Creative Collaborative Champions: The Parent Guardian Cooperative Continues to Impress
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."
From 1 business to over 50, the Parent Guardian Cooperative program has been a huge success over the past 4 years! Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of this program and the fearless leader behind it, Veneranda!
Our Parent Guardian Cooperative came about in response to the demonstrated needs of those who care for our secondary school scholars. Seeing an opportunity to teach crucial business skills to interested guardians, we established this program to help ensure success for the families of our scholars! We see less stress on our scholars and more fiscal independence for families as they boldly march forward with ambition to redefine their circumstance!
At this time, we have 10 cooperatives who meet about once a week to plan their business affairs. Although they are based on location, participants in this program form small families, sharing struggles and successes with one another. They work together to generate product, and by selling together, they find great success! From ground nuts to vegetables, mushrooms to livestock, each group designs their product to meet the demands of their market.
Comprised of guardians of current secondary school scholars, these groups are headed by an elected group leader. In turn, this leader represents their cooperative at the Parent Guardian Counsel meetings that take place the last week of each month. The implicit leadership training in this program makes for a robust experience for all!
We are seeing incredible results! Guardians who successfully complete this program invest in home improvement, education for other children and more consistent, nutritious food options to feed their whole family! Check out Solange’s story to learn more about her guardian Jean-Baptiste’s experience with the program!
Of course, this program would not be possible without the diligent and thorough work of Veneranda, who does an exceptional job managing all the many facets of this program. From weekly in person visits to planning the full Parents Council Meetings, Veneranda has some full days. Fortunately, since joining the Komera team in May 2018, she has been an unstoppable force.
“I am a social worker by profession, and I love working with vulnerable people in the community because it gives me courage. I know when I am being self-reliant and socially and economically empowered, I am able, and I love giving that gift to my community.”
She was recently inspired by the hard work of the Gihinga cell of Rwinkwavu. They invested their small loan in one goat, and through collaborative saving and smart business expansion, they now have 4 goats! For Veneranda and the whole Komera staff, seeing the rise of our community is truly a gift.