Leaders of the U.S. cooperative community recently connected with COOP Ukraine during a meeting of the International Cooperative Alliance in Spain. COOP Ukraine represents various cooperatives of all types throughout the war-torn country.
The recent meeting between Illia Gorokhovskyi, chair of COOP Ukraine Board of Directors, and his international counterparts included discussions of how co-ops in other parts of the world could continue to support Ukrainian co-ops. So far, the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), which represents all cooperative businesses, has used donations to help meet the immediate needs of co-ops, including helping a co-op bakery that worked nonstop for 52 days, baking 4,000 loaves of bread in wood-burning ovens to feed its community while missiles fired overhead.
Electric co-ops have been part of this endeavor since Ukraine was invaded. Last winter, within days of the first assault, electric co-ops committed donations to the project and the co-op bank, the Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC), matched funds raised with another $15,000.
“This is a great example of NCBA working to develop, advance and protect cooperative enterprises and to build a better world,” said CFC CEO Andrew Don in a press release.