Butterflies receives the International Cooperative Innovation Award

The Butterflies Family is delighted to share that our Founder Rita Panicker was presented with the International Cooperative Innovation Award 2020. The award is constituted by the U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council to identify, recognize, and celebrate those international cooperative development innovators who continue to advance co-ops as a grassroots, sustainable business model for developing economies.

There is nothing cookie-cutter about creating a more equitable and sustainable world. It takes new ideas, new strategies, new models — and the courage to put them into action. The criteria for the International Cooperative Innovation Award was:
• Innovation: Promotes and puts into action new ideas for improving the cooperative business model and cooperative development methodology.
• Sustainability: Contributes to innovative and financially sustainable cooperative activities that significantly benefit co-op members. Achieves identifiable and lasting changes to improve and promote cooperatives.
• Co-op advancement: Inspires and persuades others to action in advancing the cooperative system.
• Leadership: Shows leadership, personal commitment, and vision for implementing cooperative practices locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally.
• New Practices: Adapts traditional practices used in non-traditional ways to improve performance for members, raise the profile of cooperatives, or champion the most vulnerable.

Rita didi, as she is fondly called by children and colleagues, was awarded at the 2020 Impact Conference held in Washington DC from October 5-10, which was a virtual forum this year, due to COVID 19 precautions. In Rita didi’s humble words, “This award is a recognition to all the children and adult facilitators of CDK in India and abroad who work tirelessly to bring this Khazana (treasure) to the lives of the marginalized. Thank you so much and congratulations to all.”

As we receive this prestigious award we reach out and express our gratitude to you for supporting us over the years. Thank you.

Watch the complete coverage of the award ceremony here- OCDC

childrensbank #childrenscooperatives #CoopIMPACT National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International

About Rita Panicker –
Rita Panicker, is the founder director of Butterflies, a registered voluntary organisation working with the most vulnerable groups of children, especially urban street connected and rural deprived children since 1989. She founded this organization with a democratic, rights based, non-institutional approach to educate and impart life skills to vulnerable children so that they become self-reliant and exit the generational cycle of illiteracy and poverty. Butterflies reaches out to almost 2,289 children in Delhi every year through various interventions and has touched the lives of more than 81,450 children since inception. All programmes in Butterflies are run on cooperative principles, be it the Education Cooperative, the Child Health & Sports Cooperative or the Children’s Media Cooperative.
For more information about Butterflies, visit: www.butterfliesngo.org

About Childrens Development Khazana-
Conceptualized and initiated by Butterflies in the year 2001, Children’s Development Khazana (CDK), is a life skills education programme, educating children and adolescents, democratic values and financial management. CDK enables children from vulnerable backgrounds to be educated, skilled, responsible and self-reliant to transform their lives through children’s cooperatives. The participatory programme imparts life skills education, supports children to learn the core values of a cooperative…. equity, equality and collective responsibility, prioritise needs, budget and save. Children between the age group of 8-18 years are the members, volunteer managers and promoters of CDK. Any rural, urban and ethnic communities’ child can be a member of Khazana, which is their own and is run by children themselves, under the guidance of adult facilitators. As part of a practicum, children manage their own Khazanas on cooperative principles at set timings and members focus on becoming entrepreneurs or learning a professional skill and exiting from their situation of poverty, debt and illiteracy. As of March 2019, both the Children’s Cooperatives (Children’s Development Khazana and Child Health & Sports Cooperative) are replicated in many countries throughout South and Central Asia, and Africa as successful child-led participatory models with a total reach of 41,148 members and savings in CDK amounting to US$ 103,484 from 225 branches. All the money is saved in mainstream banks and belong to the children.


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