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Jul 15, 2011

Cooperative Department and Peace Corps sign MOU

The Cooperative Department and the Peace Corps signed a memorandum of understanding today. For the next two years six Peace Corps, one per district, will be working in Belize to help develop the full potential of the respective cooperatives. News Five was at the program launch today.

Nina Hernandez, Country Manager, Peace Corps

Nina Hernandez

“Our interest here is in promoting community development by focusing on small business and micro enterprises. And this is something of course the Co-op Department shares. Co-ops presents unique opportunities especially for small rural communities to improve their economic well being by creating meaningful employment and income generating opportunities. Peace Corps is very interested in be engaging with its partners and be engaging with the Government of Belize and we are really confident that this collaboration represents the very best and that it can be a model program that we hope we will be able to replicate throughout Belize with other ministries and other partners.”

Errol Gentle

Errol Gentle, Administrative Officer, Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries

“I am sure that the experienced and highly competent volunteers who will work with the Cooperative Department for the next two years will contribute to the rejuvenation of the Cooperative Movement in Belize. At the same time I hope that you will part your knowledge to the co-operative officers to enhance their skills in the management of cooperatives in Belize. It is time that we assist the cooperatives to move from a family type to business type operations for sustainability, transparency and accountability. The joint effort between the peace corps volunteers and the cooperative officer within my ministry should be able to address these issues especially in competitiveness in production.”

Today, the Cooperative Department also observed International Cooperative Day.

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