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IFAD delegation visits cooperatives in Emilia-Romagna: “Your model helps developing countries”.

The cooperative model represents an opportunity to boost the economies of developing countries. This became clear thanks to yesterday’s visit to some cooperatives in Emilia-Romagna by a delegation of IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development), the specialized agency of the UN in charge of fighting poverty in rural areas of developing countries, with the participation of Adriana Apollonio, Deputy Head of Representation of the Italian Embassy at the Roman pole of UN Agencies. The initiative was organized by Confcooperative and Coopermondo to promote international cooperation projects in favour of disadvantaged populations.
“I was very impressed by the wide range of cooperatives in Emilia-Romagna that are part of Confcooperative – said Donal Brown, associate vice-president IFAD, who led the delegation – The International Fund for Agricultural Development, based in Rome, works to help poor farmers in developing countries and does so in conjunction with cooperatives, among others. Starting with this visit, I see many opportunities for a joint effort by IFAD and Confcooperative to support poor communities in developing countries”.
Starting from the Corte d’Aibo cooperative in Monteveglio, on the hills of Bologna, one of the first in the area to embrace organic farming thirty years ago and which now manages a wine farm and a holiday farm, the delegation moved to the Modena area, where they had the chance to get to know the production of some of the best products from Emilia-Romagna known throughout the world. In particular, the Parmigiano Reggiano produced by the 4 Madonne dairy cooperative of Lesignana and the traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena made by a member of the cooperative La Tradizione in their garret in Nonantola. After a lunch with typical products at the Locanda degli Smeraldi in Bentivoglio (Bo) run by the social cooperative Anima, which employs disabled children, the delegation moved to the Serre dei Giardini Margherita in Bologna to meet the Kilowatt cooperative (an innovative start-up that regenerated a public space by opening a restaurant, educational services, co-working and promoting events) and Local to You, an online platform for buying fruit and vegetables that promotes organic and local agriculture in partnership with other social cooperatives.
“It was a very interesting visit – said the president of Confcooperative Fedagripesca Giorgio Mercuri – because it allowed us to show IFAD our cooperative system, made of small producers who, by joining together, are able to enhance their production at an international level and to restore dignity even to the weakest links in the agricultural chain”.
“Emilia-Romagna is the cradle of the cooperative movement that has developed here more than anywhere else – added Carlo Piccinini, president of Confcooperative Fedagripesca Emilia-Romagna – so we are very happy if our business model that focuses on producer members becomes a source of inspiration for developing countries”.
Coopermondo, the NGO of Confcooperative, promotes the cooperative model at an international level in the most vulnerable areas and in 2016 signed a letter of intent with IFAD. “Visits like the one carried out in Emilia-Romagna – noted Camilla Carabini, director of Coopermondo – are very important because they increase the awareness of international institutions about the effectiveness of the cooperative model, which can find fertile ground even in socio-economic contexts different from the Italian one, adapting to the peculiarities of individual states but without changing the essential values such as active and democratic participation of members, redistribution of wealth and prosperity generation for the entire community”.

Cooperatives and Peace: a report on cooperatives’ contributions to peacebuilding and conflict resolution

Cooperatives Europe releases its latest #coops4dev research report with the support of the CEDP.
Cooperatives Europe released today a new thematic research “Cooperatives and Peace: Strengthening Democracy, Participation and Trust – A Case Study Approach,” showcasing twenty case studies from more than fourteen countries, covering different types and stages of conflicts.
Presenting practical examples, the report looks at cooperatives contributing to the empowerment of minority groups affected by conflict, providing decent work and sustainable development in fragile contexts, as well as supporting mitigation of conflict through partnerships with other actors and the provision of humanitarian support.
The report demonstrates that cooperatives can play an important role in peacebuilding worldwide, while also contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By building self-sufficient and resilient communities, and by encouraging dialogue and democratic participation, the cooperative business model is able to bridge the gap between conflict resolution and long term development strategies, addressing persistent structural challenges facing communities. The report also offers a number of conclusions and recommendations addressed to policymakers, cooperative leaders, and external partners.
Produced in the framework of the ICA-EU Partnership (#coops4dev), the research was supported by the Cooperatives Europe Development Platform (CEDP), co-authored by the Co-operative College, Kooperationen and Coopermondo, with input from all CEDP members. Coopermondo participated directly in the research and the elaboration of the report, where AGRICOOP Colombia project and a project implemented by Armadilla in Siria are showcased. 
The report was endorsed by key stakeholders, including high level representatives from the cooperative movement, civil society, local authorities, and the EU. MEP Stelios Kouloglou, the Vice-Chair of the DEVE Committee in the European Parliament, highlighted the value of partnering with cooperatives for peacebuilding, mentioning that: “the role of these partnerships will be of particular relevance for decision-makers, who can look to international cooperative development as an additional strategy for peacebuilding.”
The report is available here

In Cape Verde, training co-operators in the communities of Ribeira dos Saltos

From 1st  to 14th february, as part of the agreement signed with the Poser ProgramPrograma para a Promoção das Oportunidades Sócio-económicas Rurais,  the COOPERMONDO’ second mission took place in Cape Verde, on the island of Santiago.
Following a peer education based approach the mission was organized starting from the anthropological report realized by Dr. Rosa Tolla, who has visited the rural area of ​​the Municipality of Santa Cruz in November 2018. The presence of the anthropologist in this phase was crucial for both the mediation in the field and the development of a training strategy appropriate to the social structure of the community of Ribeira dos Saltos.
Seven training were performed by Dr. Noemi Spagnoletti using the manual Think.Coop promoted by the International Labor Organization (ILO). Through this method, each participant analyzed cooperative principles and how to choose if a cooperative enterprise can be advantageous to improve its/her work, income and livelihood. The manual has been translated into Portuguese in order to train 15 local technicians, some of whom had the opportunity to apply the training on the field in Creole language, for a total of 40 beneficiaries (among women, men and young farmers).
At the same time, the ethnographic data collection expanded the network within the rural communities of the Municipality of Santa Cruz. During this mission, priority was given to the deepening of activity and working conditions of some local associations and cooperatives. The productors face an enormous difficulty: the lack of water due to the severe drought that has affected the country for about five years, making working conditions very difficult. Addressing the problem in groups is a valid moral support for rural communities.
“Cooperativa è uma oportunidade de transformar uma pequena coisa em uma grande coisa. Unidos somos mais forte! “- Farmer of the COOPARP cooperative.

