As care needs continue to expand and diversify, the care economy is expected to be an employment generator for the future. Cooperatives are emerging as care providers, especially in communities without access to affordable public or private sector options.
Cooperativa de Educación offers education for low-income communities in Bogotá, Colombia.
© Asociación Colombiana de Cooperativas (Ascoop) – Childcare cooperative in Colombia
Cooperativa de Ahorra distributes food, hygiene kits and relief items for vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ecuador.
© Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito Riobamba Ltda – Distribution of essential relief items during COVID-19
Every year, indigenous Ngobe-Bugle people work at the coffee growing areas of Costa Rica. Their children accompany them. Several cooperatives founded the “Houses of Joy”, an initiative to prevent child labour by providing coffee farmers’ children with food, clothing and education while their parents work.
© Instituto Nacional de Fomento Cooperativo (INFOCOOP) – Two children being taken care of by INFOCOOP while their parents work
“Ajisai” is an elderly care centre run by a worker cooperative. Here, persons with disabilities and elderly persons are working as worker-members and providing care services to elderly persons (users). Both a man in the left (who has a Dawn’s syndrome) and a woman in the middle (who is over 80 years old) are providing care services to an elderly woman (user) in the right.
© Japan Workers’ Cooperative Union (JWCU) – worker cooperative providing elderly care
“Kukkaru” is a childcare center run by a worker cooperative. Here, children is growing up within a rich natural environment.
© Japan Workers’ Cooperative Union (JWCU) – children playing in a tree in a childcare run by a worker cooperative
Lok Swasthya Cooperative is a health cooperative that advocates for accessible healthcare for all. The cooperative runs a chain of low-cost pharmacy stores in economically vulnerable areas of Ahmedabad and Ayurveda processing unit in India.
© SEWA Cooperative Federation (SEWA) – health cooperative providing medical kits to an elderly
The members of Sangini Child Care Cooperative provide childcare facilities for women working in the informal economy. Sangini centres promote holistic child development by combining play, education and health. They currently run 11 centres in Ahmedabad, India.
© SEWA Cooperative Federation (SEWA) – a childcare cooperative providing nutritious meals to children