JILAF dispatched a delegation to Thailand from November 24 to 30, 2014, for the SGRA project (Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network). The delegation visited the districts where the project is being conducted, that is, Bangkok in the center of the country, Khon Kaen in the northeast, and Chiang Mai in the north.
In Bangkok, the second meeting of the Central Promotion Committee was held to look back on activities so far, make an interim assessment of the project, and confirm activities from now on.
In Khon Kaen, the third seminar of the Enlarged Working Committee (EWC) was held with the participation of 16 people (9 EWC members and 7 others). The aim of this seminar was to acquire know-how relating to the establishment and registration of a credit union to promote the independence and improve the livelihood of informal-sector workers. Masao Kanemaru, head of the survey and research department at Japan’s Zenrosai Kyokai (National Association of Workers’ Welfare and Cooperative Insurance), and Naohiro Tsukamoto, head of Zenrosai Kyokai’s survey and research section, cooperated as speakers.
The Zenrosai Kyokai representatives delivered a special talk on “Toward the Building of a Mutual Aid System,” in which they explained the background to the establishment of Zenrosai (National Federation of Workers’ and Consumers’ Insurance Cooperatives) and the current situation, as well as the product lineup in a mutual aid system, which differs in character from actual-value compensation. They also advised that in a credit union’s establishment, management, and expansion, it is essential to (1) build a simple and easy-to-understand (greatest common factor) menu, such as congratulatory and condolence insurance, based on a survey of needs; (2) set appropriate premiums; and (3) conduct rigorous management of contract behavior and establish relations of mutual trust with members. The speakers stressed the importance of moving ahead step by step without forgetting the founding principle of the credit union and added encouragingly that Zenrosai intended to offer as much support as possible to the enthusiastic participants.
In addition, サーチョン, head of the Northeastern Branch of the Credit Union Development Bureau of the Credit Union League, which promotes the establishment of credit unions in Thailand, was invited to speak at the seminar. After giving a detailed explanation about the establishment of a credit union, サーチョンpromised full cooperation for independent efforts up to establishment and registration. The seminar ended with the participants drawing up and announcing action plans toward the establishment of a credit union.
In Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, where the project has been implemented since fiscal 2012, the JILAF delegation inspected and encouraged efforts to increase the number of credit union members by the Northern Enlarged Working Committee, which engages in deep-rooted autonomous and independent activities.
|11/24||Mon||2nd Central Promotion Committee Meeting|
|11/25||Tue||3rd EWC Seminar:day 1(Khon Kaen)|
|11/26||Wed||3rd EWC Seminar:day 2(Khon Kaen)|
|11/28||Fri||Inspection of activities in Chiang Mai:day 1|
|11/29||Sat||Inspection of activities in Chiang Mai:day 2|