Progetto PONTI: prima fase dell’accompagnamento allo start-up di impresa

Nell’ambito del progetto “PONTI : Inclusione sociale e economica, giovani e donne, innovazione e diaspora”, dal 28 Gennaio al 12 Febbraio si è svolta in Senegal, nelle aree di Dakar e  Thies la prima missione del 2019 di Coopermondo per avviare il processo di valutazione dei progetti di impresa che beneficeranno dell’accompagnamento per lo start-up. Il  terzo bando per la presentazione dei progetti è stato aperto ai giovani sotto i 30 anni e ai migranti di ritorno delle regioni di Dakar e Thies.
Attraverso il supporto e la collaborazione con i partner del progetto ARCS, CIPSI, AMS e NPJW, il Coordinatore del Progetto per Coopermondo, Alessio Vici, ha incontrato 21 promotori d’impresa. Ogni incontro individuale è stato finalizzato a comprendere i bisogni per affrontare le sfide imprenditoriali di ciascuno che, con l’impegno e l’azione specifica dei partner, saranno superate cogliendo le opportunità di investimento esistenti sul territorio.
In seguito la missione si è postata su Kaffrine dove, con il contributo di CIM, si sono svolte delle sessioni formative tramite la metodologia Start.Coop promossa da ILO (International Labour Organization) per accompagnare i partecipanti nella strutturazione e la creazione dei loro Business Plan. In seguito si sono svolte delle sedute di consulenza e riflessione sulle strategie di Marketing collettivo e territoriale per le GIE (Groupement d’intérêt économique) impegnate nella trasformazione e distribuzione di prodotti cerealicoli.
Il processo avviato  tramite il progetto PONTI e al lavoro congiunto dei suoi partner nei prossimi mesi ci vedrà impegnati nella finalizzazione e capitalizzazione dei risultati per contribuire a garantire migliori condizioni di vita alle comunità più vulnerabili, aprendo – in contesti a forte tasso migratorio – nuove opportunità per chi ha voglia di investire ed investirsi grazie alla formazione, all’assistenza tecnica e alla facilitazione dell’accesso al credito.

WomeNPowerment: the cooperative way to gender equality in Italy and in the world

Women cooperating in Italy and in the world; women who, in developing countries, are gathering together in order to overcome injustice and inequalities and to create new opportunities for themselves and their communities. This is the file rouge inspiring “WomeNpowerment in Coops – Italian cooperative experiences toward the achievement of gender equality in the world“, an editorial project written by Coopermondo (Confcooperative’s[1] NGO) and Confcooperative’s Commission of Women Cooperative Managers. In the book, Italian and international co-operative stories show the added value of co-operation for the achievement of gender equality. Goal n. 5 of the SDGs is Confcooperative, which shows a female employment rate that exceeds 61% of the employed (528,000) of its enterprises (19,000), where female governance stands at 26% (10% more than to other business models).
The handbook has been launched in occasion of International Women Day 2018, during an international conference who counted on the presence of Maurizio Gardini, President of Confcooperative, Bianca Maria Pomeranzi, senior expert in gender issue from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Simel Esim, Director of Cooperative Unit, ILO, United Nations together with many cooperators’ women experts in different fields.
“In developing countries, cooperatives enterprises are and will increasingly be committed to transferring know-how to trigger local development and to make women and men protagonists in their own communities. Also, in Italy, co-operatives are one of the very few tools for social mobility for women and youth. In our members cooperatives – says Maurizio Gardini, president of Confcooperative – the female employment rate is equal to 61%. In the implementation of development projects, in low-income countries, we promote a model that put the  social rescue before the economic value, in order to guarantee the dignity of one person. In this common thread there is all the essence of co-operation, the real one, which includes, attentiveness to the needs of the territory and makes the economy grow together with people”.
“Women, especially in contexts of poverty, are those who represent the majority of the workforce, the most reliable in credit refunds, women are those that can play a key role in the processes of inclusion and integration in local territories. The WomeNpowerment project – adds Claudia Fiaschi, Confcooperative’s and Coopermondo’s Vice-President – is a space for discussion between both women and men cooperators to find common solutions to individual problems. Both in Italy and developing countries, many women faces challenges and abuses; a co-operative enterprise in many cases represent the space where they found economic independence and solidarity within a network of women, fundamental for their professional and personal empowerment”.
«Confcooperative – says Anna Manca, Coordinator of the Commission for Women Co-operative Managers, Confcooperative – broadens the focus to gender policies also in relation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The full affirmation of a model of fair and sustainable development cannot be separated from a more active and conscious role of women on which the cooperative world has shown that it can measure itself with good results. Even if we are strongly committed to promoting equality in political, economic and decision-making processes, unfortunately there are still too many women who do not have access to education, medical care and decent work. Reaching gender equality and promoting the empowerment of girls and women, as foreseen by Agenda 2030, is not only a fundamental human right, but the necessary condition for a model of development that everyone will benefit from».
MOZAMBIQUE, COLOMBIA, ECUADOR, BRAZIL, ITALY: COOPERATIVE STORIES OF GENDER EQUALITY
Africa Hand Project (Mozambique). The goal of the project is to reduce hunger and poverty through the development of a sustainable agriculture and the dairy industry in Mozambique, by promoting a cooperative supply chain that can improve the nutritional education of the population and make women protagonists. In Mozambique, in fact, almost half of the population suffers from chronic malnutrition that begins already during pregnancy and limits development in the early years of life. Therefore, the project also promote the supply of milk and dairy products to pregnant women and children under five years of age, integrating their diet with products, the result of local breeding, with a high nutritional profile and able to make the difference.
AGRICOOP Mujer (Colombia). Creating bonds of trust between women from five different ethnic groups, in a social context strained by years of guerrilla warfare and drug trafficking, in order to engage them and promote a safe and economic independence. This is AGRICOOP, a process of empowerment of over 100 women who were able to overcome mutual distrust. Coopermondo – Confcooperative has followed their training. Some of them joined a weavers’ cooperative to sell their products. Others want to be part of this chain and become sheep breeders to ensure the supply of wool for the creation of artifacts. Fundamental for the development of the community is to have created an area of knowledge and sharing.
Microfinanza Campesina (Ecuador). As part of the wider Microfinanza Campesina project in Ecuador, which sees the Federation of Credit Cooperative Banks (Federcasse – BCC) engaged since 2002 alongside two Ecuadorian entities (banCODESARROLLO and FEPP) for the development and strengthening of popular finance, attention is dedicated to women. The subsidized loans of Federcasse have allowed banCODESARROLLO, over time, to field more than 45 million dollars to provide loans to about 12,000 Ecuadorian women, in many cases grouped into cooperatives. When this money is returned, they have played an important role for these women and their families. Those loans have turned into land, home, animals, seeds, tools. They have become dignity, freedom, well-being, fairness.
Juntos contra a Exclusão Social (Brazil). The project aims to promote social and economic integration and to improve the living conditions and social and economic integration of women and young people of 110 families in the cities of Fortaleza and Recife who live in extreme fragile conditions. The project also aims to the empowerment and professional training of 120 women and youth, helping them to create a path of self-entrepreneurship even in a cooperative way. Both in Fortaleza and in Recife, the women involved in the project have a very low schooling rate (41.5) and belong to discriminated ethnic groups (black and mestizo). Nine out of ten women have one to four children, four out of ten are divorced and almost seven out of ten have a very low paid job. In Brazil, in order to obtain a pension from the State, 49 years of contributions are required, and many people will not be able to benefit from it in the future. Hence, the importance of offering women who have started an individual activity, the opportunity to join a cooperative.
The Cantina Clavesana (Piemonte, Italy). Founded in April 27, 1959 from 32 winemakers to transform the grapes conferred by the 300 members with a total production of 30,000 hectoliters of wine and a vineyard area of 450 hectares all certified with the Denomination of Controlled Origin D.O.C. and Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin D.O.C.G. The female-run winery has activated 4.0 agriculture projects to monitor the vineyards using drones and satellites to reduce costs and environmental impact. Among the best practices is that of holiday planning that takes place according to the needs of women workers: 60% of working women ask for flexibility to respond to needs such as assisting children or the elderly, as well as permits for visits and medical treatment. For work at the weekend, between workers, a structured turnaround and a compensation of hours and days are activated.
Open Space “Milano 6 L’Altro” (Milan, Italy). A path of empowerment that helps women to get back to work by designing new services for the community. The project is characterized by making women active and overcoming the challenges of reconciliation. Motherhood and work life are the starting point. One in four women leaves the world of work after having their first child. This project identifies solutions to help families to find quality, economic and shared answers such as condominiums and baby-sitting services. The method for this process is that of design thinking. There are many women involved in the path and each carrying a different story with her: different paths of life; Italian women, as well as foreigners who have suffered from immigration stories and who had to start over again in Italy. In common they all have the desire to be protagonists of their own lives.
The San Leopoldo cooperative (Grosseto, Italy). Established in 1998 for fishing, aquaculture and related activities, the cooperative aims at creating job opportunities for its members. The members of the cooperative are in possession of a degree in Biology, Agricultural Sciences and Economics, as well as qualifications for professional fishing and underwater activities. The diversification of skills ensures professionalism in various sectors of activity. To date, the cooperative is active in various fields: 1) professional fishing and related activities (fishing tourism); 2) aquaculture; 3) technical assistance for funding applications to fishermen and fish farmers; 4) scientific research; 5) project design (Interreg, EASME, FEAMP …); 6) environment: particular attention is given to environmental issues through specific sector projects, such as the repopulation of river courses with eels.
 
