The Talku Cooperative
17 Oct 2014 | Blog | Nepal | East Timor | Long-term Development
Earlier this year, Caritas Australia’s Oecusse (in Timor Leste) program coordinator, Cornelio Ase, spent a few days on exchange with our local partners in Nepal. In this Part 2 of his blog, Cornelio shares his experience visiting a sustainable livelihood project in Nepal – the Talku Cooperative.
Accompanied by Mr Tej Bahadur Basnet (the Program Coordinator) we went to a rural village to visit the Talku Cooperative – the drive took about an hour. We met the cooperative members in their local office and though language was a big barrier, Mr Tej and the cooperative coordinator were able to interpret the conversation for me. I had a great time with the staff even though it was a short visit.
Partnering to share strengths
I realised that we could reproduce some of these successful systems in our Oecusse programs – especially to strengthen our local saving and credit groups."
I was impressed to learn that the cooperative was growing. With good management (made up of four full-time staff) and by using a better accountability system, the cooperative had grown from just five groups to around 1,050 shareholders. Unlike similar projects in Oecusse, Timor Leste, they have also established savings and credit groups in the community and developed strong financial management skills. Talking with the project coordinator, I realised that we could reproduce some of these successful systems in our Oecusse programs – especially to strengthen our local saving and credit groups.
Through the Talku Cooperative, Caritas Nepal had successfully supported small grants and capacity building. I learnt that the cooperative had helped many vulnerable farmers, and was working well to reduce poverty in the village. With this great success, Caritas Nepal is the perfect partner to share its expertise to strengthen our programs in Timor Leste.
I now look forward to welcoming our Caritas Nepal colleagues to Timor Leste as, together, we will be able to help our most vulnerable farmers."
On behalf of Caritas Australia in Timor Leste, particularly the Oecusse Program Team, I humbly appreciate and thank Father Pius and the staff at Caritas Nepal for their generosity and great support during our visit. A special thank you also goes to the farmer groups at Talku Cooperative and the Integrated Pest Management farming school who generously shared their time and expertise during our trip.
I have learned a lot in a short period of time. My experience on this trip has enriched my work and will allow us to strengthen our program in Timor Leste, particularly our livelihood program and our saving and credit groups. I now look forward to welcoming our Caritas Nepal colleagues to Timor Leste as, together, we will be able to help our most vulnerable farmers.
Caritas Australia Program Coordinator, Oecusse – Timor Leste
Read Part 1 of Cornelio's blog: From Timor Leste to Nepal
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