Initiatives undertaken by Sicredi to encourage the leadership of new generations have generated positive results and international recognition 

The inclusion of young people in co-operative financial institutions is a global challenge captained by the WOCCU – World Council of Credit Unions. The participation of the new generations ensures the sustainability of the system that, throughout the world, forms a network with over 291 million people from 118 countries. This is a business model guided on the improvement of the quality of life of members and of communities.  

Engaged in this commitment, and with the objective of expanding the development of cooperativism, Sicredi has promoted over the years, initiatives for the renewal of the social framework and the continuous training of young people in leadership positions in cooperativism and in society. In the states of Paraná, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Sicredi develops the initiative of the 2021 Youth Committee in 21 cooperatives, with the involvement of approximately 600 active members. The project has achieved positive results of major engagement and is already being developed in other regions of Brazil. 

“The promotion of young leadership in cooperativism is fundamental because it encourages the transformation of a project, a dream, into a practical action in the communities. The initiative also fills an important gap of self-fulfillment in young people. This is because they are encouraged in the development of activities that positively impact people, communities and the environment. This feeling of ‘go there and make it happen’ integrates the requirements that Sicredi yearns in people leading our organization,” says the president of Central Sicredi PR/SP/RJ, Manfred Dasenbrock. 

Acknowledgments

The Brazilian model of inclusion of young cooperativists already serves as inspiration for other countries. In 2020, motivated by the positive results obtained by Sicredi, by means of the Youth Committee, an international delegation associated with the WOCCU visited cooperatives with operations in Paraná in order to replicate the model internationally from inspirations observed in practice. 

Different initiatives of young cooperativists have also received international prominence over the years. In the past year, motivated by a sense of leadership aroused by the Youth Comittee, the associate of Sicredi, Vinícius Mattia, who is 26, was recognized in the WYCUP – World Council Young Credit Union People, with a project to encourage family farming and sustainable food production. The program rewards actions of positive impact on communities and with potential of global influence in credit cooperatives. For the 2021 edition of WYCUP, Central Sicredi PR/SP/RJ has 40 projects for young people enrolled.

According to the president of Central Sicredi PR/SP/RJ, the incentive to young leadership reinforces the ideals of cooperativism and mutual aid, solidarity and fostering regional development. “Engaging young people in actions with purpose is fundamental because, in this way, we are building together a more prosperous society in which we all want to live. If we have children, young people and adults aligned with this cooperative thought, we will be living in a society that is better,” he concludes.