Download the handbook here http://www.coopermondo.it/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/WomeNpowerment_InCoops-ENG.pdf
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[1] Confcooperative is the Italian Confederation of Cooperatives, representing more than 18.000 co-operatives,

Coopermondo visits Ortega community (Cauca) with ARN

Coopermondo has started an exchange of experiences in the field of cooperativism and associativity in partnership with the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization (ARN), which is dedicated to the reintegration into Colombian society of demobilized persons from armed groups in the margin of the law.
The week of February 5 to 11 Coopermondo has been in the Cauca Region where it has visited the community of Ortega, made up of 120 families dedicated to coffee production. Fernando Bragado, Coordinator of Coopermondo in Colombia, states: “In this recognition phase, the associative initiatives of Ortega are being visited to identify opportunities to be strengthened as well as identify where it is possible to articulate institutional offers.” Additionally, he shared with the group the experiences of the agreements with SENA in the department of Valle and the impact it has had on the Vallecaucanos peasants.
During the visit, a recognition of the territory was made by the delegates of Coopermondo, representatives of the ARN, the Departmental Committee of Coffee Growers and the International Organization for Migration – IOM. The tour of the area was guided by Eymer Muñoz, Technician of the Departmental Committee of Coffee Growers, allowing visitors to learn about the production processes of the 13 lots of coffee crops and the associative work that has been carried out so far in the community of the Ortega corregimiento.
In addition, the tour allowed the delegates of the different organizations to visit the estate of Mr. Pedro Quina, one of the oldest associates of the area, who completed his reintegration process, and today manages to cultivate together with his 4 children more than 1,000 coffee plants, achieving recognition in the community for their discipline and product excellence. In the territory it was identified that the hectares of coffee crops are divided by families of people in the process of reintegration, each one belonging to between 1 and 2.5 hectares.
The community initiative in Ortega – Cajibío, is one of the pioneering projects in Colombia within the framework of the reintegration process, Ángela María Medina, Coordinator of the ARN Cauca Territorial Group, said: “The articulated work between the community and the support of the institutionality , has generated great opportunities from the process of reintegration that have resulted in benefits in the productive associative processes of Ortega coffee growers ».
The Italian NGO, Coopermondo, seeks to promote sustainable economic and social development through the creation of new cooperatives at international level. In Colombia, it has signed 4 agreements with the SENA and offers technical assistance in the training of trainers in associative issues. It also has 18 pilot programs in corregimientos of Cauca and Valle del Cauca.
Taking into account Coopermondo’s extensive experience in cooperative issues, the ARN explained the work carried out in the corregimiento of Ortega with a population in the process of reintegration, in order to exchange experiences and evaluate the possibility of working together with the SENA, in such a way that it is possible to train the population and obtain more effective results in terms of production and associativity.
(Adapted from reintegración.gov.co)

Coopermondo and the #coops4dev team in Kuala Lumpur

Coopermondo, in the persons of Director Danilo Salerno and Communications & Visibility Manager Camilla Carabini, participated at the International Co-operative Alliance’s Global Conference and General Assembly held in Kuala Lumpur from 14 to 17 November in Malaysia, in order to follow the works of the #coops4dev team.
Among the many events, the International Co-operative Development Platform celebrated its first meeting and several publications on international co-operative development were launched. Moreover, co-operatives have been mentioned, during a dedicated session on partnerships, as the main development actor to partner with from representative of UN Agencies, EU Delegations, Trade Unions and other Civil Society Organizations.
 
