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Every member has special value

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Fri, Mar 2. 2012

Editor: Congratulation to the organising IYY committee for the activities thus far to mark international Year of the Co operatives.{{more}}

The impressive showing on Friday the 24th shows that Vincentians want to be identified with the movement. My belief, however, is that the march could have been bigger and better if the individual cooperatives and credit unions had reached out to their members in a positive way to feel counted and valued. After all, “Every member has special value”, as pronounced by one of the bigger credit unions sometime ago, as its celebration theme.

I am one who believes in that theme, and was taken aback when I noticed within the march, members of boards, all committees and staff in some cases, all decked out in uniformed polo shirts. If this privilege was extended to at least thirty to fifty ordinary members, joining the committees and Board, marching behind their banners, the event would have been even more recognised and convincing.

More and more the ordinary members who save and borrow regularly to build the movement are too often slighted and taken for granted. So were the comments of such members as they stood by the side, viewing those in management and on staff. They wanted very much to be part of the activity, but felt alienated, uninformed and as part of the general public.

I want to believe that the children in school uniforms were invited to fill space rather than filling the co operative legacy of investing in the future generation. Wouldn’t it have been better to have a delegation of twenty junior savers from schools which are under the supervision/sponsorship of the credit unions, all marching in a T shirt also? These shirts carry a promotional message which will be around for a long time. Are the youths not valuable enough to carry the message also? Even the other youths in attendance should have been outfitted with IYY T shirts.

Finally, it is time that we stop believing that having an activity at Heritage Square with a readymade crowd will boost things. The liming crowd at the square care nothing about what is happening, unless it is entertainment and drinking. If the IYY committee wants to see the impact of the year’s activity they need to see the movement on its own, not mixed up with others. I look forward to the rest of the activities, although I think that we have been a bit ambitious. Two more observations, please do not take people’s children and have them bleaching out in the four o’ clock sun listening speeches, and it is time that the three larger credit unions pull their weight equally, and stop behaving as if it is a competition.

Thanks

A Passionate Member

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