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U.S. Volunteers Learn Corporate Social Responsibility
PUNTA CANA, D.R. (5/29/13)--More than 100 U.S. credit union board members learned lessons in social responsibility last week from $58 million asset credit union Maimon in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Click to view larger image Victor Miguel Corro (left), Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions vice president, translates as Board Member Ramon Diaz, of Maimon--a Dominican Republic credit union--shares his credit union's experience in corporate social responsibility.
The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) facilitated the training with Maimon as a part of the Credit Union National Association's Volunteer Institute for a second consecutive year.

Maimon is affiliated with Asociacion de Instituciones Rurales de Ahorro y Credito Inc., (AIRAC), World Council's member association in the Dominican Republic.

Maimon board member Ramon Diaz opened with a presentation on the credit union's story and ways in which it helps its community. In 1990, in the midst of a banking crisis that had left many families without savings, 26 members with $300 founded Maimon. Today, it has 60,000 members and works on the sustainable development of their communities by establishing what they call "social responsibility reserves."

That fund meets basic needs, improves schools and offers cultural events in the community. Maimon also has partnered with other organizations to develop a "business incubator," which provides micro-entrepreneurs with start-up capital loans and free advice on business planning, financial management and accounting.

Click to view larger image Maimon, a World Council of Credit Unions member association in the Dominican Republic, manages a funeral home for members who cannot afford to bury loved ones. (Photos provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
An example of Maimon's community involvement is the construction and management of a funeral home for those who cannot afford to bury their loved ones. Every member of Maimon is granted access to the service, including a hearse and crypt, for a monthly fee of 40 cents.

"Maimon's commitment to the growth and prosperity of its community readily encompasses the values that all credit unions strive toward," said Kevin Smith, CUNA director of volunteer education. "It's an invaluable benefit for our volunteers to be able to witness this eye-opening testament to how engaged a truly community-first credit union can be."

After the presentation, CUNA pledged $1,000 toward Maimon's social responsibility efforts, matching last year's donation.

Victor Miguel Corro, Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions vice president, provided translation at the event and gave insight into the Dominican economy and credit union system.

"Part of what we do at World Council is connect peers in the industry, and having Ramon participate in the Leadership Institute was key to this priority," Corro said.

Corro also manages WOCCU's International Partnerships Program, through which AIRAC receives advocacy support from the Wisconsin Credit Union League.

CUNA Volunteer Institute gathers volunteers each year who serve on credit union boards across the U.S. Those attending gain an understanding of issues affecting their credit unions, including enterprise risk management, economic trends and strategies for reaching a younger demographic. Participants also can earn a Certified Credit Union Volunteer designation as expert board members.

For more information, use the link.
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