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Partner of the Week: The Most Holy Rosary Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Times of COVID-19

Posted in Partner of The Week on November 24, 2020

The Most Holy Rosary Multi-Purpose Cooperative is a growing cooperative NGO, located in Rizal, Philippines. Their motto is: Building a better future together, which they work to achieve by providing a variety of programmes and services that address the economic, social and cultural needs of its members. The cooperative’s focus is to empower its members with the necessary tools to become autonomous members of society, and to prepare the next generation of cooperative leaders to share their growth with future participants. This ensures the sustainability of the communities’ access to social and financial education and support, leading to long lasting positive change.  

The Most Holy Rosary Multi-Purpose Cooperative offers: 

    • Saving initiatives: secured deposits to be withdrawn depending on what kind of saving members are interested in
    • Social and financial education: Aflatoun curricula
    • Loans: multipurpose, micro, housing, personal, business
    • An online platform for sellers and couriers to do business.

Partnership with Aflatoun 

The Most Holy Rosary Multi-Purpose Cooperative has been in partnership with Aflatoun International since 2017, by means of Aflatoun’s partnership with NATCCO Network. This February, The Most Holy Rosary Multi-Purpose Cooperative started using Aflatoun curriculum to teach children of all ages the power of social and financial education, and to instil in them the habit of saving. Since, they have reached over 9000 children and youth, and their cooperative members have earned over 16 million pesos in savings. 

Click here to learn more about the Most Holy Rosary Multi-Purpose Cooperative’s partnership with Aflatoun, see our feature of them as partner of the week earlier this year! 

Partnership in times of COVID-19 

The pandemic has negatively impacted education systems worldwide, especially within the region of Rizal, Philippines. Parents have shared concern over the continuation of education during the pandemic, causing The Most Holy Rosary Multi-Purpose Cooperative to propose alternative education solutions as to not limit children and young peoples’ access to education as a result of COVID-19. 

In response to the threat of schools closing down due to COVID-19, the cooperative has introduced online classes, in addition to Blended Learning, which is a combination of online learning and modules. 

They have also introduced a School Learning Continuity Plan, which called for more volunteers to uphold adapting education services, through a variety of volunteering options: 

Connect a learner (CAL): 

    • This is a programme where volunteers with or without internet access, open up a part of their household (garage or any open space) as a comfortable learning space for members of their neighbourhood who lack adequate learning spaces

Learner Resources Move (LR): 

    • This volunteer programme entails that volunteers who are able to be mobile, help deliver learning resources to the homes of students who have limited access to school learning materials.

Learning  Resource Community Kiosk: 

    • Volunteers at local community centres in remote areas distribute learning materials to students and parents. 
'Connect a Learner' in action at Puray Elementary School
Learning Resource Movers of Puray Elementary School
Learning Resource Community Kiosk

The Most Holy Rosary Multi-Purpose Cooperative have successfully utilised Aflatoun’s network and worked with 32 Aflatoun Partner Schools in order to call for more volunteers and helpful information. As a result, more than 50 volunteers have supported the School Learning Continuity Plan, alongside 100% of students from Aflatoun schools enrolling to participate in the programme. They have mentioned that many teachers and parents have become Coop members because of the Aflatoun programme. 

Reaching the most vulnerable during the pandemic  

Many children and young people who reside in remote areas are often part of indigenous communities that frequently get left out of existing education systems. The cooperative has successfully overcome this with their community-based programme which has strengthened local and remote communities, all while providing access to education to even the most vulnerable.  

The Most Holy Rosary Multi-Purpose Cooperative has shown great resilience during this pandemic and have actively overcome many hurdles to access to children and young peoples’ education. Together with Aflatoun network and curricula, they have shown the impact and importance of supporting communities with social and financial education, alongside financial programmes that allow members to become empowered savers and future leaders. They have been an inspiring example of how to reach the most vulnerable children and young people, but also how to use local networks to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic!