The International Co-operative Alliance’s Global Youth Network is setting out a strategy that meets the needs of the young co-operators globally. The Network, which was established in 2003 to help young co-operators from different countries connect and share ideas, is currently conducting a study on youth co-operative movements.
The research will be examining where strong youth co-operative movements exist and what are the needs and challenges they face. Co-operators wishing to take part in the study can contact the Network for a questionnaire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth are a very important part of the future of the movement and are included in the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade. The Alliance is encouraging young co-operators to take part in its Global Conference in Antalya on 10-13 November. Young co-operators interested in speaking on one of the sub-themes during conference workshops can contact Rodrigo Gouveia, Director of Policy at email@example.com.
The Global Youth Network currently has three formal youth networks in Asia-Pacific, Americas and Africa. In November last year, the Alliance’s Regional Assembly for Africa approved the creation of a Youth Network for Africa. Lawrence Monyahi, who is national secretary for the South African National Apex Cooperative (SANACO), was elected interim president of the Network. Contact Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Similarly, Cooperatives Europe’s board of directors approved the creation of a European network of young co-operators at its last meeting on 27 November. The network will be formally launched at Cooperatives Europe’s General Assembly in Paris on 23-24 April. Young co-operators interested in joining the Network can contact Mirko Nodari at email@example.com.
Throughout 2014 regional youth networks have developed projects to promote youth participation in co-operatives and also encourage the development of educational strategies and opportunities for young people.
The Asia-Pacific Committee on Youth Cooperation has helped organise financial literacy workshops in Nepal. Students, academics and government officials took part in the workshops, which looked at how to set up credit co-operatives in schools and colleges across the state. Young co-operators from Sri Lanka, China, Nepal, Pakistan and India also have also helped ensure that co-operatives were mentioned in the Colombo Declaration on Youth that came out of the World Conference on Youth. The declaration highlights the need for creating an enabling business environment for alternative models of enterprises, including co-operatives.
In the Americas, the Committee on Youth Cooperation has promoted and participated in various youth events in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Argentina and Colombia. In July over 100 young people from 11 countries in the Americas attended the 1st Regional Seminar for Youth of the Americas in the Dominican Republic. This year the Committee in the Americas will focus on communications technology for youth, organising events for young people and extending relations with public agencies and universities. It will also look at training and development of methodologies and models of co-operative education for young people and capacity development of national youth committees.
Photo: Gabriela Buffa speaking at a youth workshop in Argentina. The evnt was jointly organised by the National Committee of Youth of Argentina and the Youth Regional Committee (c) the International Co-operative Alliance for the Americas