International Co-operative Development Platform
The Cooperatives Europe Development Platform (CEDP), the expert group composed by 10 European organizations engaged in international cooperative development, has gone global. In fact the group has enlarged into the International Co-operative Development Platform (ICDP), a network of different organizations working in international development in different regions (Americas, Asia, Europe and Asia).
Coopermondo has been one of the supporter and promoter of this Platform therefore it has been a great success to finally see it happening (check the FB live on this).
During the Global Conference, the ICDP held its first meeting to discuss an action plan based on the 9 recommendations drafted at the Platform’s launch in the International Summit of Co-operatives. During the world café session, high representatives from the different organizations concretized the recommendations to kick-off and further develop the action plan for 2018.
 
 
New publications on international co-operative development
During the Global Conference, the Cooperatives Europe Development Platform (CEDP) launched its report “Good practices in international cooperative development: Why creating a knowledge sharing culture is key for international cooperative development work” intended to encourage partnerships between CEDP members and to enable external actors to better understand the advantages of international co-operative development as a successful development approach.
Moreover, the ICA-EU partnership‘s angle on partnership collaboration has been emphasized in the launch of the new publication “A matter of principle: co-operatives in development“, presented at the Global Conference. The publication is the result a joint effort between the global and the regional offices of the ICA to showcase success stories of co-operative development that highlight the inherent synergy between co-operative values and sustainable development for all.
 
 
Partnership for development
During the #coops4dev session entitled “Building Partnerships for the Future We Want” on the 15th on November, which received over 200 participants, the importance of alternative economic models for development that can put human and economic growth as the first priority in their approach towards development has been highlighted. High-level representatives of the European Union, International Labor Organization, CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness, International Trade Union Confederation and United Cities of Local Authorities stressed the importance of partnerships with co-operatives for international development.
 
Ariel Guarco, new ICA President
Coopermondo sends his best congratulations to Ariel Guarco who has been elected president of the International Co-operative Alliance. Mr Guarco is president of Cooperar, the Co-operative Confederation of Argentina, and has always been close to Coopermondo’s activities in Colombia and Argentina.
Mr Guarco said that his priorities at the Alliance will be to strengthen the interactions between its regional and sectoral organisations, as well as consolidating youth and gender spaces. He also wants to improve the quality and quantity of information given to members on income, balance sheets, and projects – and in doing so, empower organisations when it comes to decision-making.
Cooperatives are enterprises that have a double function, on the one hand they must be economically viable, compete in the market and do it as good or better than enterprises that seek profitability as the ultimate goal. And on the other hand, they need to be socially responsible, helping to improve the quality of life of our members and faithful to our principle of commitment to the community, to society as a whole”, said Mr Guarco. You can access the full speech of the President of the Alliance here
 
 
World Cooperative Monitor
The International Co-operative Alliance and Euricse, the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, published its sixth annual World Co-operative Monitor. The publication reports on the world’s largest co-operative and mutual organisations, providing a ranking of the Top 300 and sectorial analysis based on 2015 financial data. The 2017 World Co-operative Monitor collected data for 2,379 organisations from 8 sectors of activity, 1,436 of which had a turnover of more than USD100m. The Top 300 co-operatives and mutuals report a total turnover of 2.16 billions.
The world’s top 300 co-operatives operate in different sectors: insurance (41%), agriculture (30%), wholesale and retail trade (19%), banking and financial services (6%), industry and utilities (1%), health, education and social care (1%) and other services (1%).
 
All the initiatives of #coops4dev have been trending through all social media platforms. If you want to join the conversation on international co-operative development, follow the hashtag #coops4dev on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates on our activities.

Good practices in international cooperative development: new research is out

Cooperatives Europe releases today its latest publication “Good practices in international cooperative development: Why creating a knowledge sharing culture is key for international cooperative development work”. Among the authors, Camilla Carabini has been in charge of carrying on part of the research in behalf of Coopermondo. Alongside, a brochure has been released capturing the key features of the research.   
Aiming to foster a better understanding of the methods and approaches used by the Cooperatives Europe Development Platform (CEDP) organisations in their international cooperative development work, the document maps the CEDP activities in diverse geographic and thematic areas, showcasing good practices and tools used by members.
This research is intended to encourage partnerships between CEDP members by highlighting each organisation’s specific expertise as well as potential synergies, and to enable external actors to better understand the advantages of international cooperative development as a successful development approach.
Carried out in the framework of the ICA-EU Partnership (#coops4dev), the new research was led by Cooperatives Europe, The Co-operative College, Coopermondo-Confcooperative and Kooperationen, and supported by all CEDP members.
Arielle Romenteau, Research Officer at Cooperatives Europe, commented: “This research is another step on the continuous work that CEDP members have been developing to promote the cooperative model in international development and imagine new ways to further evidence the cooperative impact. With this study, we hope to go further in sharing existing methods, and unlock the potential for new joint projects both between CEDP members and with other actors outside the cooperative movement.”
The report and the brochure will be disseminated at the ICA General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur and online:
REPORT_CEDP_Good practices in intl development
BROCHURE_Key features

Coopermondo: 10 years of cooperation among cooperatives

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“We do what we are good at: cooperating in the fields of agriculture, credit, welfare, responsible tourism and to help eliminating inequalities in the world. This is the most effective demonstration of the sixth co-operative principle “cooperation among co-operatives” that goes behind every boundary”. Maurizio Gardini, President of Confcooperative, opens the event dedicated to the celebration of the 10 years of international cooperative development done by Coopermondo, the NGO created by Confcooperative and Federcasse in 2007. “We are proud to be among the founders of this organization. Together we work with in Togo to promote the cooperative movement and strengthen financial inclusion”, says Augusto Dell’Erba, President of Federcasse (apex organization for credit cooperatives).
With 10 international cooperation projects, Coopermondo has contributed to the creation of 152 new cooperative enterprises in Africa and Latin America, training more than 1,143 technicians in agriculture, fisheries and sustainable tourism, benefiting directly and indirectly over 25,000 people. The countries where Coopermondo works – or worked – are: Togo, Colombia, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Benin, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal.
Many personalities wanted to accompany Coopermondo during its celebrations. Starting with Colombia’s ambassador to Italy, Juan Mesa Zuleta, who praised Coopermondo’s alliance with the SENA because “together, we are building peace”. The Minister of Plenipotentiary Gianluca Grandi, of the Directorate General for Development Cooperation – DGCS and Dr. Valentina Muiesan, the First Secretary of the Italian Embassy in the agencies of the Roman pole of the United Nations, were also present.
“In 10 years Coopermondo has grown a lot. It is now an NGO recognized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and it plays an important role in the Italian cooperation system. The political position he has acquired is already a demonstration of the impact of his work”, says Coopermondo’s President, Francesco Carri.
“We promote the Italian cooperative model in the world as an excellency that many look with admiration,” explains Vice-President Claudia Fiaschi. “We bring our  co-operative experienced to the territories, we create empathy with people and only through an honest exchange of experiences and knowledge we can create a real change“.
The word has then been given to those who have been on the field: Alessandra Nasti, CIRSPE biologist who accompanied trout producers and fishermen in Colombia to improve their productions; Paola Vanzetti of Gestcooper, Confcooperative Piemonte, who accompanied the rice cooperatives in Cameroon and Giovanni Pausini, a cooperator from Emilia-Romagna, who has been following agricultural producers in Togo and Colombia for many years.
The exhibition “Horizons, Thoughts, Colors – Faces of Co-operation” has been launched during the event. It is composed by 9 photos that illustrates Coopermondo’s commitment in contributing to United Nations 2030 Agenda  and at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Each image is associated with an SDG that shows how Coopermondo contribute to alleviating poverty, defeating hunger in the world, promoting decent work and quality education, developing a gender approach, promoting the pacification of war-torn territories and strengthening Global partnerships.
“All this is possible thanks to the training and technical assistance that our cooperators always bring to our partner countries. According to the beneficiaries we work with, they are the ones making the difference. The key to Coopermondo’s success is to provide practical and concrete answers to territories’ needs and provide market access for thousands of producers in developing countries: we mix empathy and solidarity with professionalism and technical experience”, concludes Coopermondo’s Director Danilo Salerno.
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Support Coopermondo’s projects: make a donation and get a photo back!

