Alliance CoopYouth Network Buttons




Youth Cooperating for a Just and Sustainable Economy

We want to take this opportunity to celebrate the “International Youth Day” on 12 August by promoting and spreading the voices of youth.

There are countless examples nowadays that show how young people are organized and involved in various community projects that focus on cooperation and solidarity. These may be social, cultural or economic activities, but all of them are taken with responsibility and commitment, and in all of them mutual support and sharing come first.

All these initiatives seek to provide answers to some of the most pressing problems of these times: the lack of work, precarious work, hunger, lack of opportunities for access to education and job training, access to affordable housing and healthcare, among many others. The problems are about young people’s rights, rights that are not fulfilled because most live in societies with deep inequalities and under an economic model that favours the concentration of wealth, generating exclusion. Youth are often the weakest link in a system that increasingly concentrates wealth in a few hands.

We know that foundational activities for youth development include being part of a group, of a project, to study or to work, as well as promoting health, community ties, social inclusion and peaceful coexistence. Co-operatives, as spaces for learning and practicing democracy, are valuable places for young people’s social learning and training.

The co-operative movement has vast experience in this subject and the possibility of making available many tools to drive major social changes. As youth of the co-operative movement, we are committed to building a community and people-centered economy - we believe it is necessary to work together to promote this model based on active participation, autonomy, collective management, gender equity, values ​​and principles of co-operation. With the cooperative system we build economic democracy, generate wealth in our communities and organize our future.

For all these reasons, we invite you to think together the best strategies to get youth to be involved in the present as a key player in the growth and sustainability of the co-operative movement; to support youth projects and initiatives, and especially to work together to build a better society.

Gabriela Buffa, 
President of the Global Youth Network



  1. Regional Updates
    1. Americas
    2. Asia-Pacific
    3. Africa
  2. Network Spotlights
    1. Building a future of cooperation for the young generation (France)
    2. Student Savings Clubs (Nepal)
    3. Communication by & about the Social & Solidarity Economy
    4. The Tent Receives President's Award for Excellence in Volunteer Org (Israel)
  3. Sustainable Development Goals Video Contest (UN)
  4. Upcoming Events
    1. Global Co-operative Youth Workshop & Assembly
    2. Transnational Partnership Hackathon
    3. Young Leaders Program at the International Summit
  5. Call for Nominations in Africa!
  6. Become a Member of the Alliance CoopYouth Network!


1.1 Americas

Contribution of youth and cooperatives to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals Videoconference: This video conference is held the 18 of August from 10 to 12 hours, Costa Rica time zone. It will address the following topics:

  • Young people and its relationship with the SDGS
  • Actions carried out or could be cooperatives to contribute to the attainment of the SDGS
  • Personal commitment to achieving the SDGS
  • Actions that are considered good or bad practices in the fulfillment of the ODS.

Those who wish to participate must register at this link before August 14. This videoconference will be used as input to one of the activities of the Youth Regional Meeting in the IV Summit Cooperative of the Americas, from 14 to 18 November in Montevideo, Uruguay. For more information write to

This activity will be conducted in Spanish.


1.2 Asia-Pacific

A. BALI (Inodnesia) To Host coop Youth Summit : The ICA Asia and Pacific will organize the COOP YOUTH SUMMIT 2016 in Bali, Indonesia from 19-24 September 2016 in collaboration with the KubuGunung Credit Union, Bali, Indonesia on the theme – Youth, Co-operatives and the Power of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. For more, click HERE

IFFCO-Etwah Programme - Equip to Empower in India : In the year 2012, a livelihood and skill development programme was started by a young leader of the Indian Farmers’ Fertilizer Cooperative (IFFCO) for the empowerment of women-youth in Etawah(Uttar Pradesh), India. The programme aims at equipping individuals with (micro-mini) industrial machinery for self employment. Queries can be made at

KCHSU’s YCWP - Youth Co-operative Wing of Pakistan : Youth Co-operative Wing of Pakistan or the YCWP is a Programme initiated by the Karachi Cooperative Housing Societies Union Ltd (KCHSU) on the potential of the co-operative enterprise and the movement at large, besides involving them in identifying the cooperative difference. This awarenss building excerise of the cooperative movement in Pakistan can be found at and queries can be made at

