May 7, 2008 - News

Awards celebrate excellence in credit union system
Credit Union Central of Canada presented its annual National Credit Union Awards for outstanding achievement during a ceremony Wednesday night that concluded its annual conference. Because of the quality of this year's entries, the judges selected two winners for the 2008 Community Economic Development Award - Coast Capital Savings of Surrey, B.C. and Vancity Credit Union of Vancouver. Coast Capital was honoured for its support of a program called the Quality of Life Challenge that brings diverse partners together to generate long-lasting solutions that prevent and reduce poverty in Victoria. It has committed $500,000 and many hours from employees to this program that has made a significant contribution to increasing incomes, providing affordable housing and encouraging community engagement. Vancity received recognition for its efforts at addressing the lack of affordable housing and the difficulty of owning a home in the Vancouver area. Its program, Facing Poverty: Affordable Housing and Home Ownership, has focused on education, products and services, advocacy and working with community groups.

Youths cycle through the continent for poverty
Philippe Murphy is young, and he's restless for change. That's why Murphy, along with 24 other youths from across Canada, will ride their bikes from Vancouver to Tijuana, Mexico later this month to raise money for Global Agents for Change, a youth-run non-profit organization that's building a microcredit fund to help people around the world break the cycle of poverty. Microcredit is the extension of very small loans to the unemployed, poor entrepreneurs and others living in poverty. Murphy, 21, who lives in Mississauga, said the group wants to help those in need kick-start their own businesses to generate income. “I looked into the see how it (fundraiser) will benefit people,” Murphy said. “Ever since I travelled to Africa last year, I have been interested in development and how it can help people.”