Cooperative Economics/Ujamaa: Sharing and pooling our financial resources and goods and services for the common benefit of family and community participants with the goal of building and sustaining cooperative economic enterprises.
The practice of mutual aid, Cooperative Economics, by traditional Africans gave recognition and worth to members of the community. This practice grew out of their shared understanding and philosophical insight of the essential dependency of humans as exemplified in their cooperative mode of agricultural production.
Moreover, in traditional African societies the mode of agriculture production was based on smallholdings worked by individual farmers and their households. In such a mode of production, recurrent stages were easily foreseeable at which the resources of any one farmer would be insufficient to accomplish with dispatch the necessary task for agricultural production. In such moments, all that was necessary was for the household in the community to send word to the neighbors and the people would assembly with their own implements of work and together to help (Cooperative Economics) get the job done in full and warranted conviction that when their turn came the same gesture would be returned in exactly the same spirit. This practice, especially in light of the today’s financial uncertainty is a viable financial strategy to leverage family and community resources.
Cooperative Economics Day Checklist
ü Ingathering activity, around a meal or designated time
ü Read African/American proverbs, folktales, poems, or recite family story (optional)
ü Highlight the Kwanzaa Symbol Mazao/Crops
ü Reflect on the Cooperative Economics commitment for the current and coming year
ü Family Feast
ü Pour Libation (optional)
ü Candle lighting
ü Make Cooperative Economics commitment
ü Take picture/record your commitments or Kwanzaa activities (optional)
ü Using the Swahili greeting to greet each other. Harbari Gani (What’s the News) Response: Ujamaa
ü Plan and/or do a collective work and responsibility activity.