NATCCO’s engagement with youth: Leaders in the coop movement in the Philippines believed in self-help and in the idea that people in poverty need to create opportunities for themselves to improve their economic well-being. Laboratory cooperatives led and managed by youth are connected with the mainstream cooperative system via professionals and members of credit (union) cooperatives’ staff, members, investors and depositors. The credit union that is local to a laboratory cooperative (established in schools) volunteers in accordance with the Rules of the national Cooperative Development Authority  and engages as a guardian cooperative, and offers the immediate technical and infrastructural support to youth in cooperatives. This exercise that began about 20 years back has manifested in a robust community with a generation spectrum of what are now 5 - 32 years old citizens, directly engaged with coops. All regions of the Philippines including the scenic Visayas has seen the proliferation of such ‘young’ cooperatives.NATCCO’s youth programme titled ‘Aflatoun’ has been addressing the need for quality coop education by its activities and projects, recently in the field of financial education and cooperation among cooperatives. Queries can be made at,

ONLINE MEETING OF THE ICYC - 2 MAY 2016: The committee met as planned on 2 May 2016 with the attendance of members from Bhutan, India, Pakistan and the Philippines. There were five serving members and one member in waiting who attended the meeting. The next meeting will be in August-September to mark the international day youth.

1.3 Africa

BOLESWA Tripartite Youth Cooperative Forum in June, 2016: This is an initiative from youth co-operators from Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland in Southern Africa established in 2012 with the aim of establishing and enhancing collaboration between the youth co-operatives of these three countries. BOLESWA was formalized in December 2015, and has a Technical Standing Committee with a 3-year elected term of office. On 01 June 2016, the BOLESWA Tripartite Youth Cooperative Forum was successfully launched and also recognized by the Alliance Africa. The Launch was followed by the BOLESWA Youth Cooperative Exchange Programme where the youth co-operative leaders had discussions and agreed on the implementation of agreed upon milestones and the terms of reference. The Tripartite agreed to have a central desk that will coordinate and facilitate youth issues and establish a monitoring and evaluation mechanism among youth cooperatives that will measure the impact and performance of the previous forums in BOLESWA countries. This would enable the youth to take stock on their involvement in co-operatives development as described in the African Union Agenda 2063 and policies of their three countries.

International Course in Israel – 19th June to 13th July: Themed “COOPERATING OUT OF POVERTY IN AFRICA”, twenty five (25) participants from 10 African countries attended a short course in Co-operatives and Enterprise Management in Israel. This course was conducted by the Negev Institute of Strategies of Peace and Development with the cooperation of MASHAV- the Israel Agency for International Development Cooperation, in collaboration with the Alliance Africa. Five youth aged between 23 and 35 years old attended this course.


2.1 Spotlight: Building a future of cooperation for the young generation

The mobilization of the young people against the French government’s proposed labor reforms known as loi travail (work law) during the first semester of 2016, especially within the movement “Nuit debout” simultaneously points out their distress and their desire for another economy, a different society. In 2016, the unemployment rate for under30-year-oldsis 24.2%. However, 91.4% of the A-level candidates have obtained their high school diploma (baccalauréat) and44% of young people between 25 and 29 years old have graduated from higher education. Social economy represents 2.4 billion employees and this number is increasing. Can cooperation be a perspective for the future?

In 2014, a historical law on social economy was voted in France that recognizes in particular the experimental worker cooperative “Business and Employment Cooperative” (BEC). Moreover, we can count more and more university level Master’s degrees specialized in social economy management.

BEC emerged 20 years ago in a context of unemployment and the rise of the creation of micro-enterprise. It regroups entrepreneurs who develop their own activity but gives them the status of employee, which provides them with social security. The cooperative fosters accountability, training and accompaniment. BEC represents an alternative to micro-entrepreneurship. The BEC Coopaname, based in the region of Paris, has around 900 working members but the cooperative realized that the average age of the entrepreneurs is 42 years old… and BEC is not very well known in society. Let’s recall the cooperative principle about education and training!

For 7 years now, Coopaname had developed a project for youth about education for economic citizenship. The aim was triple: inform young people about the history, the values and the work in social economy, in cooperative and also BEC, to accompany young people in their project development and propose them an alternative to micro-entrepreneurship in BEC or in other structures. It was the opportunity to enlarge the young people’s knowledge about the different organizations where they could work and how to work with others, not only being in competition but also in cooperation.

Practically, Coopaname has developed partnerships with different educational institutions and community education organizations, notably in the national network Piments1. Conferences, workshops, debates have been organized, as well as meetings with the cooperative’s members and visits. The aim was also to help young people develop their own activity, their competences and know-how, to facilitate the emergence of a young entrepreneur’s network. 2000 young people have heard about Coopaname and Piments, 50 young persons were accompanied in their project.

