Let me introduce myself. I am Brian Gately, director oftechnical assistance for the National Federation of CommunityDevelopment Credit Unions in New York. While at the federation, Ihave added credit union development educator to my title. Part ofbeing a DE, a National Credit Union Foundation program, iscommitting to your own personally designed program whereby you willfurther credit union community development. I committed to workingwith a credit union in West Africa since I speak French.

In 2003, I met Abou Ndiaye, the manager of MECZY, Mutuelled'Epargne et de Cr?dit de la Zone de Yoff. He had visited us at thefederation after interning for two months at one of our membercredit unions, Alternatives FCU, Ithaca, N.Y. We remained incontact ever since and a couple of years ago, I let him know myplan to work with a West African credit union, and he invited me tohis just outside of Dakar, Senegal.

My plan was to conduct a teller, management and loan officerworkshops and as facilitator, assist in the development of abusiness and strategic plan, including financial projections. Thiswould include meeting with the board and staff. MECZY, founded in1997 by fishermen in the village of Yoff (population 100,000), hadnever had a strategic planning session even though it had grown tothree (soon to be four) branches, over 10,000 members and 1 billionfrancs in assets ($2 million).

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