ILO works with ACCU to build resilience in Anguilla after disaster

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (ILO) — The Anguilla Co-operative Credit Union Limited (ACCU) with support from the International Labour Organization (ILO), Decent Work team and Office for the Caribbean hosted a capacity-building workshop on April 27-28, 2018, in Anguilla, facilitated Kelvin Sergeant, specialist for sustainable enterprise development and job creation.

The workshop aimed to enhance the skills of management, supervisory, credit committee members and other interested stakeholders; to increase the capacity, knowledge and awareness on the role of cooperatives in resilience building after a crisis; and to enhance the skills and institutional coordination of the ACCU to support SMEs and members’ livelihoods after a crisis.

After the passage of hurricane Irma in September 2017, it was recognized that there is an urgent need for building resilience. As a means of supporting livelihoods and resilience-building, cooperatives have been identified by citizens in the country as having an important role to play, since by their lending policies, they can assist in providing disposable incomes and purchasing power of their membership and the wider public.

This contribution from cooperatives could assist in the restart of businesses affected by the hurricane while at the same time assisting existing businesses to grow, thereby also contributing to job creation. Cooperatives can also make a difference in peoples’ lives by building resilience after disasters by assisting to organize and materially and financially assist its members adversely affected.

The workshop assisted in increasing the skill set of members especially SMEs, in the tourism sector, self-employed persons, teachers’ union; and church congregations. The success of cooperatives in Anguilla does not only depend on the participation of several sectors but also upon the involvement of women. Women represent a large portion of the volunteers of supervisory audit, and the credit committees.

During the workshop, a business, financial and marketing plan for the ACCU was developed, and information on cooperative law and governance was shared. At the end of the workshop participants developed a work plan to guide the development and implementation of the programme of activities of ACCU.

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