Canadian Co-operative Association
GET UPDATES FROM Canadian Co-operative Association
Canadian Co-operative Association: International Development Through Co-operatives
The Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) is a not-for-profit co-operative with a mission to establish and grow co-operatives internationally that build a better world. To achieve this mission, CCA works closely with Canadian co-operatives and credit unions to channel their knowledge and experience to partner organizations and co-operatives in Africa, Asia, South America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. Find out more at

Entries by Canadian Co-operative Association

The Challenges of Closing the Gender Gap in Co-Operatives

(1) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 11:47 AM

Gender equality and "gender mainstreaming" have rightfully become prominent areas of focus in the international development sector since the Beijing World Conference on Women in 1995.

Economic empowerment of women is one popular approach to closing the gender inequality gap. Yet co-operative enterprises, which have...

Read Post

Could Coffee in Myanmar Become a Social Enterprise?

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 2:41 PM

As Director of Market Development, I have had many opportunities to travel the world and explore potential projects for the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA). Over the last few weeks I have been lucky enough to do just that in Shan State, Myanmar.

On Wednesday morning, we were up at four...

Read Post

How Youth Savings Clubs Empower Students in Ghana

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 3:26 PM

Under a mango tree in the West African sunshine, a group of laughing girls from Accra Wesley Girls' High School crowded around a small table in a dusty schoolyard. In a scenario that takes place weekly, they were enthusiastically vying for their turn to hand over part of their lunch...

Read Post

Make People Experts On Their Own Lives

(0) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 5:09 PM

My story is about what I have encountered with SACCO. Since I joined SACCO I have benefited a lot, just to mention a few; household items, school fees and farm inputs. SACCO has also promoted my relationships with people in the community. I have made friendship with a lot of...

Read Post

Energy Poverty -- The Global Picture of Energy Access

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 4:06 PM

By Colm Moloney
Colm Moloney recently returned from Ghana where he worked as an intern with the Canadian Co-operative Association

Recent stories of Ghana and the Congo rationing their electricity supplies so that football fans can watch the World Cup highlight the passion with which the sport is enjoyed...

Read Post

Why "Voluntourism" Matters

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2014 | 8:26 AM

By John Julian

Over the past couple of weeks a remarkable thing happened in cyberspace. A blog post about international development (yes, international development!) went viral, generating more than two million hits. The piece was written by a young American named Pippa Biddle, and in it she expressed...

Read Post

Where the Water Doesn't Flow

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 11:42 AM

By Bonnie Thornbury
Bonnie Thornbury is a Canadian Co-operative Association intern working in Rwanda

In high school, Ms. Shelton, my Gr. 12 English teacher, had us read Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. I remember talking at length about the symbolism of water within the book. Rivers and streams run...

Read Post

Bees Gave This Ethiopian Youth Co-Op a Chance to Thrive

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 4:56 PM

They gather around my head in increasing numbers as I inch ever closer to the hive's narrow opening. I try not to think about the thousands more which must be stirring to life in the neighbouring hives just beyond my peripheral vision. I'm consumed by a single thought: "Where will...

Read Post

Why Rural to Urban Migration Is Problematic

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 11:10 AM

Sprawling slums, such as Dharavi in Mumbai, Kibera in Nairobi, and Jamestown here in Accra (pictured), are often the most visible consequence of rapid rural-to-urban migration and urbanisation in developing countries.

Creaking under the pressure of rapidly growing populations, the bustling metropolises of the developing world struggle (to varying degrees,...

Read Post

It's Time for Africa to Rise

(0) Comments | Posted January 10, 2014 | 6:44 AM

We don't often get a chance to be part of something really big from the very beginning. Or perhaps, more accurately, very few of us are smart enough, or lucky enough, to recognize something with huge potential before it becomes huge.

For many years Africa has been considered the...

Read Post

Doing Good and Proving It

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 11:15 AM

I am convinced that co-operatives offer a fair, equitable and ethical tool for generating employment and income -- both here in Canada and in communities throughout the developing world. That is probably not a very surprising statement, coming from someone who has worked for co-operatives for most of my adult...

Read Post

An African Internship -- Working Outside My Comfort Zone

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 2:46 PM

I am one of the 'lucky ones' -- a young person who fell into a career they loved and believed in without much thought about it.

In November 2012 I was working with a credit union in Alberta as a communications coordinator. I loved the co-op movement and really...

Read Post

How Co-Ops Are Making a Difference in Nicaragua

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 4:39 PM

The scenery is breathtaking; the poverty is heartbreaking.
Below the swaying palm trees, men and women struggle to survive.

I wrote those words in December 2010 to describe my first impressions of Nicaragua.

I was there as part of a development education mission to learn firsthand how...

Read Post

My Experience as a Trainer With the CCA Women's Mentorship Program

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 4:40 PM

It may be difficult for Canadians to imagine what it is like to be a woman manager of a financial institution in a developing country. I met 45 of these women, who shared their challenges and triumphs working in male-dominated societies, when I volunteered from 2008-2010 as a facilitator/trainer in...

Read Post

Life in Malawi as a CCA Intern

(1) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 10:39 AM

Author Lacey Chyz, formerly of Lakeland Credit Union in Bonnyville, Alberta, has traded in her winter gear to spend six months in Malawi as a marketing intern for the Canadian Co-operative Association. In a future post Lacey will write about her work for CCA, but we thought readers might also...

Read Post

Co-ops Looking to Help Fill Leadership Void in Post-Conflict Uganda

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 2:18 PM

Co-operatives have long been an effective way for impoverished and struggling communities to come together to lift themselves up and achieve greater prosperity. In pre-Second World War Canada, credit unions exploded in popularity because they provided vital access to credit that many Canadians simply couldn't get at traditional financial institutions....

Read Post

Co-operating for Peace

(1) Comments | Posted November 5, 2013 | 4:48 PM

The Canadian Co-operative Association is not, and has never been, a humanitarian relief effort. You won't often find us in the middle of a major humanitarian crisis or a shooting war -- in Afghanistan, or Darfur, or Syria. Yet in the last few years I have been struck by how...

Read Post

Growing Independent Co-operatives in Myanmar, One Person at a Time

(0) Comments | Posted November 1, 2013 | 1:56 PM

Aung Bon Gyi is a small village of several hundred people in the Bago Divison of Myanmar. It is located about 100 kilometers North East of Yangon, Myanmar's commercial capital. Getting there takes a full day, using unreliable public transit over unpaved roads. During the three-month rainy season, the village...

Read Post

Co-Operatives Supporting Ugandan Farmers Share the Wealth

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2013 | 8:40 AM

African elephants are the largest land animals on earth. No other species walking the planet can match their size and strength.

Yet despite their power, elephants remain vulnerable to predators. Lions and even crocodiles prey on young or weak elephants if they can isolate them from the herd. It's why...

Read Post

Global Citizenship: A Matter of Balance

(0) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 4:28 PM

Over the years that I've worked in international development, I've been asked many times how we, as Canadians, can devote resources to fighting poverty abroad when there is still poverty here. It's not an unreasonable question, but the first few times it was asked of me I was genuinely confused....

Read Post