PRESS RELEASE – AN almost centurion-old tradition is acknowledged this time of year and with it comes the blessings and reassurances of those who created it so that we execute.
It is the generation of now who are charged with the responsibility of continuing the legacy imprinted by the Co-operative Movement, and it is up to this generation to carry the mantle and venerate its purpose. For if not us, who? And if not now, when?
Seeking to personify the focus of the Co-operative Movement, ‘Ensuring no one is left behind’, could not be a more appropriate theme for the celebration. It is at a time like this when social inequalities of all kinds plague the world that those who know of better must advocate for the democratic, non-discriminatory and fair economic solution that exists.
Co-operatives have always been ‘people-first’ institutions and reflect that philosophy through their operations. The slogan for this year seeks also to elaborate on the very first co-operative principle which denotes complete ‘Voluntary and Open Membership’ to those who accept the terms of membership.
Co-operatives, being an international model, mean access to extend these solutions to a multitude of sectors and industries globally, many of which are propelled by a profit-maximization concept that fosters further inequality simply because of the avarice of a few. Whether it be farming, transportation, fishing, credit facilities, insurance, medical and more, the honest application of the co-operative principles contribute to positive social impact of all demographics.
Although the words, ‘From each according to this ability, to each according to his need’, are borrowed from a slight differing social perspective, it is schools of thought such as this that is along the lines of where conversations within the movement start.
Recent research reveals that US$2.5 trillion dollars circulate through the top 300 co-operatives every year, which is then utilized by some 250 million people to create their livelihood. However, despite such a global imprint, it is by its very nature that a local community focus is maintained throughout each type of co-operative organization.
The model reminds that the power of a unit, whether considered individually or collectively, can and does effectively serve the need of the many. At its most elemental aspect, it emphasizes on the influence, particularly where capital-focused entities are diminishing.
Join the St. Lucia Co-operative Credit Union League and other co-operative entities worldwide as we celebrate International Co-operative Day, an event recognized on the first Saturday of July since 1923. Co-operators all over will continue to venerate for the positive change co-operatives and similarly driven organizations exude to everyone.