Skip to main content

Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

ROSCAs Are an Overlooked But Vital Part of the Co-operative Sector

Growing up in Canada as the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, Andria Barrett was familiar with the Jamaican concept of “partner”. What she only learned later in life was that while it has sometimes been overlooked in Western histories of the co-operative movement, partner is just one name for a Rotating Savings and Credit Association (ROSCA), a type of co-operative that can be found in different cultures globally.

“I learned that this isn’t just unique to Jamaica,” says Barrett. “There are people across the Caribbean and across the continent, Africa and around the world, primarily women who’ve been saving and pooling their monies in this sort of fashion.”

Although the term “ROSCA” was coined in the 1960s, the system it describes has been around much longer, and while the names for it may vary, the concept is largely the same. Each member contributes a predetermined amount to a fund at regularly scheduled meetings. At each meeting, a different member will receive access to the pooled savings, either chosen by lottery or to fill a need they have at that particular moment. By the end, each member has received a one-time lump sum of their total monthly contributions. 

Read the rest at the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
CAPTCHA This question is to verify that you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam.

What does the G in GEO stand for?