The one time PH beat China
Philippine Cooperatives are agog over the upcoming Asia Pacific Coop Youth Summit 2.0 to be held later this week in barangay Lamac, Pinamungahan, Cebu, and for many reasons chief of which is that we beat the People’s Republic of China in getting the hosting job without really trying.
The backstory of this astounding feat was shared by Dudz Samson, CEO of VICTO National in a recent chat over “Co-op TV.” Aside from updates about the international event (happening in August 18-21 in the resort owned by the highly diversified and multi-awarded Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative) Dudz told the audience that China was supposed to host this year’s summit after the event debuted in Bali, Indonesia in September 2016.
The gathering in 2016 drew some 60 youth from across Asia Pacific, US and Europe to participate in the immersive education program under the aegis of the International Cooperative Alliance Asia Pacific. The highlight of the course is the “Co-op Pitch.”
As the title suggests, youth participants were to come up with new, sustainable enterprise ideas and solutions bound by co-operative principles that will enhance the business model and draw the youth to the movement. The Philippines was represented by Justine Lyn Limocon and Kevin Paslon of Lamac MPC whose co-op idea on organic farming bagged the grand prize.
The insights offered by the organic farming project are compelling because in many countries Asia Pacific like the Philippines and Japan, food production is on the decline. Japanese farmers have grown old and young people are not attracted by farming as a profession. In the Philippines as a matter of fact, families engaged in farming would not like their children to continue tradition because it has sentenced them to a life of poverty. To have young people conceiving such an idea would be absurd if not unthinkable but such was the cutting edge of the PH project over that of other participants.
Interestingly, the organic farming had already taken off and it prompted ICA Asia Pacific officials to pledge a financial subsidy. In the months following the PH’s stunning victory in Bali, Mr. Balu Iyer, executive director of ICA Asia Pacific visited Lamac and I believe that’s when the regional apex body decided to shelve first world China in favor of the 3rd world, rugged Lamac in Pinamungahan, Cebu as host of this year’s international Co-op Youth Summit 2.0.
The welcome program reels off on Friday courtesy of the local government of Pinamungahan and the congressional office of 3rd district Representative Gwendolyn Garcia.
The summit boasts of A-list speakers who will tackle, “Creative Skills as Precursors to Youth Enterprises”. Ms. Samiramis Shaeshmaili of Iran, who represents the education co-operative Rah-e-Roshd will share the journey of the sector founded by parents in Tehran in 1985. This was during the Iran-Iraq war but despite the political tension and meager resources, the group managed to build a kindergarten school and much later came up with a co-op structure built around primary schools for boys and girls.
From Singapore comes the well-respected Jed Senthil, a former civil servant who is immersed in the city state’s youth and cooperative sector. Hilda Ojall of Kenya is also engaged in education the youth through Africa’s confederation of credit unions called SACCO.
Meanwhile, the “Cooperative Difference in Entrepreneurship” will have Justine Lyn Limocon, head of the Business Development Center of Lamac MPC as speaker together with Ms. Trinh Thi Ly of Vietnam. Both are conversant with agriculture cooperatives.
Last but not the least, Cebu’s chocolate queen, Raquel Choa will also have her moment during the event.
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