A Co-operative Appeal

| Community |

Co-operatives have always been able to rely on their fellow
co-operators for help in times of crisis. This last few weeks however, has
given rise to a number of calls for solidarity from the co-op community in
response to crises that range from the humanitarian disaster in Haiti, to
threats of violence and intimidation aimed at the members of a coffee growers
co-op in Guatemala.

BCCA wishes to use this issue of The Co-op Perspective to
raise awareness and mobilize the support of our co-op community in BC to
respond to three issues that have galvanized the attention of co-ops the world
over.

Haiti

At 4:53 on January 12, a catastrophic earthquake struck the
impoverished nation of Haiti. By 24 January at least 52 aftershocks measuring
4.5 or greater on the Richter scale compounded the destruction. By February 12,
an estimated three million people had been affected by the disaster with
between 217,000 and 230,000 identified as dead. A further 300,000 have been
injured and over 1 million rendered homeless.

Within days of the event, The
Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF), working in partnership
World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), 
was raising funds to offer relief to those affected by the
disaster. In July 2009, WOCCU had already established a program to extend
financial services to Haiti’s rural poor with funding from the United
States Agency for International Development.

The CDF
has put out a call for support from Canada’s co-op movement and is accepting
donations to provide assistance to Haiti’s 175 credit unions and the nearly
half-million members that they serve. As in the 2005 tsunami when CDF
worked with credit union and co-op partners in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and other
devastated regions to help rebuild local communities, CDF and WOCCU are showing
similar leadership in Haiti. We urge BCCA members, and the broader co-op
community and its supporters to support CDF and WOCCU’s efforts to help rebuild
this shattered nation by contributing to the Haiti Disaster Relief Fund.

To
support Haiti’s credit unions and their members through the international
credit union disaster relief fund, make payments via cheque, credit card or
mail.  Donate online NOW or by mail at Co-operative Development Foundation of
Canada
, Suite 400, 275
Bank Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2L6. 

Please
phone or e-mail sarah.richardson@coopscanada.coop, Sarah Richardson, CDF Fundraising
Officer.

Phone:
(613) 238-6711 ext. 217

Please
indicate that your donation is designated for the Haiti Disaster Relief
Fund