Regional Support Associations

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Why Support Associations?

Oikocredit Canada’s Support Associations are groups of volunteers whose members are engaged in promoting Oikocredit’s mission. Volunteer associations are part of a long-standing tradition in Oikocredit’s work. In addition to being active volunteers for Oikocredit, Support Associations are members of the Oikocredit International co-operative.

Oikocredit has two Support Associations in Canada – Oikocredit Canada and Oikocredit Canada Atlantic. Click on the regions to learn more about how you can get involved in your local Support Association.

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News

Supporting organic coffee growers in southern Ecuador

FAPECAFES.jpgSeptember 26 | 2017 “Being organic is not just about paper certification - it’s a state of mind. It’s close to our hearts; farmers are choosing not to use fertilisers which damage everything,” says Miguel Mosquera as he walks alongside his coffee plants. full story

Indulge in a FAPECAFES fair trade coffee at our events across Europe

Jose.jpgSeptember 21 | 2017 Located in the mountains of southern Ecuador, Oikocredit partner FAPECAFES is an organisation of six cooperatives seeking to improve the conditions of its farmer members by commercialising fair trade and organic coffee. full story

How fair trade is helping smallholder coffee farmers succeed

Photo courtesy of Barista Magazine.jpgSeptember 15 | 2017 Fair Trade USA is the leading fair trade certifying body in North America, operating globally alongside the European-based Fairtrade International. Colleen Anunu, Fair Trade USA’s Senior Manager of Supply Chain, reflects on some of fair trade’s achievements and challenges, with a focus on the coffee sector. She also explains how Fair Trade USA and Oikocredit are teaming up to reduce price risks for coffee farmers. full story

Laura Pool appointed as chief risk officer

September 13 | 2017 Laura Pool will become Oikocredit’s chief risk officer on 18 December, heading the risk department and joining the managing board. full story

Oikocredit Argentina awards innovation in microfinance

Argentina Award Paola photo.jpgAugust 31 | 2017 Oikocredit is pleased to announce that Paola González from Programa Alumbra - Fundación Banco Macro is the winner of the Oikocredit Argentina Innovative Loan Officer award. The award was presented at the 11th annual summit on microfinance: The role of microfinance in financial inclusion held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 29 August. full story

Cooperatives supporting fruit farmers in northern Patagonia

PAI-newsitem-2.jpgAugust 10 | 2017 Herminio Antonio Urrutia is 61 years old and has been a member of the fruit-growers’ cooperative Primera Cooperativa Frutícola in Argentina’s northern Patagonia for over 20 years, or as he puts it: “Ever since I started my own business!” full story

More coffee trees to fill another cup and support the smallholder farmer

Impexcor.jpgJuly 26 | 2017 Whether you’re in need of a boost or you’re just the average coffee lover, waking up to the smell of roasted beans is what often gets us through the day. Coffee is easy to enjoy, however, we often don’t realise what it takes to get this wake-up cup into our hands. full story

Leading Agricultural Lenders Deploy $682 Million to Support Small Businesses and Farmer Livelihoods Globally

SODAR-RW-30.jpgJuly 19 | 2017 Oikocredit and the 10 other members of the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF) today announced in their newly published State of the Sector report that they provided $682 million in loans to 765 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during 2016. full story

Report from Heather Keachie

Heather Keachie head and shoulders.jpgJuly 18 | 2017 At the June meeting of the Oikocredit Canada Board, I was elected Support Association President. Let me take this opportunity to talk to you about our activities and plans. full story

Strengthening People and Planet [interview]

Kawien 1.JPGJuly 04 | 2017 As Oikocredit publishes its Social & Environmental Performance Report for 2016, Kawien Ziedses des Plantes, deputy director of social performance and capacity building, explains some of the thinking behind the organization’s approach to social and environmental performance. full story

40 million people, 84% being women, reached by organisations financed by Oikocredit

SEP report 2017 coverJune 27 | 2017 Today these results and more were released in Oikocredit’s Social and Environmental Performance Report for 2016. full story

Oikocredit annual general meeting elects supervisory board members, approves dividend

