Issue20 - FEB 2012       Back to newsletter | to TOS website

UN International Years for 2012


When you start planning your group activities for 2012, you might be inspired by the United Nations themes for the year. 2012 has two major themes. One is the International Year of Cooperatives which aims at raising public awareness about the contribution of cooperatives to poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. Have a look at the third and fourth reports on the famine relief project coordinated by the TOS in Kenya and you’ll see a wonderful example of how forming a co-operative can benefit an entire small community.

2012 is also the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. This theme provides a valuable opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of increasing access to energy, energy efficiency and renewable energy. It is a call to promote action on energy issues at the local, national, regional and international levels.

The availability of sustainable energy is an issue for all of us. In developing countries, almost one and a half billion people are still lacking access to energy, and electricity in particular, and this often has an impact on the capacity of their community to generate employment. In our developed communities, much of our energy comes from polluting energy sources.

Both these themes are related to focuses of service within the TOS.
The websites for these two International Years -   and

have lots of suggestions for ways they can be celebrated in our communities.
We could have featured speakers, discussions about potential opportunities for cooperatives in our communities and forums about ways of promoting sustainable energy generation. We could become involved in supporting a cooperative project, such as the village water bore project that the TOS in Kenya has initiated.



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