- Article by Tim Honey, ProsperityME Board Member and Co-Chair of the Maine Immigrant Prosperity Network (MIPN)
April 14, 2022 – Claude Rwaganje, Executive Director of ProsperityME was asked to be a presenter at the annual meeting of the Maine Banker’s Association. He presented at a workshop on retail banking. Claude shared his experiences in the Congo and Rwanda during the genocide of the 1990’s, that forced him to become an asylum seeker to the United States. He spoke about his early years in Maine, and the education that he received at USM. This led him to create a non-profit called Center for Financial Literacy focused upon financial literacy for immigrants as a building block for their future. After several years, it was clear that Financial Literacy was only one need of immigrants, and this led him to change the name of the organization to ProsperityME that is now focused upon creating financial stability and sustainability for Maine immigrants.
Claude was assisted by a panel of bankers who have joined the Maine Immigrant Prosperity Network (MIPN) and these individuals included Becky Winslow, Gorham Savings Bank, Julie Wagoner, Bath Savings Bank and Kirk Egge, of the Maine Community Bank. These individuals made a presentation on the Banking Toolkit which is being developed by ProsperityME through the Maine Immigrants Prosperity Network. The toolkit will offer practical solutions to Maine bankers who aspire to be welcoming and opportunity-providing businesses for Maine immigrants.
The Banker’s Toolkit will be completed this summer and will be made available to Maine banks through ProsperityME and the Maine Bankers Association.