Joseph Patterson.jpgJune 15 | 2017 This week over 120 members and staff of Oikocredit International gathered for a week of meetings in Accra, Ghana, including the annual general meeting (AGM) and a conference with speakers from across Ghana’s financial inclusion sector. full story

Agriculture Report 2016 - Announcement

Agriculture report 2016 DEF cover.jpgJune 08 | 2017 Oikocredit's Agriculture Report for 2016 is now online. This report examines trends in the portfolio growth, quality and composition over the past four years. full story

Oikocredit delivers fresh insights into rural-urban poverty

Farmers-philippines-microfinance-rural-potatoes.jpgMay 31 | 2017 Supporting financial inclusion in low and lower income countries by investing in microfinance institutions (MFIs) is central to Oikocredit’s mission. However, as Thelma Brenes Muñoz of Oikocredit’s social performance team says: “We also want to know more about how this work affects the lives of the people receiving loans.” full story

World Fair Trade Day: Celebrating Oikocredit’s partners across the globe

manos 2.jpgMay 12 | 2017 Fair trade is defined as ‘a movement whose goal is to help producers in developing countries to get a fair price for their products so as to reduce poverty, provide for the ethical treatment of workers and farmers, and promote environmentally sustainable practices.’ full story

Kompanion Bank blends capital and business knowledge to create self-sustainable futures

KOMP-KG-39-cropped.jpgApril 26 | 2017 Kompanion Bank was established in 2004 to provide loans to small scale farmers, livestock herders and shepherds in Kyrgyzstan. It has been an Oikocredit partner since 2007. However, Kompanion is a bank with a difference because it not only provides micro loans to its clients but also offers them free business development training and technical assistance in order to promote sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. full story

Investing in healthcare and education

Sanatorio 9 de Julio's emergency and intensive care unit.jpgApril 07 | 2017 Besides Oikocredit’s focus areas of inclusive finance, agriculture, renewable energy and Africa, we finance partners that provide health and educational services in low-income communities, for example in Argentina. full story

Oikocredit Annual Report 2016: Diversifying for our Future

Annual reports 2016 - holding handsApril 04 | 2017 Oikocredit's Annual Report for 2016 is now online. The Annual Report provides an update on our operations and performance, including recent developments in our focus areas of inclusive finance, agriculture, renewable energy and Africa. full story

Cooperatives, banking and development economics: Thos Gieskes’ path to Oikocredit

Thos Gieskes V2.jpgApril 03 | 2017 Today Thos Gieskes joins Oikocredit as our new managing director. With a background in development economics and over 30 years in leadership at a cooperative bank, Thos is excited about the new role with an organization he believes in. full story

Oikocredit and IDB help Latin American farmers combat volatile coffee prices

Coffee beansMarch 29 | 2017 Oikocredit has teamed with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Fair Trade USA, Keurig Green Mountain and Catholic Relief Services for a unique three-year capacity building project to support smallholder coffee farmers facing volatile markets. full story

Oikocredit exceeds € 1 billion in financing to partner organizations

PUNAM-INDIA-24.jpgMarch 22 | 2017 Today Oikocredit announced its annual results at a press conference in Frankfurt, Germany. The cooperative achieved another successful year in financing its partner organizations to improve the quality of life of people in low-income countries. full story

From good intentions to a sustainable future

Client outcomes programme in NicaraguaMarch 01 | 2017 Oikocredit is not simply committed to delivering microfinance to clients in developing regions, it is also dedicated to ensuring that its clients have a sustainable future. Our capacity building programme focused on client outcomes is key to achieving this aim. full story

Transforming tea estates and impacting lives in northern India [part 2]

AMBO-IN-15.jpgFebruary 21 | 2017 Oikocredit’s investment enabled Darjeeling Organic Tea Estates Private Limited (DOTEPL) to buy three tea estates in Darjeeling, northern India; among them are Rangaroon and Pandam. full story

Transforming tea estates and impacting lives in northern India [part 1]

AMBO-IN-23.jpgFebruary 21 | 2017 Deep in the northern mountains of India, lies Darjeeling, a region known for producing the best designated teas. What makes that perfect cup of steaming Darjeeling possible, are the thousands of people working on tea estates. full story