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Coopermondo for sustainable development at Coops Europe’s GA

Coopermondo’s Director, Danilo Salerno, illustrated Coopermondo and its members experience during the international development cooperation workshop that took place this morning at Cooperatives Europe General Assembly, where yesterday the new president Jean Luis Bancel has been elected.
The workshop, coordinated by Dame Pauline Green, form President of the International Cooperative Alliance, focused on Cooperatives Europe’s work on international cooperation through its  group formed by 10 partner organizations dedicated to this sector – Cooperatives Europe Development Platform CEDP
Coopermondo’s work has been presented through its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals in the AGRICOOP project in Colombia where the NGO of Confcooperative is active in 5 different regions to strengthen and promote solidarity and cooperative economy, working with indigenous peoples and women groups, in partnership with the Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje SENA.
Moreover Salerno valorized the “WomeNpowerment in Coops” project, a working group that Coopermondo set up with the Commission of Women Manegers of Confcooperative in order to form a group of Italian cooperators expert on gender issues in development.
“The three case studies presented this morning has been the most impressive ones I had recently the chance to listen to. Danilo Salerno illustrated the Colombia project and how Coopermondo is contributing in building social cohesion in a post-conflict situation. How? By building trust, that is at the basis of cooperatives, in areas where people used to fight one against the other or were engaged in narcotraffic activities”, Dame Pauline Green declared.
The slides of Director Salerno’s presentation can be downloaded: Coopermondo_Malta_28042017
 
The video “From illicit crops to acquacolture cooperatives” that has been recorded in Cauca with some trouts producers Coopermondo works with.

Solidarity with Colombian cooperatives: disaster in Mocoa

On the night between 1 and 2 April, violent rains hit the area of ​​Mocoa, department of Putomayo (southwestern Colombia), causing avalanches and flooding. The victims are 311, including 100 children. Local authorities have handed over 237 bodies to families, which means that there are still 75 missing bodies.
The department of Putumayo borders the Cauca, where Coopermondo is developing the AGRICOOP Colombia and AGRICOOP Mujer projects. Moreover Mocoa is just 250 km from Popayan, the main city of the Cauca Region. Coopermondo expresses its sympathy and solidarity with its local partner the Confederación de Cooperativas de Colombia – Confecoop, who called to action the Colombian and the international cooperative movement: Coopermondo feels very close to this drama and is committed to being at the forefront to offer its own cooperation.
Based on the sixth cooperative principle – cooperation among cooperatives – Confecoop Colombia promotes a fundraising for the recovery of cooperatives in Mocoa. It takes so contribute to the normalization of operations that will guarantee the same services and attention to the thousands of members and their families. The collection of resources aims to ensure the stability and permanence of the region’s cooperatives that associate more than 14,000 people: once the time of emergency due to avalanche is passed, Confecoop will assess the situation of cooperatives and, based on the funding received, it will establish projects and actions to execute.

Make a donation now for the victims of this tragedy to Coopermondo:
IBAN: IT26A0832703235 000000002903
BIC: ROMAITRRXXX
Bank: BCC di Roma
Object: “Solidarity to Mocoa cooperatives, Colombia

Coopermondo will keep donors informed on how Confecoop will use the funds raised.

Happy holidays from Coopermondo

An intense year that has brought us huge satisfactions, is now getting to an end. We grew in terms of working team in order to be ready to the increasing demands coming from the NGO world and to give new opportunities to our members in terms of Italian, European and International grants. We grew in terms of projects and beneficiaries: in Colombia we started a long-term program that, within the framework of the Peace Accord signed between the Government and the FARC, will contribute in reconstructing the economic and social tissue in the country; in Cameroon we begun a collaboration with IFAD (the UN Fund for Rural Development) within the MoU framework we signed last year; we have renovated our agreement with the Government of Togo, signing our commitment to strengthen young cooperator in the country; and we have reinforced our partnership with the Italian NGO CEFA in Kenya and Mozambique. We also grew in terms of network within the organizations associated to Confcooperative that are dedicated to international cooperation and that we want to represent and accompany to strengthen their actions in the world.
In 2016 our efforts and work have been recognized at multiple level. The International Cooperative Alliance awarded our pledge as the most relevant within their members to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In Colombia the SENA (National Service for Professional Education – Ministry of Labour), our local partner, have appreciated our work in many public and official occasions. People we work with in the latin america country – the beneficiaries, the instructors, the local producers – with their smiles, enthusiasm and their will to build a better world, are our greatest satisfaction. Same in Togo where, jointly with Federcasse and the pool of cooperative banks, we brought a group of young cooperators that had the chance to share with togoloean youth their experiences and show that it is easy to build bridges within cultures that seems so different but have many things in common.
An intense year is getting to an end but there are many premises that 2017 will be even brighter. We will also reach our first important goal: 10 years of international cooperation in March 2017! Coopermondo is now mature to celebrate.
People are at the centre of our way of working: this is our strength and this is what we will never renounce. And to YOU all, that have contributed to support us, we dedicate this 2016. Keep on being with us because without your cooperation our results would not have the same sweet taste.

