|About International Development
Our Vision and Mission
Where there is poverty there can be no sustainable future. CCA's member co-operatives and credit unions envision a world where people everywhere thrive economically, culturally and socially. We are committed to eliminating poverty's grip by helping people accomplish together what they cannot achieve alone - the means to move and stay out of poverty. CCA is a proud part of the international co-operative movement, a powerful global force of over one billion co-operative and credit union members creating lasting prosperity in their communities.
CCA's international development mission is to establish and grow co-operatives, credit unions and community based organizations to reduce poverty, build sustainable livelihoods and improve civil society in less developed countries.
What is International Co-operative Development?
Canadians know from experience that co-operatives and credit unions are effective tools for improving the lives of individuals and families, and building healthy, self-reliant communities through collective action. Co-operatives are owned and governed by the people who benefit from them and build communities by bringing people together to make decisions democratically. This creates a a profound sense of local ownership and a commitment to success and self-sufficiency.
Co-operatives are business enterprises. They build economies, create jobs and provide critical services to members. By working co-operatively people can accomplish more than they can alone. Co-ops are even more effective when they are linked together in a network. CCA helps co-operatives connect to one another for mutual support and strength, and to encourage governments to pass laws that support co-ops.
CCA has been Canada's link to the larger co-operative world as a member of the International Co-operative Alliance for more than 100 years. For nearly half of that time, CCA has also taken its belief in the co-operative model into some of the world's poorest regions where it has used that model to help people find their own way out of poverty.
CCA has had a long history of helping people in need around the world. In the early 1960s, CCA partnered with the Canadian government to develop co-operatives in Canada's North, during a time of great upheaval and difficulty for Canada's Inuit people. When many African countries were gaining their independence, co-operative and credit union people from Canada helped develop co-operatives on an informal basis, and a formal international development program started in the early 1970s. Later that same decade, Canada's credit unions formally delegated their international development work to CCA.
Click here to learn more about CCA's history.