International year of the Cooperatives launched
January 10, 2012
International year of the Cooperatives launched

President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cooperative League Junior Bacchus has described the International Year of the Cooperatives (IYC) 2012 as a “missionary year” for the cooperative movement.{{more}}

Speaking at a media launch for the IYC 2012, held at the Peace Memorial Hall on Monday, Bacchus encouraged members of the local Co-operative League, to use the twelve months of IYC to share the mission and spread the message of cooperatives here.

Bacchus told the small gathering that although there are over nine credit unions in the country, enough is not being done to attract a more positive response from Vincentians.

“…I am calling all the members of this sector to rally together, especially during this year of the International Year of the Cooperatives, we must rally together.

“I sometimes wonder whether we are not doing ourselves an injustice as a movement by not spreading the gospel of the cooperative sector…” Bacchus inquired.

The SVG Cooperative League president further noted that there are many benefits that can be derived from joining the credit unions, but many people are not aware of these benefits.

Bacchus said that persons have been complaining of high interest rates from other financial institutions in relation to loans.

He, however, stated that because enough information is not being disseminated to the public from the credit unions, “that’s why we are not seeing more and more people rushing to this sector.”

The theme for International Year of the Cooperatives is “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World”.

The IYC seeks to encourage the growth and establishment of cooperatives all over the world. It also encourages individuals, communities and governments to recognize the agency of cooperatives in helping to achieve internationally agreed upon development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals.

Minister with responsibility for Cooperatives Frederick Stephenson officially launched the International Year of the Cooperatives.

Stephenson, who publicly announced that he has been a member of the Kingstown Cooperative Credit Union for the past fifteen years, also echoed some of the sentiments of Bacchus.

The Minister said that it was very important that persons become more involved in credit unions and also for the credit union to share more information with the public, in order to generate the positive response.

He also stressed the government’s commitment to supporting all the IYC activities planned for 2012. The local IYC committee has over eighty planned activities.

According to Stephenson, this was made possible when on October 22, 2011, “Parliament recognizing the importance of the Cooperative sector in St Vincent and the Grenadines, we passed a resolution designating 2012 as the International Year of the Cooperatives…”

Other speakers at Monday’s media launch were Cecil Jackson, Registrar of Co-operatives, and Director for the SVG Cooperative League, Daniel Robinson.

Shaunelle Mc Kenzie also performed the winning them song for IYC 2012, ‘Building co-operation’.

Mc kenzie is expected to travel to Jamaica with other members of the SVG Co-operative League on June 23 for a meeting of the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions. There she will also perform the song that is also being requested by the United Nations to be their theme song for International Year of the Cooperatives.(AA)