June 30, 2024**

An interfaith service marked the commencement of Guyana’s 102nd International Co-operatives Week on Sunday morning. Held at the Ministry of Labour Tarmac, the event centered around the theme “Building A Better Future for All,” featuring prayers from Hindu, Muslim, and Christian representatives, symbolizing unity and cooperation among diverse communities.

Gillian Burton-Persaud, a representative of the Guyana National Co-operative Union Ltd., addressed the attendees, emphasizing the importance of unity for the nation’s development. “As we embrace Cooperative Week in Guyana, my call to you is let us come together, let us work for the betterment of Guyana. You, as cooperatives, are a main and important tool in that process. Can we do it? Yes, we can,” Burton-Persaud stated passionately. She urged members to innovate and contribute to Guyana’s economic progress, leveraging the diverse talents within the cooperative societies.

Chief Co-operatives Development Officer, Janaknauth Panchu, highlighted the need for improved supervision of cooperative societies across the country. Panchu acknowledged the challenges posed by a shortage of adequately trained staff. In response, the department has requested the Public Service Commission to fill these vacancies promptly, aiming to strengthen oversight.

Under the leadership of Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton and Chief Labour Officer, the department has secured support from the International Labour Organization (ILO). The ILO will provide training for department staff from July 2nd to 4th, addressing the critical need for skilled personnel in cooperative management.

The department is also collaborating with the Attorney General’s Chambers to assist members of housing cooperatives on the East Coast of Demerara in obtaining their land titles or transport documents for their house lots. This initiative aligns with the government’s policy to ensure legal ownership for all members of housing societies, enhancing stability and security for cooperative members.

The cooperative movement holds a significant place in Guyana’s history, with the nation officially named the Co-operative Republic of Guyana in 1970. This designation reflected the importance of cooperative societies in pooling resources for various sectors, including farming, agro-processing, consumer goods, marketing, and transportation. Institutions established in the late 1970s and 1980s played a crucial role in supporting these cooperative efforts.

International Co-operatives Week, which concludes on July 26, 2024, promises a series of events and activities celebrating the achievements and future potential of cooperative societies in Guyana. The interfaith service set a tone of unity and shared purpose, inspiring cooperative members to contribute to the nation’s development and work towards a prosperous future for all.


By admin