The 2019 international day for co-operatives was celebrated on 7th July 2019 amidst a sharp rise in the number of savings and co-operative societies. The day which is celebrated globally now becomes a sharp focus for financial analysts who are looking to empower the masses specifically those seeking to move from one social class to another.
The theme for this year’s observation was befitting – COOPS FOR DECENT WORK – to the empowerment of the society. The objective is to see human development and social justice become top priorities for the investors. It is a call for investors in the Co-operative space to learn how co-operatives contribute to decent working environments. Globally, the co-operatives remain a key source for employment worldwide. Different studies by the International Co-operatives Alliance have found that, by comparison with employment in other sectors, cooperative job.
- Tend to be more sustainable over time
- Show a smaller gap in earnings between higher and lower-paid positions, and
- Are more evenly distributed between rural and urban areas.
Given today’s widening inequality, increased job insecurity and high unemployment levels, particularly among youth, the 2019 #Coopsday theme was chosen to support Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 “Inclusive development and decent work.” At Optiven Group, this is especially important seeing that the company has partnered with different SACCOs to empower their members.
Through the years Optiven Limited, the real estate wing of the large Optiven Group, has been promoting opportunities for investors to purchase land in instalments. The recent engagement with the SACCO’s has broadened the base for socio-economic empowerment where the SACCO steps in to finance members to acquire their investment in property.
ABOVE: Mr. George Wachiuri [left] when he hosted officials of the Kenya USA Diaspora Sacco at the Optiven Group Head Office during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to provide properties for members.
Speaking ahead of the observation in Kenya, Group Chief Executive George Wachiuri noted that : “Co-operatives in Kenya have played a big role in financing individuals towards achieving their goals at all levels. It is the power of coming together for a common goal that has seen individuals engage in economic activities that are mutually beneficial for all.”
His sentiments come as a number of investors have been beneficiaries of the co-operative movement and have not only improved their lifestyles, but gone back to school, finished projects they started and for some, paid off their land payments to receive the all-important title deeds for purchases of land. Wachiuri while quoting the report by the European Consensus on Development 2017, he noted that : “co-operatives have an important role to play in the creation of decent jobs and the socio-economic empowerment of local communities.”
On how the co-operative model applies to the operations at Optiven Limited, Wachiuri says, ‘the democracy given to members is something we have inculcated at the company and it enables staff to not only own what they do but also share in how to better governance and bring out three aspects – inclusivity, sustenability and engagement.
At Optiven we are all about values not just the corporate ones but as well as the individual contribution of the staff. Our outcomes have seen a rise in efficientcy, participation, and a strong sense of brand identity’. His sentiments come shortly after the company was recognized as a leading employer in the East African region at an event in Daresalam Tanzania.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF COOPERATIVES
The United Nations International Day of Cooperatives is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July. The aim of this celebration is to increase awareness of cooperatives. The event underscores the contributions of the cooperative movement to resolving the major problems addressed by the United Nations and to strengthening and extending the partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other actors.
This year’s celebration was two pronged as it marked the 25th United Nations International Day of Cooperatives and the 97th International Cooperative Day. “Cooperatives help to preserve employment and promote decent work in all sectors of the economy. Through participation, members have a motivation to change their lives, communities and the world.”
President of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA)
Contact Optiven Group:
Tel: 0790 300300