Canadian Co-operative Association and The Co-operators partner for international volunteering program

GUELPH, ON, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Co-operative Association and The Co-operators announced today a new partnership on a pilot program offering international volunteering opportunities to Co-operators employees. The volunteer placements will allow employees to work for three weeks in co-operatives in the developing world.

A pair of staff members from The Co-operators group of companies will be volunteering with the African Confederation of Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies in Kenya and another two will work with Risk Management Solutions Incorporated in the Philippines.

"These volunteer placements are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that offer both personal and professional growth to our employees," said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "Partnering with the Canadian Co-operative Association allows our employees to see first-hand the difference co-operatives are making in regions much different from our own."

"Canadian co-operators are working with their counterparts in the developing world to build lasting pathways out of poverty," said Jo-Anne Ferguson, executive director of the Canadian Co-operative Association. "We are proud to share this important work with volunteers from one of Canada's most recognized and progressive co-operative businesses."

Each employee receives one week paid time, and The Co-operators covers the expenses including travel, lodging, vaccinations, and other essentials of each participating employee.

The Co-operators is excited to give their staff the opportunity to learn about how co-operative principles are being put into action in developing countries. The Canadian Co-operative Association and The Co-operators are finding new ways to share the international co-operative development experience with a broader community.

About The Canadian Co-operative Association:
The Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) is a not-for-profit co-operative with strong links to Canada's co-operative sector and international development professionals.  CCA's 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 developing countries. CCA operates in 18 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas delivering programs on behalf of the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF) and other funders.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $34 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean's magazine. For more information visit www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE The Co-operators

For further information: Jo-Anne Ferguson, Canadian Co-operative Association, 613-238-6711 ext. 216; Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators, 519-767-3937