Kiptik Co-operator building water towers
Kiptik solidarity Mural
In the spirit of a co-operative dividend, CAN has allocated 1% of its profit to be donated to support co-operatives where CAN feels the money - £450 since 2002 - can bring a real benefit. CAN has chosen Kiptik (meaning strength in Tzeltal, the language of the biggest indigenous group) who support co-operatives in Mexico, as the recipient.
Kiptik is a UK-based solidarity group who have been working on a series of projects with the autonomous communities of Chiapas in South East Mexico. The money will contribute to the construction of drinking water systems, ecological stoves, solar panel systems, and mural projects.
“As a worker co-operative, we are proud that all workers took part in the decision in June 2002 to allocate 1% of annual profits towards the co-operative movement. We saw it as a way of putting the co-operative principles of both ‘Co-operation among Co-operators’ and ‘Concern for the Community’ into action” says Nathan Brown, one of CAN’s worker-directors.
Explaining the choice of recipient he added: “When choosing how we should spend it, we realised that our contribution could make a larger impact somewhere like Chiapas than it would here in the UK. The contribution is a symbol of solidarity with people in Chiapas who are improving their quality of life through co-operative management of their economy, villages and even natural resources we take for granted like water.”
Although not a specified principle, the co-operative dividend, representing 1% of profit, is one way for co-operatives to contribute to the co-operative movement.