Print this page
2014-08-15

"Su Lavanderia" project achieves financial independence

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

A cooperative is a firm owned, controlled, and operated by a group of users for their own benefit. The benefits are shared among them, and each member also shares in the control of the firm on the basis of one-member, one-vote principle. It involves mutual assistance in working towards a common goal.

Su Lavanderia is a self-run cooperative started in 2008 with the goal to create an opportunity for young underprivileged students to sustain themselves throughout their higher education. The majority of the members of staff are students facing the hardships of financial instability. Voluntario Global has been supporting the co-op throughout its first years, professionally, financially, and humanly. The choice of a laundry project arose from Voluntario Global’s link with the Responsible Tourism network. This, encompassing a number of young hostel-owners, furnished the young cooperative with its first clients. 

Having blossomed in the arms of Voluntario Global, Su Lavanderia has gradually sought its own financial independence, achieved by means of various successful applications to grants, such as the Young Enterpreneur Grant in 2008, the Omprakash Sustainability Grant, in 2011, and the Ministry of Labor and Employment Project Grant in 2012.  In 2011 the volunteering association Roadmonkey furnished the coop with a team, in order to create a decent work environment for the workers, accustomed to live in conditions of poverty. 

In 2013, the small co-op was wounded by the abrupt death of one of its most dedicated workers and founders, Armin. Nevertheless, Su Lavanderia operated a redistribution of the tasks, doubled the efforts, and changed and inaugurated in a new shop.

 For the first time in its history, on the 8th of August, Su Lavanderia acquires a washing machine entirely by itself. The achievement marks the end of the cooperative’s dependence on volunteering associations and national grants. The machine is delivered in the morning. Walter and David help unloading the package and check that it works without faults.

Nadia, 21, nursing school student, explains how a new machine means more work, more income, and, consequently, the possibility of embracing more workers, like her. With a new machine, the laundry can overcome its peak of productivity, and grow. Walter, 25, comes from Peru and studies Management. He explains that, after years relying on bursaries and NGOs, the co-op can count solely on its invoice. They have attained financial independence. Walter also mentions how his job in the laundry’s admin team has tested him on the practical side of his university study, and made him experience what he only knew in theory. As a matter of fact, this job also constitutes the first professional milestone for the CVs of the students. David, 25, studies Sports Management. He confirms the meaning of the cooperative as a professional alternative for young people to pursue their studies and sustain themselves financially. He also claims how their main goal for the future is to create the possibility for this sustainable work format to replicate itself, by means of information and communication. Walter believes that young indigent students should be able to work and maintain their studies, with the efforts it requires.

Among its propositions for the future, the co-op intends to achieve a status of environmental responsibility, the opening of a new branch in the city, and a policy of promotion of the cooperative and solidarity culture.

 Las organizaciones sociales han sido y siguen siendo el pueblo organizado. Muchas de ellas se organizan para avanzar en otras necesidades como el trabajo, el empleo digno, la educación y la vivienda digna y así dan lugar a las cooperativas. (…) Si la rueda sigue girando con espíritu solidario, la cooperativa seguirá siendo una realidad sostenible y replicable.”

“Social organizations have been, and will be, the people working together. Many of them get together to improve other primary needs, such as work, a decent employment, education and a decent housing, creating thus a place for cooperatives (…) If the wheel keeps turning with a solidary spirit, cooperatives will have the chance to be a sustainable and replicable reality.”

 

 

 

Read 10258 times

Latest from Marianna Giusti

Related items

Interview with Lena, Volunteer at the Kindergarten

Volunteer Lena, from New Zeland, share with us her volunteering experience in the kindergarten and tells us what she's learned living in the city of Buenos Aires.

Racism hasn’t Ended in South America, It has Grown

With the recent political manifestations in Bolivia that have polarized the country into two different bands, the ones that support and don’t support Evo Morales, racism between indigenous and non indigenous people has come to light in the country. Here’s a reflexion about this issue that can help us reflect about the ongoing racism towards our tribes and the indigenous people of our continent. 

 

Meet Udo and Manu, our new volunteers from Germany!

Udo and Manu are our most recent volunteers from Germany. While they are currently studying, they decided to take some time off school to come to Argentina and help its locals by volunteering with us. We talked to them about their current experience with us and made them a few questions. Here’s what they had to say.

It's NOT a Resignation, it's a Coup!

After learning about the coup d’etat against president Evo Morales, the social organizations of Argentina stand up to defend democracy and peace in our continent.  Voluntario Global and Pacheco Community marched in solidarity with the Bolivian people who have worked hard to build a sovereign country based on social justice.

Argentina without Hunger

Brief reflection of the Pacheco Community on the document "Argentina sin hambre".

Let's Talk about Communitary Health!

This week we participated in a health workshop at one of our projects in José León Suárez where some of the members of Pacheco Community and two doctors that work in health centers of the outskirts of Buenos Aires, talked about the importance of building the concept of health from our community. 

Planet Earth is in Emergency and the Youth of Argentina Marches for its Future

In Argentina, thousands of people also joined this global strike and we walked from Plaza de Mayo to Congress to support and witness this important event.

Four-week Language Immersion Study Trip to England

This is an opportunity to maximize your English language skills by means of an immersion study trip.

Image Gallery

Login to post comments