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DAWN Multipurpose Cooperative

DAWN Multipurpose Cooperative

As part of its commitment to provide economic assistance and support to women beneficiaries of its project with the ILO on the ‘Psycho-social and Economic Reintegration Program for Women Victims of Trafficking,’ DAWN held several career counseling, trainings, workshops and seminars in entrepreneurial building and accounting. It sought the support of experts and built partnerships with them to ensure the continuity of the provision of these activities for the women. And all throughout the conduct of these activities, there was always a staff or two present to assist and learn together with the women.

The counseling, training and workshops were in preparation for the individual economic projects that the women will undertake. During these activities, there was plenty of sharing among the women on their economic situations. They shared their experiences in putting up small businesses, such as sari-sari store and small retailing. They were encouraged to talk about what they know and what they have learned from their ventures into doing business. They told of their failures to make their businesses grow and their apprehensions in putting up a new one. They said that part of their failure could be attributed to lack of knowledge and guidance, lack of confidence in one’s self, and lack of capital. There were also some women who are not really interested in putting up a small business but would just like to augment their incomes. The women also discussed the possibility of pooling resources and doing joint projects. From these discussions, sharing, and consultation with the women came about the idea of putting up a cooperative for the women beneficiaries of the project.

In June 2008, DAWN started a series of seminars on cooperativism. The objective was to respond to the many queries of the women and to find out if it would be possible for the women to come together and pool their resources for a joint undertaking.

DAWN sought the assistance of experts from the PUP College of Cooperatives to help us explain what a cooperative is all about. The whole idea and process of putting a cooperative was discussed with the women to help them decide if it is a viable option for them. Eventually, the women decided to put their own cooperative; one they can truly call their own and one which they themselves will manage and run.

From then on, there was no turning back. A series of workshops and seminars for the formation of a cooperative were held. On Saturdays, women would come to the office of DAWN to attend the seminars. There were several batches of seminars that were conducted for the women. The staff of DAWN also joined the cooperative to show the women their support and belief in them.

On August 27, 2008 the DAWN Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Inc. was officially registered with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA). Initially, the activities and services of the cooperative included the following: commodity loan, the provision of business opportunity seminars, and the conduct of entrepreneurial seminars.

Several companies were approached to introduce their products and services to the women members of the cooperative so that the women can make a choice. There were representatives from manufacturers of soap and cleansing products, condiments, beauty products, and clothing. At present, members are able to buy commodities from the cooperative at low rates payable within 15 days. Many women have taken this opportunity to resell the products and earn a few profit. The cooperative has likewise signed with Avon and Natasha for the sale of various products. To make the deal appealing to the women, individual sellers get 25% of the Avon products that they sell. And to make sure that the women do not forget their responsibility to pay their loans, there is continuous monitoring and guidance provided to them.

To date, some members of the cooperative who are into re-selling have already reported on how the cooperative has helped them. They have updated the group on the amount they have earned that helped augment their incomes. They also shared that the experience of mingling with people and engaging in gainful activity has helped them improve their self-confidence.

Other activities of the cooperative members included an exposure trip to New Vision, a cooperative being run by the blind, and a leadership training seminar. On October 8, 2008, the group held a general assembly and elected a new set of Board members and officers to replace the interim Board and officers. On November 10, 2008, the cooperative signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the PUP College of Cooperatives to provide continuous trainings, guidance and assistance to the cooperative. On January 31 to February 1, 2009, the DAWN Multi-Purpose Cooperative held a workshop seminar on Value Transformation and Effective Work Ethics for Cooperative Operation in Laguna. It was also during this time that they finalized the vision, mission and goals of the organization. It was also a planning session for the members of the cooperative, and they have already set their goals for the next three years. This February, the women are having their ownership seminar.

The cooperative also provides loan assistance to its members. It will also continue providing entrepreneurial and business opportunity seminars to the women, as well as other trainings that will benefit the members. 

The cooperative is a work in progress. It is something that will last even after the ILO project is over. DAWN and the College of Cooperatives will be behind the cooperative to provide them the assistance and guidance that they need to ensure its sustainability and success.

To date, the cooperative has a total of 54 members, which includes DAWN women members, staff and volunteers.

A self-reliant, influential, productive, and strong multi-purpose cooperative of women in the Philippines

To help and empower every member as well as others so that they will become productive members of the society.

The cooperative’s goals are to be:
1. Self-reliant
2. Influential
3. Productive
4. Strong

Disciplined, helpful and altruistic, peaceful, smooth interpersonal relationship and happy members

Chairperson - Gilda V. Mosatalla
Vice Chairperson - Rachel Tubig
Members - Maria Dolores A. Alnas
Gemma B. Comiso
Zenaida Cuna

Secretary/Treasurer - Luzviminda Antonio

Audit - Mary Joy B. Barcelona
Credit - Carmelita G. Nuqui
Elections - Pretzie Joguilon
Mediation & Conciliation - Hazel Lazon
Education - Rachel Tubig
Ethics- Anna Lissa D. Junio
Gender & Development- Shane Ann M. Mesa

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