In order to increase the networking reach and capacity of the local groups and promote sustainable practices, the approach has involved connecting with strong and cohesive institutions with established leadership.
The institutions have sustainability and social-economic and environmental advancement as a key pillar.
Over the last 10 years, we have worked with NGOs, SMEs, and groupings located in Kenya (Kafoma Okoa Coop-Nyanza, Mt Elgon groups, Cherangany groups, Karima-Nyeri, Giitune-Meru, Samburu (Nalare group), Moyale – Sololo, and Mkogodo), Tanzania and Uganda.
The partners have been supported to develop wind and biogas systems, solar water heating, sustainable housing and general environmental and ecological enterprises.
Besides the transfer in technology and the skills development, the local expertise in combination and new knowledge can be channeled to formulate viable strategies to build resilient local enterprises and support the integrity of ecosystems.
The pulling together of the different complementary actions and activities, leads to the building of organising structures that are supportive of cooperative action. Cooperatives or networks can have a combined result of delivering the goals of both improved livelihoods and democratic decision-making. As a means of coming together and self organising, it provides marginalized communities with a means to pool together their existing resources, seek for new opportunities, improve existing capacities and skills to open up for the space for innovative sustainable enterprises.
The potential impact and effectiveness of the cooperative for example on food security is profound. If different coops in a country or region can work together, they could improve the logistics of local produce and develop an organic system that creates sustained food security.