The Association of Rural Savings and Credit Institutions (AIRAC) announced the Congress “Social Balance as the First Line of Results” that will bring together the cooperatives of the Dominican Republic to address the challenges of guaranteeing operations that produce the greatest social and environmental benefit.
The Congress “Social Balance as First Line of Results” that will be from August 25 to 28 in Punta Cana, aims to review the mission of cooperatives and the role of Social Balance as a basic indicator of their performance.
Alfredo Dorrejo, president of AIRAC, indicated that cooperatives have been experiencing significant growth, both in number of entities and in volumes of operation; and that this growth has been particularly high in the savings and credit sector, however, this brings its challenges.
“More cooperatives means that more people with less experience and applied knowledge of the cooperative philosophy are now part of it. More people indicates that the model is being attractive to society and this is, at first glance, encouraging. However, we must take care that cooperatives remain attractive due to their ability to generate and distribute wealth in a more inclusive manner. For this to happen, it is necessary for the system to rescue its greatest value: its principles”, he expressed.
José Alejandro Rodríguez, executive director of AIRAC, indicated that the cultural transformation brought about by the development of information technology, changing the habits and customs of society, the way in which people share, learn and work requires that cooperatives respond in the same way.
“Our cooperatives need to respond by adapting their systems and processes to people’s new behavior patterns and their new value schemes. On the other hand, the growing inequity in the distribution of wealth in our economic models and the behavior, by nature indifferent, of big capital, make today more necessary than ever a coherent response from cooperatives”, he specified.
Rodríguez added that it is necessary for the economy of cooperatives to work producing the least possible deterioration to society and the planet.
This congress will feature national and international speakers: Viviana Rua Ortega (Colombia), Fernando Espinosa (Ecuador), Dr. Luis Santiago Gallego Vanegas (Colombia),
José Alejandro Rodríguez (Dominican Republic), Ana Luisa Martín Vela (Dominican Republic), Juan Ariel Jiménez (Dominican Republic), Grace Badilla López (Costa Rica) and
Lilliana Rodríguez Álvarez (Dominican Republic).
The event has the support of Cuna Mutual Group, the National Federation of Savings, Credit and Related Cooperatives (FENCOOP) and the German Confederation of Cooperatives (DGRV).
The entity brings together 17 cooperatives specialized in offering savings and credit services, which it serves as an integration body and representative agent; in addition to supervising them, providing them with technical assistance, training, technology and innovation services, among others.
AIRAC, whose affiliated cooperatives have more than 1,100,000 members, exceeding RD$100 billion in assets, is the only institution in the country that represents the World Council of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (WOCCU), which has its Headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America.
The association also maintains a strategic alliance with the German Confederation of Cooperatives (DGRV).