Oikocredit appoints new managing director

Thos Gieskes V2.jpgFebruary 07 | 2017 Thos Gieskes will be welcomed as managing director of Oikocredit on 3 April 2017. full story

Video featuring solar power solutions in India

2227-pepl-in-1500pxs-01.jpgFebruary 02 | 2017 Punam Energy Private Limited (PEPL), based in Kolkata, is the commercial offshoot of the NGO SwitchON. All of its products are marketed under the brand name ONergy. The NGO has been instrumental ... full story

Oikocredit in Africa: Decisions are a matter of good relationships

PicJudyYvesOnly.jpgJanuary 31 | 2017 As the crow flies, it is 4,599 kilometres between the offices of Judy Ngarachu in Nairobi, Kenya, and Yves Komaclo in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The two regional directors represent Oikocredit on the east-west axis of the continent, with five Oikocredit offices in West Africa and four in East Africa. We spoke with them about what unifies and differentiates their work in Oikocredit’s priority region. full story

Supporting smallholder farmers during Ukraine’s turbulent times

20160630_Svitlana_137.jpgJanuary 12 | 2017 Getting access to loans has been a challenge for smallholder farmers in Ukraine for several decades. Since the agrarian reforms following the country’s independence from Russia in 1991, mainstream investors have favoured large-scale agricultural production. full story

Investors and volunteers visit our partners in the Philippines

ASHI-PH-32.jpgJanuary 05 | 2017 Oikocredit’s annual study tour offers first-hand insight into our work full story

The rebuilding and refinancing of Ecuador’s devastated cocoa producers

FORTA-EC-02.jpgDecember 19 | 2016 Last April’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Ecuador particularly affected communities living in the coastal area where the fair-trade cocoa growers’ associations Fortaleza del Valle and FONMSOEAM operate. full story

New Support Association to engage with members and educate Canadians

oiko-tree-planting-kenya-142015-newsletter2.jpgDecember 01 | 2016 An update letter on changes to Oikocredit's volunteer networks full story

Video featuring support for Rwanda's booming coffee sector

Rwanda coffee film.PNGDecember 01 | 2016 Rusizi Specialty Coffee (RSC) is a coffee export company based in the district of Rusizi, in south-west Rwanda. Rusizi Speciality Coffee works with 2,000 smallholder farmers and three coffee cooperatives to produce high-quality coffee. full story

Improving the lives of people in rural areas through peanut farming

GREEN-KE-07.jpgDecember 01 | 2016 Athanas Matheka, founder and CEO of Greenforest Foods Limited, a Kenyan company that produces honey and nuts, is using peanuts to improve the lives of families in Kenya’s rural areas and to reduce resource-centred conflict. Yes, Peanuts. full story

Oikocredit increases equity stake in Bolivian MFI

0297-bancofie-bo-1500px-02.jpgNovember 24 | 2016 Oikocredit has more than doubled its investment in Banco Fie, a leading microfinance bank with a strong commitment to financial inclusion in Bolivia. Banco Fie has been a partner of Oikocredit’s ... full story

Oikocredit, Triodos Investment Management and Fidosa invest in Guatemalan hydropower

Ixtal hydropower plant Guatemala 01November 23 | 2016 Social investor Oikocredit, impact investor Triodos Investment Management and Guatemalan bank Grupo Financiero de Occidente (Fidosa) have teamed up to provide financing worth USD 8.20 million for two run-of-the-river hydroelectric plants in the San Marcos department of Guatemala. full story

Oikocredit and USAID launch partnership to advance agriculture in West Africa

wages-togo-nv-pressrelease17November.jpgNovember 17 | 2016 Oikocredit today announced that it is teaming up with USAID to finance West Africa’s agricultural sector. Oikocredit will provide loans to small and medium-sized enterprises, cooperatives and associations in agricultural value chains, backed up by a USAID guarantee facility. full story

Oikocredit launches banking partnership with social bank ABS in Switzerland

ABS-OI-CH-photo.jpgNovember 16 | 2016 Oikocredit and the Alternative Bank Switzerland (ABS) have teamed up to launch a new savings product: the ‘Oikocredit Förderkonto’, a savings account to support people in developing countries. The... full story