For 5 years, Coopaname has also participated in the project Coop’à-prendre, which is an innovative experiment in universities. The aim is to give students the opportunity to learn about cooperation in creating and managing their own cooperative.

This testimony, as a member of Coopaname, as an under-30 years old woman, as the co-ordinator of the youth project of Coopaname, to invite all the cooperative to participative to this challenge of sharing their culture, propose alternative paths to work, produce together and learn together. Young people need to hear more about cooperative and cooperation and solidarity in secondary schools, high schools and universities. We need to be able to answer to the needs of the young generations. We can build another world with the cooperation project and we need to build it with the next generation. [Justine Ballon, France]

1 The national network Piments gathers associations and cooperatives from 8 differents french territories.


2.2 Spotlight: Students Savings Clubs

The ICA Asia-Pacific Committee on Youth Cooperation, through its member, Ms. Indira Panta, carried out follow-up workshops to its pilot initiative on financial literacy for youth cooperation and has organized conducted 1034 workshops on financial literacy in order to create saving clubs for youth in formal educational institutions. Workshops were coordinated with the help of local credit unions. This model is based on the Philippines’ experience of laboratory co-operatives for youth and the workshops have played a major role in the drafting of the Nepalese youth policy and the revision & youth vision 2025 document. The committee has lobbied with Nepalese federations since 2014 and thereafter with primary societies to engage youth directly in socio-economic development. This new movement is making scored of children in various parts of the Himalayan republic, sensitive about savings and nurture a savings habit. The latest review of the pilot program was organized at the Gopaleshwor Savings & Credit Coop for the areas around Kathmandu (capital) namely, Panuati, on 5th August 2016. The objective of the program was finding out the impact of students saving club. There are now 12 student saving clubs in the district with students strength of 1000 persons as saving members. Gopaleshwor SACCOS has assisted in collecting deposits of more than NRs 600,000.00 (USD 8000.00) with another co-operative working in the same region Nityanath Savings and Credit Cooperative, collecting around NRs 125,000.00 (USD 2500.00) in one month! The response of all participants comprising of all stakeholders i.e. from the school management, teachers, students and parents have been overwhelmingly positive about this drive. According to feedback received, this drive is viewed as a milestone for the children in the community as it brings personal financial management in to a young persons mind. 


2.3 Spotlight: Communication by and about the Social and Solidarity Economy

In Argentina, there are 34,000 cooperatives and mutuals, of which almost 400 are enterprises which were recovered by their workers. These experiences are wide spread all over Argentina, form North to South; and yet not many people know about them.

As “Proyecto Coopar Ltda.”, a workers cooperative, we, young and motivated professionals from different areas, wanted to change this. Despite the fact that we had been educated to develop our skills in the private sector, we decided to build our own workers cooperative and it was in 2009, in the very first premises of “Proyecto Coopar Ltda.” that we took on steps to spread the word of the Social and Solidarity Economy. It was then that “Ansol” was born. “Ansol” is the first News Agency from the Social and Solidarity Economy of Argentina, a communication tool by the social economy, aiming at reaching out to people who do not know much about this field, trying to show them the reality and potential of this alternative way of organizing the economy.

As a group of young professionals, we understand that the management and the control of an enterprise should be in the hands of the workers, but also, that the path of “self-management” and sustainability is not an easy one, although not impossible. Since we started, we have been improving our project, offering more products and services, such as web design and digital printing. Today, we are proud to say that we can offer our clients the full package of media design and communication in order to fulfil their needs. Nevertheless “Ansol” is the part we most value and care for.

“Ansol” has become a reference for the solidarity sector of the economy in our country with influence in public institutions and on governmental levels. For our cooperative the main objective, apart from the recognition by ministers and public officials, is the appreciation of the workers from the self-managed companies.

All along the way we have been accompanied by other self-managed enterprises, without them we would have not been able to get to where we are today. We are part of the “Red Colmena” (Beehive Network), an organization that links cooperatives from the communication sector; the “Red Grafica” (Graphic Network), a cluster of worker cooperatives in the printing sector; “Fedecaba”, our Federation of worker cooperatives and associations in the capital city of Buenos Aires, which works continuously on building a different economy; finally we are part of the CNCT “Confederación Nacional de Cooperativas de Trabajo” and also of “Cooperar”, the apex organization of Argentina.

At the same time, we feel part of a current, which has started to rise in Latin America during the past 20 years, a not institutionalized movement which raises the voices of different kinds of people who call out for more participation and democratization in politics and economics and put emphasis in the integration of youth as a fundamental pillar of a just and equitable development.