Merry Christmas and a 2017 of peace and solidarity for all!

 

Francesco Carri (President)
Claudia Fiaschi (Vice President)

Italy. Financial illiteracy reigns

By Marco Marcocci – President of Associazione Migranti e Banche
Italians, when sipping their coffees at the bar, especially on Mondays morning, are a treasury of knowledge. Aside from football, where they shows their best performances, we are masters of any topic, from sports to cooking, from politics to international affairs, and so on. There is one issue, however, we lack any competences about and when asked we almost always say nonsense. This is finance, the only real bugbear of Italians who, between stocks, bonds and spreads risk their savings by investing them blindly.
Italy ranked at last positions for financial literacy 
Ignorance of our people in financial matters is proven and well known also worldwide: the World Competitiveness Index ranks Italy 44th place for financial education dissemination and last among the G8 countries. Standard & Poor’s, in a survey conducted worldwide in 2014 in collaboration with Gallup, World Bank and Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center, quantified only 37% of Italian adults had a reasonable level of financial knowledge. Financial illiteracy is also is spread among our children. The PISA survey (Programme for International Student Assessment), promoted a few years ago by the OECD, involving 30 thousand fifteen years old in 18 countries highlighted that Italians students were below average. To worsen the already dark situation, the 2016 CONSOB report on the investment choices of Italian families show many gaps of the Italians in the issue. The report, among other things, reports that 20% of those interviewed are not familiar with any financial instrument, and that 8% of investors do not know where their money has been invested.
Here comes the bill on financial education
In recent times, however, to the issue of financial literacy has been given proper weight in the Italian Institutions. There is, in fact, in the Senate a bill (No. 1196) entitled “Norms on economic citizenship”, in which financial education is considered “an instrument for the development of knowledge, skills, attitudes and competences”. All those ingredients, once being part of our baggage, should prevent – or at least warn us – against the risks posed by financial instruments such as Argentinians bond, or subordinated bond of Banca Etruria, which destroyed the savings of many. It’s time to start then, and quickly, to promote financial literacy in schools, at the workplace, on television, on social networks and in any environment where it is easy to reach, with simple and clear concepts notions, the famous “simple” man (and woman). Some initiatives for students and adults are already there. A mapping, done on the second half of 2015 coordinated by the Fondazione Rosselli, in collaboration with the Bank of Italy and others, has identified more than 250 entities as promoters of financial education courses in Italy.
Financial education starts at school
The training is delivered in various ways, from the traditional class in a room to publications structured in such a way as to be attractive to young and very young people. And exactly children are the public to which is directed the book “Tales and Money“, promoted by of the Foundation for Financial Education and Saving (Feduf) together with the Association FarEconomia and the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. The bookaims to teach how to save money and basics of the economy with the involvement of teachers and parents.
Banks and education to saving 

The importance of financial education is also underlined by many banks. For example BNL (BNP – Paribas) offers a wide range of courses for families, businesses, students and sport-persons (the latter done in collaboration with CONI) called EduCare. Particularly interesting is “Family Millesogni” a story used to talk about saving, economy and investments to primary school children. Financial education in school started in 2007 when the Ministry of Education and the Bank of Italy signed a Memorandum of Understanding “for the start up of an experimental training programs on economic and financial training in some sample schools”

Looking for a national strategy

The world of credit cooperatives is particularly sensitive to financial education and there are many initiatives in this direction undertaken in the area. For example, the BCC Banca della Maremma, in collaboration with the Prefecture of Grosseto, organized a training on financial education for refugees. Another initiative is ORIZZONTI.TV, the web television of FederLUS (Federation of Cooperative Credit Banks of Lazio, Umbria, Sardinia) that started as a project for financial literacy. The Voluntary Association Migrants and Banks proposes  classrooms during which professional of the credit sector explain bank products and services to migrants. The list of existing initiatives on financial education goes on and on, but the need for a national strategy, as many other European countries already did, is urgent in order to make it more effective and more useful.
 

Article published on the AziendaBanca magazine in October 2016

Global Cooperative Development Platform launched at the International Summit of Co-operatives

Promoting the cooperative business model at international level and in the most difficult contexts in order to contribute to a more sustainable development of the planet. With this goal on October 10th the “Global Cooperative Development Platform GCDP” was launched during one of the parallel activities of the International Summit of Cooperatives, that is taking place in Quebec City from 11 to 14 November with over 3,000 representatives from all over the world. “Cooperatives and Mutuals in international development – How can we do more and better together” was the event under which took place the formalization of the new platform: Coopermondo-Confcooperative, with the presence of the Director, Danilo Salerno, participated to the event.
The side event was organized by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the Overseas Cooperative Development Council United States (OCDC) as part of the Partnership agreement signed between the ICA and the EU (FPA).
The event, facilitated by former ICA President Dame Pauline Green, brought together experts cooperators worldwide to share results, identifying lines of action, and facilitate collaboration to explore future partnerships within the international development.
The creation, five years ago, of the CEDP (the network of organizations dedicated to international cooperation of Cooperatives Europe) and the recognition of his work towards the EU institutions, have been crucial to the establishment of the global network. While the CEDP was created for the European region, and Coopermondo is one of 10 member organizations, the GCDP will enable the European network to connect to other regional networks with the aim of working together globally.
Dame Pauline Green said: “A Global Co-operative Development Platform does not have the aim to become a development agency, but to strengthen collaboration between co-operative development organisations and raise visibility and knowledge about the role co-operatives play in international development”.
“Yesterday was a crucial day for the future of cooperatives engaged in development cooperation. Coopermondo launched the proposal for a global network many years ago, during the meetings of the CEDP in Brussels and at international conferences in which we participated in the last five years”, said Director Danilo Salerno.
Cooperation amongst cooperatives, the 6th cooperative principle, refers to all this, and if applied in development cooperation, it is clear that we have a competitive advantage over other actors of development cooperation. We potentially have partners in all African, Asian and Latin American countries: cooperative organizations that share our principles and models, that want to develop partnership for sharing knowledge and innovative ways of doing business.
Coopermondo is a key actor within the process that will lead to the establishment of the Global Platform: we could share skills and experiences of our projects and our partners, in order to make them grow, create new funding opportunities, change the development model that has produced inequalities and market distortions as mentioned by the Nobel Prize Joseph Stiglitz in his masterful Conference here at the Summit yesterday morning”.

