Maine League, CUs Partner With Organization Led By Maine Native Helping To Lead CU Fundraising Effort For Nepal Earthquake Assistance

May 4, 2015

The World Council of Credit Unions, which is led by Dr. Brian Branch, a native of Vassalboro, is leading fundraising efforts to help the thousands impacted by the recent devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake in Nepal.  As a partner of the World Council, the Maine Credit Union League is providing information to help Mainers interested in contributing to relief operations.

Thousands of lives have been lost following the earthquake near Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, on Saturday, April 25. The earthquake impacted 30 out of 75 districts in Nepal, one of Asia's poorest countries, including densely populated cities, dispersed rural communities and mountainous areas, sparking avalanches in the Himalayas including Mount Everest.

According to government reports, the death toll has reached 4,600, and is expected to grow. As aftershocks continue to shake the region, World Council of Credit Unions is communicating with the Nepal Federation of Savings & Credit Cooperative Unions (NEFSCUN) and Association of Asian Confederation Credit Unions (ACCU) to activate a fundraising campaign to bring much-needed relief to staff and members of Nepalese credit unions, locally known as Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs).

"Credit unions from around the world have expressed the desire to help our Nepalese colleagues affected by the earthquake," said Brian Branch, World Council president and CEO. "As we have seen so many times in the past, part of what makes us a global community is our commitment to help each other in times of need."

At this time, NEFSCUN reports massive damage to financial institutions and member properties; severely impacting the ability to access services during this critical time. Much-needed cash contributions from the global credit union community will rehabilitate damaged SACCOs and benefit member lives.

"Credit unions play a major role in providing access to finance in the most remote regions of Nepal, giving members a safe haven for savings and loans for education, healthcare, alternative energy and increased agricultural production," Peter Graves, World Council vice president of technical services, told the Maine Credit Union League. "Our thoughts go out to all Nepalese and others living in Nepal, including credit union members, negatively impacted by this past weekend's earthquake. World Council will support Nepalese credit unions' efforts to rebuild after an initial assessment has been undertaken."

The Maine Credit Union League has partnered with the World Council on several occasions recently including participating in a partnership to assist the Rwandan Credit Union Movement with operational assistance and information, and the Association of British Credit Unions with technology support and ideas.

"Maine credit unions have a long history of supporting not only communities in our state and in our own country but have made significant contributions in recent years to relief efforts in the aftermath of disasters in Haiti, Thailand and the Philipinnes.  We are once again happy to encourage and support ways in which Mainers can contribute safely and securely to a relief effort," explained John Murphy, President of the Maine Credit Union League.

To support the rehabilitation of Nepalese credit unions, contributions can be made via check, credit card or wire. Send to:

Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, Inc.
5710 Mineral Point Road
Madison, WI 53705, USA

Donations can be made online today at For additional information, contact Calyn Ostrowski, Executive Director, Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, at 608.395.2056.

Please indicate your donation is designated for the Nepal Earthquake Relief Efforts from Maine.