Every day, cooperatives around the world are improving people’s livelihoods and boosting local sustainable development. The cooperative model not only guarantees decent working conditions, but it also boosts social transformation and helps build resilient communities that reduce social and economic inequalities.
With support from the International Co-operative Alliance-EU Partnership on Cooperative Development (#coops4dev), researcher Sara Vicari and filmmaker Andrea Mancori in January launched a trip around the world to visit and document some of the most innovative and inspiring examples of cooperation from different economic sectors across five continents.
The aroundtheworld.coop project will provide a thought-provoking overview of the existing network of cooperatives having a powerful positive impact on the daily lives of people everywhere. Not only will the documentary series offer poignant, immersive stories, but also the opportunity to identify similarities and differences among cooperatives that will contribute to an in-depth and analytical understanding of the movement worldwide.
The project also aims to raise awareness of the role of cooperatives in the development of collective action and share knowledge on methodologies for participatory action research with cooperatives.
Having started their trip in their homeland Italy, so far Sara and Andrea have already travelled across Africa and are headed to the U.S. in late May/early June. In Southern Italy, they visited the cooperatives Casa di Alice and the Altri Orizzonti – Jerry Essan Masslo. By regenerating farmland confiscated from the mafia, these cooperatives from the commune of Castel Volturno support social and economic integration of migrants.
The second stop was in Imsouane, Morocco, where they received a warm welcome from the argan oil cooperative Toudarte. This project is offering a more prosperous future for more than 100 Berber women, not only promoting social and economic development, but also empowering its women member-owners.
The Rwandan cooperative COPRORIZ-Ntende was the third stop for the documentary team. Aside from the different services provided to its more than 3,700 members, this primarily rice cooperative is also carrying out responsible investment based on the voice of all its members. All in all, it represents a participatory and sustainable business project that has eradicated famine in the region.
Watch the videos on ICA’s YouTube channel.