Initiating a Cooperative among Health Workers

The health workers being taught on making an anti-fungal
soap which is sold through the cooperative.
One of the best strategy in engaging or mobilizing the community is the setting-up of a cooperative. A cooperative requires 15 members and an approval from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) of the Philippines. On request, the CDA can provide someone to assist the CHWs on the By-laws, Rules of Articles and orientation.

There are different types of cooperatives, namely: Credit and Savings, Consumer, Production, Marketing and Services. The most common type is the credit and savings, which unknowlingly to Filipinos is informally being practiced as "pa-utang" or "palugit". "Pa-utang" or lending of money is so popular in all socio-economic status suggesting that such program can definitely attract participation from the people. More importantly, the program can teach the community how to save and to pool money inorder to assist their fellowman in times of emergency or need.

Below is an example of a Credit and Savings which we recently set-up. The ideas of this cooperative came from the members of the foundation including the health workers..

Name of the Project: FOLPMC Credit and Savings
Lead Organization: Foundation of Our Lady of Peace MissionCredit Cooperative
Capital Fund: Php 50,000.00 (Membership Contribution from FOLPMI)
Date Implemented: September 2009
The health worker mans the health center.
Hence requiring the knowledge and skills.

Brief Description of the Cooperative: The group is composed of health workers in the Aeta community of Barangay Sacatihan, Zamabales. The capital was raised through sale of cards made by the Aeta pupils. The health workers were enabled in starting a small convenience store "sari-sari store" , emergency loan and health center. This allowed the capital fund to circulate and increase. The project has been awarded by the National Economic Development Agency (NEDA) for its initiative and innovation. This process enables the health workers to develop clinical and administrative skills.

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