Choose Cooperatives Choose Equality


TO honour the co-operators and members of cooperative movement in the World who are going to participate in the Celebration of International Day of Cooperatives falls on 4th July 2015 (Saturday).
Concern for the Community: is the Seventh Cooperative Principle for Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members:
Historically, cooperatives have been used as a tool to alleviate housing shortages in times of crisis. Cooperative housing has a long history as a vehicle for home ownership and resident control since the early 1900s. Housing cooperatives play an important role in the world’s housing and shelter development to build better. On average, 10% of Europeans live in housing co-operatives. They show that living in housing co-operative provides many advantages in terms of economic, social and environmental sustainability. Housing co-operatives often manage to provide housing at costs that are below the price of a similar home in the open housing market. The reason for this is that the prime objective of housing co-operatives is to provide good quality and affordable housing in the interests of their members, and not to maximise profit for developers or shareholders.
One man one vote is the democratic essence of forming and functioning of cooperatives and to support the Second Cooperative Principle: Democratic Member Control: Cooperatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women, serving as elected representatives, are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights [one member one vote], and cooperatives at other levels are also organised in a democratic manner.
Open and voluntary membership is the First Cooperative Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership: Cooperatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination, for all cooperative societies in the world.
Survival, sustainable, success and significance are the 4 Ss for the progress and expansion of our cooperative movement.
Economic Participation of Members is the Third Cooperative Principle: Member Economic Participation: Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
Cooperation among Cooperatives is the Sixth Cooperative Principle:  Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the Cooperative Movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
Ownership is very important for the individual members of cooperatives (any organization) to steward and steer the cooperative identity and entity.
Organizational Development (OD) is important for the advancement, betterment, comfort, development and enhancement (ABCDE) of any cooperative society
Peoples’ Centered Development needs to be focused for the sustainable development of cooperatives.
Endurance, efficiency, economy, effectiveness are 4 Es required for gaining the best performance of our cooperatives.
Responsiveness, predictability, efficiency and effectiveness, consensus orientation, follows the rules of law, transparency, accountability, participatory, equity and inclusiveness are the main elements for ensuring good cooperative governance for the success of cooperative societies.
A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise. (The ICA’s Definition of a Cooperative in 1995)
The cooperative model of enterprise contributes to youth employment not by only providing salaried employment, but also facilitating job creation through self-employment. The model lends itself to both rural and urban areas and for persons of all academic and skill levels including recent graduates who have limited prospects of finding jobs.
Independence and Autonomy is Fourth Cooperative Principle: Autonomy and Independence: Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organisations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organisations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.
Vicissitudes: “the eight ups and downs of life” (aṭṭha lokadhammā). (These are: gain and loss (lābho alābho), blame and honour (ayaso yaso ca), insult and praise (ninda pasaṃsā), delight and despair (sukhañ ca dukkhaṃ).) are natural law for all human beings so that cooperative members need to cultivate “Equanimity” (Upekkhā) or our ability to remain calm and unruffled when we face “the eight vicissitudes” and be resilient when facing financial, economic, political crisis, natural and man-made disasters.
Equal access to goods and services is meant Equality—The United Nations have recognized as a critical strategy, at the national level, that of ensuring universal access to good-quality, basic goods and services, the very purpose of a co-operative.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of Post 2015 Development Agenda and its indicators are important goals and indicators for cooperative societies in the world to make concerted actions and efforts for achieving the targets within the time frame
Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and Solidarity. Cooperative members, in the tradition of their founders believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. (ICA’s Basic Cooperative Values)
Happiness can be attained through the practice of Four Sublime States or Divine Abodes (Brahma-Vihāra): a) Loving Kindness (Mettā): b) Compassion (Karuṇā): c) Appreciative (Altruistic) Joy (Muditā): and d) Equanimity (Upekkhā) (an attitude of impartiality and an ability to remain calm and unruffled)
Our vision and our responsibility are to end extreme poverty in all its forms in the context of sustainable development and to have in place the building blocks of sustained prosperity for all. (UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals)
Over a thousand school co-operatives recently took part in the Schools Cooperative Day in Malaysia for young entrepreneurs, which was themed ‘Creativity and Innovation Empowers School Cooperatives’. Natalie Bradbury <[email protected]>Tuesday 16 November 2010. Co-operatives have been established and encouraged in schools in Malaysia for over 50 years as a way of introducing young people to the co-operative values and principles and fostering the culture of co-operatives. The Education Ministry in Malaysia aims to have co-operatives in all secondary schools, and so far 2,090 of the 2,190 secondary schools in the country have established co-operatives. Of these, 1,835 have registered as members of Angkasa (the Malaysian Cooperative Commission), meaning they have access to programmes and training. School co-operatives are involved in projects that help develop the qualities of independence and responsibility, with links to education, business, entrepreneurship and the economy. Students engaged in training through school co-operatives gain more knowledge on the finer points of business at an early age, enabling them to become effective leaders of co-operatives later in life and successful. The Schools Cooperative Day, which is organised by ANGKASA and the Education Ministry, has been running annually since 1995. Participants take part in activities such as a quiz, essay writing and drawing competitions, seminars themed around co-operatives and the co-operative movement and a petanque tournament. Prizes include visits to co-operatives and universities in other countries and the opportunity to experience first-hand the co-operative movement around the world.
SMART is an acronym for setting objectives of cooperatives’ action plan, Specific, Measurable, Attainable (Achievable), Realistic and Time-bound need to be considered in planning the cooperatives’ operational activities to produce good results.
Equity (Pro-Poor), Employment (Pro-Job), Empowerment (Pro-Women) and Environment (Pro-Nature) are 4 main considerations for Human Development in order to enlarge the choices of the people in this planet.
Environmental preservation and sustainable management of natural resources is one of the Sustainable Development Goals of Post 2015 Development Agenda.
Quantity is important and quality is much more important for cooperatives in carrying out their production, services and trading activities to efficiently and effectively produce outputs, outcomes and impacts using Results-Based Management techniques.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction has been proclaimed by UN’ General Assembly
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.  Ambition, Attitude, Authority, Appearance and Audacity are 5As for achieving multilevel marketing objectives
Leadership is, most fundamentally, about changes. What leaders do is create the systems and organizations that managers need, and, eventually, elevate them up to a whole new level or . . . change in some basic ways to take advantage of new opportunities.(—John P. Kotter)
In cooperation with the United Nations, the Member States of the UN have pledged themselves to achieve, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms the peoples of United Nations reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Training, Education and Information is the Fifth Cooperative Principle: Education, Training and Information: Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees, so that they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
Youth of today are leaders for tomorrow so that the cooperative societies have responsibility to nurture and train youth in their communities to be ready for future Cooperative Leaders and Good Co-operators. The democratic nature of the cooperative enterprise encourages participation, broadens ownership and fosters empowerment of youth. Indeed, young people often cite that it is the cooperative values and principles that make cooperatives attractive to them both a means to create their own enterprises or as a potential employer who will provide them “decent work”.

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