TAGUM City –Tagum Cooperative was recently ranked among the Mindanao Youth Choice awardees during the Grand Nights Award of the 1St Mindanao Youth Expo which the National Youth Commission (NYC) held on May 05 at the Davao Recreation Center in Davao City.
NYC particularly picked Tagum Cooperative as the Most Outstanding Youth-Based Savings Program, and recognized its contribution “to the welfare and development of the youth society while incorporating social responsibilities.”
In an interview, Tagum Cooperative Chairperson of the Board of Directors Miriam Baloyo revealed that Tagum Cooperative joined the ranks of Manila Bulletin-Davao, Jollibee Bolton (Davao), ABS CBN Davao and Smart Communications Davao as Mindanao Youth Choice awardees.
Aside from its distinct plans and programs for youth development, Tagum Cooperative gained edge over other Mindanao-based companies and cooperatives for having institutionalized financial literacy among youths.
“While others only have leadership training, seminars and social activities, we have implemented financial literacy as our edge,” she said.
“We are teaching the children and youth the value of savings; how to use and spend money; and how to become entrepreneurs,” she added.
Also serving as the chairperson of the Committee on Youth, Baloyo noted that NYC highly appreciated the Aflatoun Program of Tagum Cooperative as it equips school children with knowledge on entrepreneurship.
Aside from the Social and Financial Enterprise Guide, the Aflatoun module also includes Personal Understanding, Rights and Responsibilities, Savings and Spending, Planning and Budgeting.
Forming part of the four major products that Tagum Cooperative Youth Development and Succession Center (YDSC) offers, Aflatoun is an educational program of balanced social and financial education for children that puts together social responsibilities and financial literacy into the formal system of education.
As of December 2012, Tagum Cooperative brought the Aflatoun Program to 16 new sites, bringing to a total of 29 Aflatoun accredited schools in the Davao Region with 10,148 total number of enlisted school children .
Tagum Cooperative has also designed other products and services for children and youths such as Youth Laboratory Cooperative which is a school-based savings advocacy program training youth to manage a regular cooperative; Youth Savers Club, a savings product for kids of zero to 12 years of age; and Teen Savers Club, a savings facility for teens of 13 to 17 years of age.
Tagum Cooperative puts importance on its youth program which clusters 30,855 members that made up 37 percent of the general membership, contributing a substantial savings share of P35.49 million as of end of 2012.
Meanwhile, Baloyo bared plans of Tagum Cooperative to expand the membership of its Aflatoun Program, bringing in the out-of-school youths (OSY) through linking with the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program of the Department of Education (DepEd).
Such initiative will be called ALS Afla-Teen which is now up for approval by Tagum Cooperative Board of Directors.
Baloyo expects the ALS Afla-Teen Program to fully roll off starting June this year, taking Tagum City as its pilot area.
“This will really help those teens who are working as house-helps and other teen-workers to become wise in spending their money,” she said.