Former local resident fostering co-operative change overseas

Photo: Ingrid Fischer participates in a field trip to officially open newly built credit unions, homes and wells on the eastern shores of Sri-Lanka -submitted.

A former Fort St. John resident is changing the world, one country at a time.

Ingrid Fischer started her journey at the North Peace Credit Union. She became a member of the Canadian Co-operative Association and took an interest in international development.

She says working at the local credit union prepared her to rebuild countries plagued by natural disasters and war.

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The CCA is an organization that connects co-operatives and credit unions world-wide. Member co-operatives cover virtually all sectors of the economy.

Fischer has most recently returned from a three-year position in Sri Lanka, where she worked as a Program Manager. The 51 year-old helped rebuild basic services that were destroyed by the tsunami in 2004.

She says she worked with local co-operatives to establish long-term resources for the thousands of people that were impacted by the disaster.

Fischer says the progress was difficult at times, because there was an active civil war in the region.

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Fischer was in Ottawa last week to celebrate Co-op Week in Canada and International Credit Union Day.

She will now be heading to Ghana to continue her development work.

Fischer says anyone who is interested in international development should visit www.coopscanada.coop/

She says the best place to start is by volunteering through the organization.

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