On the 2nd July 2011 the UN celebrates the 17th International Day of Cooperatives (UNIDC).
The aim of this day of observance is to increase awareness on cooperatives and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other actors, including governments, at local, national and international levels.
In 2011 the focus of the UNIDC is on how youth can be involved in cooperatives and highlights the enormous value of engaging the energy and drive of young people.
What is a cooperative?
The importance of cooperatives and youth involvement have been highlighted by the UN Secretary General, in his official UNIDC 2011 message:
“Cooperatives are underpinned by the pooling of financial and human resources, technical knowledge and business skills. Furthermore, their member-driven structure roots them in communities, encouraging socially responsible businesses that meet local needs.”
“Through their distinctive focus on values, cooperatives have proven themselves a resilient and viable business model that can prosper even during difficult times. This success has helped prevent many families and communities from sliding into poverty.”
“Cooperatives have also continuously provided reliable access to credit and other financial services for many small business holders. Moreover, cooperatives have done so while promoting self-reliance and creating stability in the markets in which they operate.”
The importance of youth participation
“In the wake of the global financial and economic crisis, youth unemployment is at an all-time high. Expanding opportunity through youth entrepreneurship is one way to address this challenge.”
“Throughout this year’s observance of the International Year of Youth, decision makers around the world have stressed the importance of including young people at all levels of the development process. The active inclusion of young women and men in social and economic development helps reduce social exclusion, improve productive capacity, break cycles of poverty, promote gender equality and raise environmental responsibility.”
Support our work
ITF have long recognised the importance of cooperative action in tackling poverty through cooperative action, particularly where young people can benefit from additional training.
We have supported projects that emphasise community action in nations such as Malawi, Togo and Uganda and continue to seek out further opportunities to support innovative cooperative driven initiatives.
You can help us do this by getting involved with our work. Whether you can donate, become a Partner or a volunteer there are lots of ways you can help support great cooperative schemes in the UK and around the world.