Wanted: Credit union volunteers to participate in the Gambia & Sierra Leone Coaching Programme

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Dublin – 27th July, 2016 – Wanted: Credit union volunteers to participate in the Gambia & Sierra Leone Coaching Programme

The Assignment: The Irish League of Credit Unions Foundation (ILCU Foundation) is seeking to recruit Irish credit union volunteers to provide support and mentoring to the credit union movement in The Gambia & Sierra Leone by participating in a two week visit in early 2017.

What is the Gambia & Sierra Leone Coaching Programme?
The Coaching Programme is designed to provide on-site support to credit unions through the provision of demand-driven technical support. The technical support will be provided by the volunteer coaches sourced from volunteers, board members and staff of credit unions in Ireland.

Photo of 2016 coaches, staff and managers of NACCUG

Coaches of 2016 with staff and directors of the National Association of Cooperative Credit Unions of Gambia (NACCUG) and managers of credit unions which they visited.

When does the Gambia & Sierra Leone Coaching Programme take place?
The field visit will take place in January/February 2017, with pre-departure training and a briefing in the ILCU Foundation office in Dublin in late 2016.

What’s the benefit of getting involved?
Learning. Adventure. Personal satisfaction. Motivation.
Previous coaches report that the coaching programme is an adventure that affords them the opportunity to learn about African culture, as well as understanding the skills needed to develop credit unions and communities in Africa. Many come home with ideas they would like to apply to their work in Ireland. Previous coaches have reported personal satisfaction and renewed motivation in imparting skills and training to other credit unions. They enjoyed supporting other credit unions in facing their challenges.

What commitment is required from successful applicants?
The coaches will be required to carry out a two week field visit in January/February 2017 in accordance with agreed terms of reference. There will also be a requirement to attend pre-departure training in Dublin, prepare training materials in advance of the visit and attend debrief meetings in The Gambia & Sierra Leone and Dublin. The coaches will work in teams of two for the duration of field visit. Week 1 of the visit will involve a regional thematic training workshop designed to address the priority needs of the Gambian & Sierra Leonean credit unions. Week 2 will involve visits to two targeted credit unions, with each coaching team spending two days in each credit union.

The successful candidate’s credit union will be kindly requested to contribute €2,000 towards the cost of the mission.

What support will be provided to the coaches?
The ILCU Foundation will:
• Book flights, accommodation & travel insurance
• Organise logistics in The Gambia & Sierra Leone including in-country transportation and venues for regional trainings
• Support the coaches in planning the regional training workshops and the individual credit union visits
• Arrange pre-trip briefings in Ireland, including cultural training
• Provide a staff member to accompany the coaches to The Gambia
• Liaise with the Gambian credit union movement.

What qualifications are necessary to apply?
The selected coaches will be well rounded and experienced credit union generalists, with an ability to offer advice and assistance on all aspects of primary credit union management. Topics to be covered will be driven by the needs of the Gambian & Sierra Leonean credit unions and may include governance, risk management, internal controls/monitoring, marketing, financial management and human resource development. Candidates should be flexible, able to think on their feet and have a broad range of experience to draw on.

Essential requirements:
• Background in credit union management – ideally credit union Manager/Administrator
• At least 7 years’ credit union experience
• Willing to travel to remote areas of The Gambia & Sierra Leone and stay in basic accommodation
• Good physical health
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
• Willing to share their experiences upon return to Ireland

Desirable but not essential:
• An interest in international development
• Previous experience travelling to a developing country
• Volunteering experience

How do I apply?
Please complete the application form and return to Irina Ignatieva by email iignatieva@creditunion.ie or by post:
ILCU Foundation, 33-41 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2.

* The closing date for applications is Friday 23rd September 2016

When will I know if my application has been successful?
The ILCU Foundation will review every application and select short-listed candidates for interviews. All interviewees will receive notification of acceptance/non acceptance by w/c 26th September 2016.
Please click here to download the application form.

To learn more about the initiative please read ‘Lending a Helping Hand’ in the news section of our website ilcufoundation.ie