The Venezuelan network of cooperatives Cecosesola received recognition this Wednesday in Stockholm for more than half a century of collective work, with the award ceremony of the so-called Alternative Nobel Prize from the Swedish Right Livelihood Foundation Award.
Cecosesola was distinguished together with the Somali Elman Peace Center, the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties and the African Institute of Energy Governance.
«Today we remember the hard times caused by misunderstandings, especially with politicians. Little by little, with a lot of effort, we have managed to make them understand that we are not seeking power. We work in a non-profit organization in a continuous process of transformation,” said Lizeth Vargas, representative of Cecosesola, in her speech.
Vargas dedicated the award, among others, to the founders who in 1967 had the “courage” to create funeral services “without resources or prior knowledge”, to the 100,000 families that use their services, to the more than a thousand associates, 300 producers farmers and 20,000 cooperative members.
He also had a memory for the Public Transport Cooperative, which in 1980 “rescued” Cecosesola when the local authorities tried to close it.
Founded in the state of Lara, Cecosesola is a network of community-based organizations in low-income areas that produce and supply affordable goods and services, from cooperative funeral services to food markets, a health network, agricultural production farms or production plants. indicted.
The Venezuelan cooperative movement shared the limelight at the gala with the other winners, such as the Center for Civil Liberties of Ukraine, whose director, Oleksandra Matviychuk, denounced the war of Russian “aggression” in her country in her speech.
“The international peace and security system is incapable of stopping Russian crimes against the civilian population,” he said.
Matviychuk called for the unity of movements in defense of human rights and freedom, because “only by expanding freedom will we be able to make our world safer.”
In her speech, the founder of Elman Peace, Fartuun Adan, called for an end to the “cycle of violence” and demanded more protection for young people and children.
“We have a unique window of opportunity in Somalia right now for a transition out of conflict. But after 30 years of war, it seems that the world no longer cares », he lamented.
The representative of the Ugandan African Institute of Energy Governance, Dickens Kamugisha, collected the award for his part, remembering the thousands of compatriots who were or are being displaced from their lands by large oil projects.
“The award is a reminder that the fight to promote justice will always prevail, regardless of the risks involved,” Kamugisha said.
During the gala, the Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg also intervened to talk about the recent lawsuit against the Swedish State presented by the environmental organization Aurora, which considers its climate policy illegal.
“We need to count on the whole world to change everything,” Thunberg, winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize in 2019, said in an appeal to the fight against climate change.
The four award-winning organizations this year will each receive 1 million Swedish kronor (91,650 euros, $88,203).
The Right Livelihood Award, as this award that distinguishes the social work of people and institutions around the world is actually called, was established in 1980 by the Swedish-German writer and MEP Jakob von Uexküll.
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Venezuelan Cooperativism receives the Alternative Nobel Prize this #30Nov