Grzegorz Bierecki, chair of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), knows that American credit unions contributed greatly to the expansion of the credit union movement in his home country of Poland, and he believes that assistance can be extended worldwide.
Bierecki, addressing CUNA’s GAC on Tuesday, brought with him the message that U.S. credit unions can and should take the lead in helping countries throughout the world build their own credit union movements.
Credit unions have stretched into every corner of Poland thanks to the help and support provided by American credit unions, Bierecki said.
“You, the excellent people of the credit union movement, shared with us your knowledge, your experience, and your dreams of what credit unions should be. We owe our success to you,” Bierecki said.
But the international work undertaken by U.S. credit unions can’t end with Poland, Bierecki added.
American credit unions can play a critical role in the development of the global credit union movement in numerous places, including Cuba and Ukraine.
“Not too long ago I saw a photo showing the managers of a credit union in Ukraine standing in the door of their office with guns in their hands and grenades in their belts,” Bierecki said. “These people, who are willing to give their lives for their credit unions, their countries, and their freedom. We cannot leave them without help. Credit unions must do their part—we must share our knowledge, our experience, and our dreams.”
The WOCCU board will meet next month with the leaders of the Ukraine credit union movement.