Awareness of Co-operatives Spreads in Qamishlo

This is a translation of an Arabic article by Kalthuma Ali that first appeared on Hawar News on 22 August, 2018

There are 21 co-operative societies in Qamishlo that are embodying the ideas of communal and participatory life, creating a collective environment at work, and building solidarity among the members of society.

The Union of Co-operatives in Jazira has been trying to develop the co-operative societies since the beginning of the revolution in Rojava on the 19 July, 2012. Many committees were formed which opened centres in Northern Syria to improve the economy and society, and in Qamishlo 21 co-operative societies were formed that operate under the umbrella of the House of Co-operatives, in order to make new projects that guarantees the participation of all members of society in Qamishlo.

The aims of the 21 co-operative societies are also to create jobs and curb monopoly.

The co-operatives that were formed in Qamishlo include 10 electricity generator co-ops, distributed in different neighbourhoods in the city. These co-ops are managed by the people of the neighbourhood. There are also two co-operatives of animal husbandry to provide meat and dairy to the markets.

Shîlan co-op, which has 40 members, was also formed to provide clothes to the local markets. Heifi and Nisrîn co-ops manufacture cleaning products, and they have 48 members. Nisrîn co-op is now working to develop it’s work and build a factory to make cleaning products.

And in order to prevent monopoly of medical products, the Health Co-op was formed that includes 85 participants, each has one share that costs 100,000 SYP. Also Hevgirtin was formed with 550 members. It has 400 shares, and a share costs 15,000 SYP.

Women play a very important role in the co-operatives, especially Lorîn Co-operative, a women’s co-op which distributes food products.

There is a special bakery co-operative for the families of martyrs [an association of families that have lost a breadwinner to the conflict], with 50 participating families.

Imad Ibrahim, an administrator in the House of Co-operatives, said that the House helps to improve the relations among the members of society and curbs monopoly, while affecting the prices to meet people’s daily needs.