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Connexus : Issue 41
Life-changing investments every dollar invested in CUFA’s programs in poor areas of the Asia- pacific region is worth much more in terms of social value. By sTepHAnIe Brown CUFA programs in developing countries are achieving a 500 per cent return on investment for each dollar given by donors. CUFA’s Social Retur n on Investment Repor t has found that for ever y $1 donated to its development programs in the Asia-Pacific region, $5.13 of social value is created. The repor t demonstrates that the financial support provided by Australian mutuals, and the passion and dedication of their staff, is making a measurable difference and producing a genuine improvement. Without their contribution CUFA would not be able to perform its life-changing work. The results are also a reflection of how efficiently CUFA operates with funds from its donors and sponsors. CUFA ack nowledges the suppor t of gover nment organisations such as AusAid, which is so critical to the success of its programs. On a program by program basis, CUFA received pleasing results for all of its activities. For example, its Village Entrepreneur Program, which operates in Cambodia and Timor Leste, has a social retur n on investment valued at $3.36 for ever y $1 invested. CUFA’s programs have increased financial literacy, supported small businesses in generating income and improved the overall circumstances of local families. You can see the report at ww w.cufa.com.au. Stephanie Brown is a CUFA project officer. The experience brought tears to Philbey’s eyes. “I think it was because it never occur red to me that, by donating such a small amount of money – less than thecostofacupofcoffeeaday–I was being such a big help and making such an amazing difference to a whole family,” she said. “ When I began donating to help support Ka Phart and other village entrepreneurs our credit union suppor ts, it was just because it seemed like a good cause.” Sydney Credit Union staff cur rently support seven entrepreneurs, in Timor Leste as well as Cambodia. Philbey has no hesitation in encouraging credit union staff throughout Australia to suppor t village entrepreneurs through the program. She can also attest to the deliciousness of Ka Phart’s noodles. To find out more about the Village Entrepreneur program, visit www.ve.org.au Anne Casey is an education officer at CUFA. lanamona Credit Union ceremony www.abacus.org.au 47