Desert Land Blooms Again

SEKEM-EG-42.jpgNovember 03 | 2016 Forty years ago, the idea of bio-dynamic farming at the edge of the Egyptian desert within a socially responsible business model seemed an unlikely prospect. SEKEM, founded in 1977, has turned what was once a dream into reality. full story

Oikocredit supports expansion of home solar in West Africa

Using light for studiesNovember 03 | 2016 Oikocredit has made its first renewable energy investment in West Africa by providing financing to PEG Ghana, a supplier of solar home systems to low-income and rural communities. full story

Appointment of Managing Director

Appointment details MD.JPGOctober 31 | 2016 Oikocredit is looking for a Managing Director for its head office in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. full story

Oikocredit and The Deetken Group announce exempt market dealing agreement

Deetken Oikocredit release.jpgOctober 25 | 2016 Organizations aim to improve access to Oikocredit to accredited investors in Canada full story

Towards Sustainable Development

Marilou Pantua-JuanitoOctober 17 | 2016 Oikocredit and the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Perspectives and challenges – taking the Philippines as an example /a series of talks by Marilou Pantua-Juanito from Quezon City (the Philippines). full story

Inspired by the power of people

Hann Verheijen (landscape)October 03 | 2016 On 1 October 2016 Hann Verheijen joined Oikocredit International as our new credit director. Hann is no stranger to our work, having been director of Oikocredit Nederland for the past four years. We asked Hann for his thoughts about the journey that has brought him to Oikocredit, his new role and what lies ahead. full story

Hann Verheijen appointed as credit director

Hann Verheijen (landscape)September 15 | 2016 On 1 October, Hann Verheijen will take up the role of credit director, and join Oikocredit’s managing board. full story

Video featuring support for small-scale enterprises in rural Bolivia

bolivia-video.jpgAugust 25 | 2016 Instituto para el Desarrollo de la Pequeña Unidad Productiva (IDEPRO) is a Bolivian microfinance institution (MFI) that mixes conventional microfinance services with consultancy and advice to small and medium enterprises and selected production chains. IDEPRO’s clients mostly live in rural or semi-urban areas of Bolivia, and are active in trade, production, farming, and other small-scale enterprises. full story

Financial access and opportunity in Ecuador

Daquilema 1.jpgAugust 01 | 2016 In 1978 Oikocredit made its very first loan to a non-profit organization working with farmers in Ecuador. Since then, Oikocredit has grown its portfolio in Ecuador significantly, with loans and investments in the country currently standing at € 49 million to almost 30 partners. full story

Agricultural Alliance, CSAF, reaches two million smallholder farmers with nearly $600M in credit

Ambootia.jpgJuly 12 | 2016 After two years since the establishment of the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF), its members continue to grow their lending and reach to small farmers and their communities. CSAF... full story

CONCRECES: A sombrero business that supports its people

concreces.jpgJuly 08 | 2016 In the Mexican state of Oaxaca, almost half the population works in the primary sector, with limited access to banks or financial institutions. Many small entrepreneurs struggle to obtain finance for their businesses. This is where Oikocredit partner, Unión de Crédito Concreces SA de CV (known as CONCRECES) plays a valuable role. CONCRECES is a well-established credit union supporting micro and small enterprises in Oaxaca and, to a smaller extent, in other states. full story

Interview with Oikocredit's country manager for Mexico

Carlos Rius.jpgJuly 04 | 2016 Carlos Rius, Oikocredit’s country manager for Mexico, was interviewed about Oikocredit’s activities in Mexico and how working with credit unions has become a focal point for the country’s investment strategy. full story

Oikocredit invests US$ 4.4M in Costa Rican wind projects

Mark Roesink - full size (2).jpgJune 30 | 2016 Social investor and worldwide cooperative Oikocredit has provided US$ 4.4 million in debt facilities for four 20MW-capacity wind projects in Costa Rica, marking the cooperative’s first investment in wind energy. full story

Get in touch

Oikocredit Canada Atlantic
25 Graham St.
NS B3A 3H9 Dartmouth
workT: 1 902 466 4048

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