earning $2.00 per day to support our family. With income we struggle to send our children to school. I remember when my husband was sick: there was no income and we could only borrow money from neighbours to buy medicine and food for our children. I do not know what we would do if it happened again. I hope I can help my husband earn some money and look after my children at the same time.
I would like to start a pig-raising business from home, so that I can look after my husband and children, and earn money for the family.”
Margot Sweeny, Banking Solutions for Football Fans CEO, said, “I am delighted we have been able to provide assistance through the Village Entrepreneur Program at the grass-roots level in the poverty stricken country of Myanmar. Here in Australia, Banking Solutions for Football Fans helps grass-roots football clubs provide better facilities for their football family and the general community. I am personally very appreciative of the support we receive from footballers throughout our region. We wish Than Than Sint the very best in developing her business.”
Ambassadors, Archie Thompson and Melissa Barbieri, were thrilled that part of the funds from those that attended their lunch and clinic, went towards funding a micro business for Than Than.
Archie Thompson said, “Being able to give something back to those not as fortunate, in another part of the world, is so exciting. I’m proud that I was able to play a part in Than Than being able to start her business.”
Melissa Barbieri said, “There are so many times in my life I wish I could do more to help those less fortunate. Being a part of Banking Solutions for Football Fans allows me to be part of something bigger and having the funds raised from our clinic earlier this year, to go to a family like Than Than’s. I am truly humbled at being given this opportunity.”
More information about the CUFA Village Entrepreneur Program can be found at: https://ve.org.au/
"...a unanimous motion at our recent AGM... to write to you and thank the Credit Union for its generosity in the non-charging of account fees to our community-based organisation. We appreciate your active support... this enables us to use the funds saved, in the development and delivery of our community education programs."