These video profiles were developed as part of the What Difference to Cooperatives Make? research.

The results of this study indicate cooperative members are better off economically and socially compared to their non-member counterparts. This finding is true in all four study countries even though local circumstances, geography, and history of the movement vary from country to country.

Featured Member Portrait

The following video profiles were developed as part of a 4-country study What Difference Do Cooperatives Make. In their own words cooperative members from around the world shared stories of their life journeys and experiences related to their membership in cooperative organizations. We featured members of agricultural, electric, housing, and saving and credit cooperatives, which helped their members in a variety of ways to better the lives of their families as well as communities in which they lived and worked. Today we share the story of yet another type of cooperative, organized and working in urban environment, creating a center for social, cultural, and educational activities with a special attention paid to vulnerable members of society.

WDDCM Research Studies

Previous Portraits

December 14, 2021

Meet Sam – manager of a wedding gowns cooperative business from the Philippines. When threatened by the Covid-19 pandemic, cooperatives helped Sam and other member businesses survive and overcome related shocks. Mutual help and support provided when needed, inclusion, and belief in members’ skills and dedication are cooperative values that make them what they are!

December 7, 2021

Meet Sabina – a coffee farmer from Peru. Irrigation system installed by the cooperative provided her and other local farmers with water to grow new corps and raise animals. We often forget to recognize the importance of this resource and only focus on it in moments of scarcity. For Sabina, water meant new opportunities so she was willing to apply the new technique with an open mind, dedication, and hard work.

December 1, 2021

Meet Florence – A Potato and vegetable farmer from Kenya. After retiring from a teaching job Florence engaged in farming and started an informal women support group to help them get better potato yields. A local Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO) helped when obtaining credit from other sources became impossible. Working and learning together, with Sacco’s technical support Florence was able to increase hers, and other women’s productivity and incomes.

October 27, 2021

Meet Úrsula– a coffee farmer from Sapse, Huancabamba, in Piura region of Peru. Ursula is the second generation of members in Norandino Cooperative which helped her learn how to handle coffee to get the most in quantity and quality. Under the cooperative umbrella producers like Úrsula are now active and respected agents for sustainable development in their region.

October 21, 2021

Meet Denis and Dominika – manager and member of consumer cooperative from Warsaw, Poland. By working for DOBRZE, they strive to make their store attractive to young residents of the city and promote ideas important to them and to other members: healthy organic food produced with concern for the environment, healthy lifestyle, fair treatment and good business relations with farmers and suppliers from rural areas adjacent to the city.

October 14, 2021

Meet James – owner of construction and transportation business from Kerugoya, Kirinyaga county in central Kenya. James is also an owner and manager of a tea plantation, and of a 3-story building offering office space for rent. His businesses employ 50 local residents. While celebrating October as the Month of Cooperatives, let’s congratulate James and his local cooperative partners and wish them continued success in the future.

October 7, 2021

Meet Dolores – corn farmer from the Philippines. After joining a savings and loan cooperative, Dolores was able to incrementally buy land and farm equipment. Over the years, she was able to gain financial skills and experience to manage loans obtained through the cooperative. She expanded her business and today generates income greater than ever before. This story of a woman-entrepreneur illustrates the potential agriculture holds for women!

September 27, 2021

Meet Elpido – cocoa farmer from Peru. Convinced a cooperative to support him and other local farmers to produce white cocoa; helped the whole community benefit from demand for, and popularity of this specialty product.

September 20,2021

Meet John – Transportation services provider from Kenya. Local Sacco (Savings and loan) helped John acquire motorbikes, then, over time, facilitated purchasing a home and recently helped finance buying a car. These investments brought greater income and quality of life for the whole family.

September 15, 2021

Meet Fely – clothing business owner and teacher from the Philippines. Electricity provided by a local cooperative ensured reliable access to power essential for her business. As time went by electric co-op also helped Fely establish and operate a school for local kids.

September 6, 2021

Meet Ola – regional governance specialist from Poland. By joining a cooperative, Ola was able to get into what later became an individually-owned housing development which over time grew to be a vital community and support network.
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