Co-op Principles in Practice for Stronger Communities


Cooperatives are organizations that are owned and controlled by their members. As democratically managed enterprises based on equality, solidarity and social responsibility, co-ops respond to the needs of their communities and are dedicated to the 6th Cooperative Principle of “cooperation among cooperatives” that contributes to community development. During this session, we’ll hear from cooperatives in Central America that are making rural and urban communities stronger by creating economic opportunities and improving livelihoods through employment, food security, financial access, health and other social services. We’ll also learn how cooperatives and other cooperative stakeholders can engage youth and provide professional and personal advancement for this age group so that they are better prepared to remain in and contribute to the development of their communities. This session will begin with remarks from Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA); Mileydi Guilarte, Deputy Assistant Administrator of USAID’s Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean; and Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Two panel discussions will follow, featuring Carmen Lomellin, Judith Hermanson, Sigfredo BenĂ­tez, Alex Rosales, Pablo Rosales, Britt Cruz, Colombia Perez, Ashley Holst, Roodline Volcy, Monica Chepkuiri and Muhammad Risal. This session also includes the presentation of OCDC’s International Co-op Innovation and Champion Award and will close with a message from Carla Decker, president and CEO of DC Credit Union, and Graciela Fernández Quintas, president of Cooperatives of the Americas.

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