Despite the current political changes in our country, the demands for a just, social and solidarity economy have not ceased to exist, which is why the growth of “Ansol” is of substantial relevance. We are a means to show the reality of the Social and Solidarity Economy, and yet we are not just a normal news agency, since we identify with and believe in the demands of this alternative economy which we wish to amplified since we are part of it.  [Gabriel Buffa, Argentina]


2.4 Spotlight: The Tent Receives President’s Award for Excellence in Volunteer Organization

The AJEEC NISPED Arab Bedouin Volunteer Center (“The Tent”) recently received the President’s Award for Excellence in Volunteer Organization. The Tent, which currently engages 1,300 volunteers, aims to foster values ​​of active citizenship, community engagement, volunteerism and the pursuit of equality between Jewish and Arabic communities in Israel.

Each year, the President’s Office selects and honors individuals and organizations who have had excelled in contributing to Israeli society. This year, President Rivlin chose to focus on organizations and individuals who promote dialogue, tolerance and partnership between the various groups in Israeli society.

The Tent was established in 2002 with the aim of including the Negev Arab-Bedouin community into the broader civil society landscape in Israel. By recruiting volunteers from the community itself, the Tent encourages the values ​​ active citizenship and works to create shared space between Arabs and Jews in the Negev.

The Tent’s 1,300 young volunteers include both Arab-Bedouins and Jews, between the ages of 15-25.  Volunteers include university students, high school students and gap-year participants. A total of 50,000 children, youth and adults benefit annually from the Tent’s various activities.

Some of the programs aim to strengthen and prepare the younger generation in the Bedouin society for leadership positions.  Another program is seeks to create a shared space for Jews and Arabs in the Negev.  The Tent’s dedicated staff, managed by director Ms. Wafa Ibn Beri, consists of  thirty people, including Jews and Arabs, who work together  to identify, train and facilitate a wide number of community volunteers.


3. Sustainable Development Goals Video Contest

Our colleagues in the Education Outreach Section of the United Nations Department of Public Information would greatly appreciate your support in mobilizing youth throughout the world to submit videos for a new initiative. Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 have been invited to submit 10- to 15-second videos in English on how the Sustainable Development Goals can build peace. The most engaging videos will be featured on the United Nations International Day of Peace YouTube channel. Some will even be shown at an official event at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 16 September. 

Videos will start appearing on the channel ( from now through 21 September, the International Day of Peace. More details can be found here.


4. Upcoming Events

 Global Co-operative Youth Workshop & Assembly

The Global Youth Network of the International Co-operative Alliance is organising a Workshop and Assembly on 13 October from 15h00 to 18h00 in Quebec, Canada during the International Summit. For the first 30 minutes, we will have an Assembly to focus on statutory matters: filling a vacancy on the Executive Committee for a member at large in Africa, approval of proposed constitutional amendments, and approval of minutes from Antalya. Then, we will move into presentations on the feasibility study for a co-operative social media platform, youth education and training, and a global consultation of the co-operative youth movement. Then, we will breakout into groups to discuss ideas for the global youth network 2016 work plan and strategy.

Transnational Partnerships Hackathon

Cooperatives Europe and the European network of young cooperators are organising a hackathon on 12 October from 9h30 to 12h00 in Quebec, Canada at the International Summit. This activity will aim to stimulate the creation of transnational partnerships among young cooperators, and to create the tools to support the creation and development of youth networks at the national, regional and global levels. All young cooperators are very welcome to participate! A hackathon is a meeting whose aim is collaborative development of an idea or proposal - it allows participants to make contributions to a project and learn together.

Young Leaders Program at the International Summit

The International Summit will have a Young Leaders Program at the International Summit with a reduced registration fee. To learn more and register, visit


5. Call for Nominations in Africa!

The current Executive Committee for the Alliance Youth Network has an open seat for a member at large in the Africa region. The election will take place on 13 October 2016 at its Assembly. We are inviting nominations from member organisations of the International Co-operative Alliance. The Executive Committee shall be made up of youth who will not exceed the age of 35 during their time in office and shall serve until the remainder of the term, which is until the next election in 2019. For the full requirements and composition of the Executive Committee, please review the constitution of the Youth Network here.

This is an excellent opportunity for youth in Africa to learn more about the global co-operative movement, make a difference globally, and learn valuable collaborative leadership and skills. To nominate someone, please contact Mrs Gretchen Hacquard at to get more information and the nomination form.


6. Become a member of the Network!

Join young people from all over who are empowering themselves through cooperation! To join the Alliance Youth Network as a member, please fill out the membership form today!


Periodic newsletter from the Global Youth Network of the International Cooperative Alliance.