Application of Think.COOP in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey

The ILO’s Think.COOP training programme was implemented with the students of Afyon Kocatepe University Business Club, with the facilitation of Youth Deal Cooperative partners, within the scope of the Social Cooperative Education and Promotion Train activities.

News | 22 October 2018
Think.COOP was translated into Turkish by Youth Deal Cooperative partners in the last year and implemented with youth in Seferihisar in partnership with the municipality. A total of 25 students participated in the training in Afyonkarahisar which consisted of: good relationships and livelihoods; horizontal and vertical relationships; benefits of collective action; choosing a business structure; and doing business together as outlined in the module. The participants were divided into four groups and a social cooperative model was developed.

Participants of the Think.COOP training

Participants of the Think.COOP training
The participants obtained detailed information on cooperative enterprises through the application of the module, which was implemented using non-formal education methods. The participants understood the structure of the cooperative business model, which is formed by developing horizontal relations in cooperatives, combined with democratic management and equal sharing principles. At the end of the training, the participants stated that they had gained a new perspective on cooperatives. There was awareness that cooperative businesses are a social entrepreneurship model that is conducive to solving social problems.

The Social Cooperative Education and Promotion Train activities were developed by the Directorate General of Cooperatives in the Ministry of Trade in order to help advance understanding of cooperatives and to spread the knowledge of social cooperatives in addressing issues of social inclusion across the country. A range of activities were held in 11 different cities during 1-14 October 2018. In the selected schools, the coding workshop were organized with children and the importance of cooperating and doing business together was emphasized. Hackathons on social cooperatives were organized in Eskişehir and İzmir with young women and men. Information Meetings and Inspirational Chats were conducted at universities in each of the cities. In addition to these events, an international experience sharing panel was organized with the participation of guests from Italy in Izmir on October 9.

The Social Cooperative Education and Promotion Train raised awareness in each city toward disseminating social co-operative initiatives. After-action assessments will be undertaken with the participating social cooperatives in the coming weeks. The second phase of the Social Cooperative Education and Promotion Train is planned for April 2019 in the Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia Regions. In addition, training sessions in universities using the Think.COOP module will continue.