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Why volunteer groups?

Oikocredit Support Associations are collectives 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 cooperative.

Oikocredit has two Support Associations based in the US – the Western Pennsylvania Support Association and the Oikocredit Northwest Support Association based in Seattle. Click on the regions to learn more about how you can get involved in your local Support Association.

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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.

“Healthcare and educational institutions have a key role in the development of communities and countries. But state investment is often inadequate,” says Fátima Goti, Oikocredit country manager for Argentina. “We support selected health and education partners that share our objective of improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable people, especially those providing services in the interior of the country, far from the capital Buenos Aires.” 

Providing healthcare in one of the poorest provinces

One example is Sanatorio 9 de Julio, a private healthcare institution based in Tucumán province, set up by four respected doctors in the 1950s. The hospital offers a broad spectrum of medical services and specializes in intensive patient care, obstetrics and care of newborn babies. More than 90% of its patients live on low to middle incomes, and many work in the public sector. Now undergoing expansion, Sanatorio 9 Julio has been an Oikocredit partner since 2012.

“We finance Sanatorio 9 de Julio because of its background of over 60 years providing high-quality healthcare service in one of the poorest and most densely populated provinces in Argentina where health services are hard to come by,” says Fátima Goti. “The hospital not only serves the entire province but also receives patients from neighbouring provinces.”

Sanatorio 9 Julio provides training for doctors and nurses and is committed to continual improvement. It welcomes patients under almost every healthcare insurance plan and, by agreement with the provincial government, accepts patients who lack private or labour union medical insurance or who for other reasons cannot be treated in public facilities.

In serving the poorest and most vulnerable in society, Sanatorio 9 de Julio plays an important role in the community and has a positive impact on local health indicators, particularly those for infant mortality. The hospital also delivers health education, runs a housing project and bulk-buys foodstuffs and home appliances for its staff to purchase at a discount. 

Combining healthcare and education

Another Oikocredit partner is Fundación del Gran Rosario–Instituto Universitario del Gran Rosario (FGR-IUGR), a university-level educational and research institution specializing in rehabilitation, physiotherapy, kinesiology (body movement science) and the psychology of education. Based in Rosario city, Santa Fé province, FGR-IUGR was founded in 2000 and has been an Oikocredit partner since 2010. It has an unrivalled reputation in Argentina for the standard of its health and education services.

FGR-IUGR’s facilities include the Centro Universitario Rosario Inclusiva, which provides people with disabilities with therapy and training, and the Centro Médico Ortroprotésico y Kinésico, which supplies and rehabilitates patients with orthotic devices and prostheses such as artificial limbs. Its students practise in hospitals, clinics, community centres and educational institutions at all levels in and around Rosario, including working with people with special educational needs. FGR-IUGR’s services are free for people on low incomes, and it offers tuition scholarships to low-income students.

By agreement with the local and provincial government, FGR-IUGR provides free health services in 25 public hospitals. It collaborates academically with the Universidad Nacional de Rosario, other national-level institutions, and foreign universities, as well as building and supporting local primary and secondary schools. Since 2007 FGR-IUGR has been an implementing partner in Argentina’s national families programme supported by the Inter-American Development Bank. 

Fátima Goti adds: “Fundación del Gran Rosario stands out because of its commitment to physical and motor disability. Thanks to the university, low-income people who cannot afford to pay for tuition or for medical treatment can benefit from courses and therapies that they could not otherwise access.”

More about Oikocredit’s health and education partners

To find out more about Oikocredit’s work with partners in the fields of health, education and other sectors, visit our partner database at https://www.oikocredit.coop/what-we-do/partners/ and use the filters to select your areas of interest.

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faxF: +1 (425) 202-5138