In Manila, The Philippines, the National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO) has been working for youth empowerment with Aflatoun since 2009. With a network of over 900 partner cooperatives nationwide, NATCCO is dedicated to fostering youth leadership and addressing the issue of succession planning within the cooperative movement.
The organisation implements the Aflatoun’s curriculum designed to offer essential training and mentorship to young members. This partnership has become a foundation, providing an extensive foundation for future cooperative leaders.
The Filipino Youth Challenge
In a country where youth make up over 40% of the population, NATCCO recognises the need to involve them actively in leadership roles and decision-making. The challenge is overcoming constraints on the youth’s leadership potential, especially in economically disadvantaged and remote regions.
NATCCO’s Practical Approach
NATCCO tackles this challenge by overseeing Laboratory Cooperatives, focusing on members under 18. These cooperatives offer essential training and mentorship, ensuring a smooth transition into full-fledged regular members. Additionally, dedicated youth committees elected from key island regions serve as dynamic platforms for fostering youth engagement, nurturing leadership, and facilitating succession planning.
Youth in Leadership – A Positive Impact
The real success of NATCCO’s initiatives is clear in the inclusion of Youth Committee officers within the organisation’s leadership structure. The election of a Youth Representative is a game-changer, giving the youth a powerful voice in governance structures, including positions on the board of directors. This strategic placement ensures that the perspectives and interests of young members are not only heard but actively considered in the decision-making processes. The Youth Representative’s authority significantly adds to the leadership journey of these elected officers, contributing to the progress and sustainability of cooperatives.
NATCCO’s journey exemplifies the committed effort to empower the youth and secure the future of cooperatives in The Philippines. Through comprehensive training, mentorship, and dynamic leadership platforms, NATCCO is nurturing a new generation of leaders ready to make a lasting impact on their communities. The success story of Youth Committee officers within NATCCO serves as a positive example of the power of youth engagement and leadership in cooperative movements.