Meet Vina Vida Rempillo, GYF20 participant from the Philippines

26 Feb 2020

Twenty-four year old Vina Vida had not planned a career in cooperatives. She found herself joining the cooperative movement in the Philippines three years ago and has not looked back since. We caught up with her at the Global Youth Forum Cooperative Entrepreneurship 2020.

How did your co-operative journey start?

Vina Vida: After high school, I was certain that I wanted to be an accountant. I planned to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and take a licence exam to become a Certified Public Accountant. I was fifteen when I got into the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP). I was with my eldest sister during the enrolment and hoping to be admitted to the course that I wanted. I guess that was not my destiny. Enrolment for the accountancy course had already closed. I was so devastated. I couldn’t think of any course I could enrol in. Fortunately, my sister saw an advert about one of the courses offered by PUP - a Bachelor in Cooperatives, a course that I had never heard of. This course offered three specialisations that you can choose after your second year in college: Financial Management & Accounting, Education Community Development, and Business Management. I decided to give this course a try, but I was certain that after one year I was going to transfer to the course I really wanted, which was accounting. But that never happened. I found myself loving the course that I had never heard of or imagined to exist. I saw how cooperatives can make a big impact in society and how they can change the way we look at entrepreneurship. It is not just about handling the business, but it's also about managing the business for the people, for their self-improvement and economic development. 

How long have you been at The National Association of Training Centers for Cooperatives (NATCCO) for?

Vina Vida: I have been with NATCCO for almost four years now. I wanted to work right after graduation and decided to take a job in a cooperative. One of my friends posted a job advert in our Facebook group. NATCCO was looking for a new training associate. I tried my luck and applied for this job. One week after I had submitted my application, I got a call from NATCCO, they wanted me for an interview. So to cut it short, I accepted the offer as a training associate. I am helping the resource speakers in facilitating the training. After a year and a half as an associate, I was promoted to training officer. Here, I have the chance to handle different training sessions such as basic cooperative courses (it's all about the cooperative history, values, principles and salient features of Philippine cooperative law) cooperative management & governance, financial literacy, etc. 

How was the GYF20 for you?

Vina Vida: It was my first time attending an international forum. It was amazing! I am so happy to have been able to learn different stories about how others started their involvement in cooperative work and somehow seeing myself in the same situation. Through this forum, I also learnt that we may come from different cultures and countries, but we have the same challenges and for us to overcome this, we need the participation of everyone, we have to work together and make cooperatives an option for everybody. 

What is your message to young people who might be hesitant about joining, setting up or working for a cooperative?

Vina Vida: There may be some hesitations and uncertainty but there is nothing more fulfilling than working for an organisation that serves the people and helps them grow. The first step will always be the scariest. The moment you let go of that fear, that is the moment you give yourself a chance to learn and enjoy the best things in life.

Photo: Vina Vida at the Global Youth Forum - Cooperative Entrepreneurship in Kuching


Global Youth Forum Cooperative Entrepreneurship 2020 - GYF20

The GYF20 is a #coops4dev? ...


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