Going ahead with the four AGRICOOP projects

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]From 20 September to 1 October 2016 a technical mission, formed by Coopermondo’s team, traveled to Colombia to implement the first phase of the AGRICOOP project in partnership with the Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA). The program aims to realize a need assesment and, together with the experts of the SENA and Confecoop (the Colombian Cooperative Confederation), training activities, technical assistance and support to the creation of new cooperatives in three regions of the country (Cauca, Valle del Cauca and San Andrés)
The mission was formed by the Camilla Carabini (Communication Manager and coordinator of the Project “WomeNpowerment – Women cooperators and cooperating in the world” by Coopermondo), Giovanni Pausini – Agricultural expert Coopermondo, Alessandra Nasti – expert in fisheries and aquaculture of CIRSPE – and Graziano Molon – tourism expert and culture of Trentino Wine Consortium – Trentino Federation of Cooperation. The mission was led by Fernando Bragado, project manager of Coopermondo in Colombia and Luisa Fernanda Gallo, head of AGRICOOP project for the SENA.
AGRICOOP CAUCA
The Agricoop project in the Cauca region is divided into two projects:
AGRICOOP 2.0 which aims to provide technical assistance to trout farmers in improving the quality of production and in improving associationism to generate economies of scale in procurement of inputs, processing and marketing. Alessandra Nasti has worked with trout producers showing them the Italian cooperative system and dialoguing with them to understand what strategic activities to perform.
The three experts have then carried out a day of training and exchange of experiences with the SENA technicians in agriculture, tourism and aquaculture.
AGRICOOP Mujer working with more than 300 women in a process of gender empowerment through the creation and strengthening of craft associations and agricultural cooperatives. Camilla Carbini has participated in a conference on the role of women in post-conflict organized, among others, by the Spanish Cooperation, and has carried on an activity with the women of the project, enhancing the content and expertise made available by the Women’s Committee of Confcooperative.
2. AGRICOOP VALLE
Carlos Acero, president of Confecoop Colombia (strategic ally of Coopermondo in the country), participated to a successful day of exchanging experiences and strategic planning with farmers and aquaculture of the Valle del Cauca region at Buga. In addition, Coopermondo’s experts were able to visit a farm and an association of women who produce medicinal plants and herbs.
3. AGRICOOP SAN ANDRES
In the archipelago of San Andrés and Providencia a continuous brain storming has characterized the activities of the experts.
Graziano Molon has been able to assess the tourism sector through an analysis of the local offer in terms of attractions, transport and accommodation. The phenomenon of “Posaderas”, native women who provide rooms within their own houses to accommodate tourists and allow them to live a 100% native experience, was also studied.
Alessandra Nasti has worked with the local fishermen to observe the artesanal fishing methods that are used inside the reef and gave them some options for the development of fishing tourism.
In the lush, green island, where, however, over 80% of the food consumed is imported, Giovanni Pausini has got to analyze possible systems of hydroponics and aquaponics and agricultural development on the island to lighten the weight of imports in terms of food safety and security.
The whole mission has experienced moments of intense emotion when on Tuesday, September 27 the President of the Republic of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, signed the final peace agreement with the FARC leader in Cartegena: it was an historical event which was possible to attend live together to the project partners. In an atmosphere of optimism for a lasting peace, the victory of the NO in the referendum has displaced Colombians partners and Coopermondo’s team, however, they will all continue to work to bring peace to Colombia and to give support to the people with whom they have already started working.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”5303,5308,5313,5323,5328,5333,5338,5363,5358,5373,5378,5383,5388,5428,5448,5453,5493,5498,5503,5508,5513,5518,5523,5528,5533,5478″ title=”Foto della Missione”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Sustainable Development Goals: Coopermondo’s Pledge is the most relevant according to the ICA

Coopermondo’s commitment to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, has been recognized as the most relevant according to the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).
The contest, launched on the new website www.coopsfor2030.coop during the International Day of Cooperatives, aims at encouraging ICA member organizations to publicly pledge on how they plan to contribute to the achieving one of the 17 sustainable development goals.
As far as it is concerned, Coopermondo committed to create, by 2020, at least 10 new cooperative enterprises run by young people, women or indigenous communities in developing countries, with the aim of helping eradicating poverty in the world (SDG No. 1) by promoting a cooperative economy based on economic democracy, decent work (SDG n ° 8) and equal opportunities for both men and women (SDG n ° 5).
In light of this recognition, Coopermondo was invited to participate in the International Summit of Cooperatives, the world’s leading event for enterprise development in the cooperative community, organized by Des Jardins Group and by the ICA and which will be held from 10 to 13 October 2016 in Quebec City, Canada.
As international cooperation and sustainable development goals are on the agenda, Coopermondo will participate to the summit. On October 10 there will be a side-event organized by the CEDP, the group of Cooperatives Europe dedicated to international development cooperation (of which Coopermondo is a member): along with Dame Pauline Green policies and strategies to strengthen partnerships between cooperatives around the world with the aim of promoting collaborative economy in the most difficult contexts will be discussed. It will also be an opportunity to show the experiences of international cooperation of its members.
In addition, the intensive program of the days that follow will address many issues dear to Coopermondo: food security, gender issues and financial inclusion, amongst the others. This will be an important opportunity to reinforce partnerships, share experiences, learn new methodologies and discuss the impact that cooperatives have in the most difficult contexts.

Coop solidarity, earthquake in central Italy: how to give us a hand!

The night of Wednesday, August 24, a strong earthquake hit the Center of Italy causing nearly 250 deaths and destroying entire cities. Coopermondo joins the entire Confcooperative in expressing its solidarity and closeness to all peoples and cooperators of the municipalities affected by the terrible earthquake that has brought death, destruction and terror in the regions of Lazio, Umbria and Marche.
Confcooperative has decided to activate a dedicated bank account to help member of cooperatives that suffered damages and families of cooperators involved.
Here the coordinates of the bank account that we have opened dedicated to contribute to emergencies and reconstruction:
Bank: BCC ROMA Reason: “Popolazioni colpite dal Terremoto del Centro Italia del 24 agosto 2016”
IBAN: IT 62 T 08327 03221000000004711    Swing Code: ROMAITRR
The news from our coop members in the affected areas are not very comforting. A preliminary survey, still very difficult to do, shows a picture of great concern for the many people involved and for many still missing. The area most affected, even from the population point of view, is the province of Rieti.
With regard to the most affected area of the province of Rieti, in agreement with the President of the cooperative Velinia, Aurelio Saulli, a collection point for basic necessities was opened.
We can, therefore, refer to the cooperative Velinia to send aid materials and then, the cooperative will sort the products, in coordination with civil protection and in concert with the local Mayors, according to the needs, trying to also cover fractions less reached by relief.
The following are the references of the cooperative Velinia:
COOPERATIVE Velinia
Via della cooperazione 2 – Borgovelino (RI)
Tel: 0746 578329 Fax: 0746 580335 E-mail: info@coopvelinia.com
Pres. Saulli Aurelio +39 393 5447848
The genres that are most needed are:

  • Food (ALL LONG STORAGE): pasta, canned foods, long-life milk, biscuits, flour, water, dishes, cutlery and plastic cups and napkins.
  • Children: powdered milk, clothes, creams, wipes, diapers, homogenized, pacifiers, baby bottles and toys;
  • Hygiene products: soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, towels, sanitary napkins for women, bathrobes, plastic sandals;
  • Linen products: Sheets, blankets, sleeping bags;
  • Shoes: Shoes for men, women and children.

