Institute of micro-finance and cooperative development.

Cooperative Board Officials reach a Declaration

The Centre organized a two-day seminar for the Board Officials of the prominent microfinance cooperatives of Nepal on the request of various Cooperative Institutional Members of the Centre for Self-help Development (CSD).The program took place from November 9 – 10, 2016 in the capital city, Kathmandu.

Welcoming the gathering of 31 board officials representing various Cooperatives, Mr. Shankar Nath Kapali, Executive Director of CSD, highlighted that the objective of the seminar was to share the experiences of the participating organization and come up with a common understanding for the healthy growth of microfinance cooperatives.

The seminar was chaired by CSD’s Chairman, Mr. Shankar Man Shrestha. In his opening remarks, Mr. Shrestha briefed the officials on the history of the cooperative movement and the potential of the sector in contributing towards the development of the country on the whole. He said, “This is a gathering of exemplary Cooperatives from Mechi to Mahakali working in the country. Through our work, we must not only make our organization strong, but also empower the families that we serve. We must be open to learning from each other and at the same timebuild up a culture of working together.”

The two day program started with the participants presenting their respectiveorganization’s progress report and the various creative undertakings and services delivered to their members. They also identified the issues and challenges such as increasing dropout of members, youth out-migration, over indebtedness of members, wide gap of loanee to member, increasing social discord and so onwere discussed among the participants.

Various resource persons with years of experience in the Cooperative and microfinance sector facilitated the sessions on topics such as common challenges in thecooperative sector, problems in implementing cooperative norms, fundamentals of credit management, PEARLS monitoring system, microfinance indicators, good governance and the role and responsibility of board officials.

Each and every board official present in the seminar had been actively involved, putting across their queries and suggestions during the sessions.

During the feedback session, Mr. Chitrang Thapa of Udayadev Multipurpose Cooperative Ltd., Kanchanpur said, “It is our privilege to attend this workshop, especially to learn from a dynamic leader such as Mr. Shankar Man Shrestha. His contribution has gone a long way in the development of the sector. In true words he is a well-wisher. Working in the cooperative sector, I believe our generation must leave behind enough resources and examples for the next generation to look up to andto learn from.”

Kathmandu based Mahila Sahayogi Bachat Tatha Rin Sahakari Sanstha Ltd. board official, Ms. Prami Shrestha suggested that CSD take the initiative to organize workshops catering to different sub-committees of the Board in the future.

Thanking the officials for taking out time from their individual schedules, Chairman, Mr. Shrestha stressed on three main possibilities of the Cooperative sector; poverty alleviation through outreaching the extremely poor families, bringing a revolution in the agricultural sector through focusing on agricultural and livestock farming and creating youth self-employment. He said, “We must work to remove poverty from our coverage areas. There is great potential for this sector to bring about a revolution in the agricultural sector and at the same time provide opportunities for youth empowerment. Underutilization and misutilization of remittance in-flow has increased social evils and unproductive consumption in the community. We must find ways to channelize this resource into productive areas.” He concluded encouraging the Board Officials by saying, “Our willpower can determine our destiny. Tough things do not last, tough people do. Also, we must not forget to start readying the second generation of both microfinance practitioners and members.”

Towards the end of the program, an evaluation form was circulated to the participants. The evaluation indicated that all 31 participantsfelt that such a seminar should be held every year while 50% of the participants felt that the duration of the program should be increased.

The two day program culminated with a 14-point declaration unanimously passed by all those present at the seminar.