We need everyone’s help! Thank you for what you can do!

AfricHand Project for a 100% African cooperative milk supply chain in Mozambique

A 100% African dairy cooperative supply chain to fight children malnutrition in Mozambique. AfricHand Project is an initiative promoted by several Italian organizations operating in the field of international cooperation and in the agro-food sector for the development of a cooperative milk supply chain in the region of Beira, in Mozambique. Coopermondo is partner and strong supporter of the project led by CEFA Onlus,  CAM (Consorzio Associazioni per il Mozambico) and Granarolo with the support of FEDER Unacoma, Alliance of Italian Cooperatives – Emilia Romagna, A.I.A., Emilia-Romagna Region and the Municipality of Reggio Emilia.
In a rural area, in the center of the country, we want to begin from small rural communities to promote sustainable and democratic economy and at the same time fighting hunger and malnutrition that are still affecting too many children and pregnant mothers in the region, extending this process of growth to the whole society.
The first step of AfricHand will be at a local level: to equip rural communities with cattle and teaching these future farmers the techniques for creating sustainable farming sector, where the production of fodder for the animals feed represents an additional way for efficient utilization the reconverted land for agriculture. However, producing milk is not enough. It is necessary to transform and sell it in the urban centers where the demand for milk, yogurt and cheese is growing.
Beira, Mozambique’s second city and an important river port, will become the beating heart of this project, contributing to the development of a 100% African supply chain that will increase local production and reduce dependency on imports. This will trigger a positive economic circuit that will allow the families of the farmers to have new and important economic resources through which ensure that children can go to school, the only real long-term investment for the future of the country.
AfricHand Project will also address another important issue. In Mozambique, in fact, almost half of the population suffers from chronic malnutrition, that starts as early as pregnancy states till limiting the development in the early years of life, influencing the whole existence of the new generations. That’s why the project will also supply milk and dairy products to pregnant women and to children under five years of age, integrating their diet with food produced locally, with a high nutritional profile and capable of making the difference.
To quote the words of the President of Coopermondo, Francesco Carri: “The AfricHand Project perfectly reflects Coopermondo’s commitment to international development cooperation: strengthening small local producers through the sharing of skills and experiences from the Italian co-operative business model, which not only guarantees economic efficiency within territories but it also coneys social values such as equity, democracy and social inclusion.”
AfricHand Project aims at improving the living conditions of rural populations in Mozambique by finding the resources to do so within the same community: local people have to be the protagonists of their own development! But in order to begin, it needs everyone’s help: let’s give the kickoff of this game towards a Mozambique where sustainable farming can bring hope to a population that is struggling to find its normality.
Give us a hand – starting with a glass of milk! #AfricHand
 
Download the brochure
For general coordination and infromation regarding the project:
Paolo Chesani | p.chesani@cefaonlus.it
Giovanni Beccari | g.beccari@cefaonlus.it
Tel. +39 051520285

Cooperatives at the UN – HLPF for Sustainable Development Goals

PIn New York, from 11th to 20th July, meets the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the United Nations Platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The Forum brings together senior political officials and global stakeholders with the aim of promoting sustainable development by providing policy guidance and recommendations.
At a side event, the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) presented the first results of www.coopsfor2030.coop platform created to engage the cooperatives to the sustainable development goals. The global campaign #coopsfor2030 unites and involves cooperatives in the implementation process of the SDGs. Coopermondo has publicly committed to “contribute to eradicating poverty by providing cooperative training and technical assistance in developing countries” in order to “create at least 10 new cooperatives managed by women, youth and indigenous people by 2020“. So far on the platform almost 100 pledges have been received.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, on the occasion of the International Day of Cooperatives, 2nd July 2016, has publicly acknowledged the importance of the cooperative experience for the achievement of the sustainable development goals: “I urge Governments to create an enabling environment for co- operatives to thrive and grow. Let us harness the power of co-operatives to achieve the SDGs and create a world of dignity and opportunity for all.”
The President of the ICA, Monique F. Leroux said: “We are grateful for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s support. Today is the day to commit to being a part of a different future than the one where we are otherwise headed. Ensuring that no one is left behind and contributing to eradicating poverty, co-operatives are unique in that they combine economic success with democratic governance and concern for community. This makes co-ops inherently sustainable businesses – significant social and economic actors. Co-ops generate more than 2.6 trillion USD in annual revenues and create over 250 million jobs.”
This fall, from 11 to 13 October 2016, the most important event for the development of the cooperative business, the International Summit of Cooperatives, will take place in Canada and will bring together leaders, employees, agencies and experts from around the world for a dialogue on the resolution of global problems and to support sustainable development goals (to learn more visit www.summit.coop).
 

Colombia, Peace agreement signed between the government and FARC

Europe woke up sad for the decision of the British people to leave the EU (Brexit), while across the ocean, in Colombia, people are celebrating a happy and historic day. After more than three years of negotiations, with alternating phases of tension and guerrillas and moments of great enthusiasm and hopes, the Colombian government and the FARC (Colombian Revolutionary forces born in the sixties of the last century) have reached a final peace agreement.
Peace talks were conducted in La Havana and the two parties’ representatives have decided to “outlaw” the use of weapons in the exercise of politics in Colombia. The main objective of the agreement is to give primacy to the “values of democracy, the free exchange of ideas and civilized debate in which there is no room for intolerance and persecution for political reasons”.
The parties have agreed to several compromises, including the commitment by the FARC to hand over all weapons within 180 days of signing the Final Agreement.
The process will be supervised by the United Nations with guarantees for both the government and the FARC. And the UN itself will be handed over all the weapons to be devoted to the construction of three monuments.
“It is a historic moment that Coopermondo is glad to celebrate with all the Colombian public and private partners with which it has the honor of working with for over five years”, says Director Danilo Salerno.
Download the full text of the agreement (in Spanish).