In the Co-operative Values Series, we shared about the co-operative values that will make an individual a caring and productive person and inspire individuals to come together to enhance the betterment of the communities. 

Another co-op value, Self-responsibility in action during this month-long circuit breaker Stay Home, Stay Safe in Singapore self-responsibility-coop-valueWhat is self-responsibility in a co-op then?

Welcome to the second article in the 5-part series of what makes a productive co-op member. A quick Google search would tell you that self-responsibility is what you do in collaboration. Because nobody likes that one eye-power groupmate. In short, self-responsibility is members must take responsibility for and answer to their actions, and duties.

sleepy colleague

When you are going to work for a company or a team in the future, you have two major responsibilities: supporting and endorsing. If you are part of a group, it is quite obvious you need to contribute to whatever the group has discussed.

A team is only as strong as its weakest limb. So, know your duties well and try to complete them to the best of your ability.

Supporting your team is easy enough, but I do not think to endorse your team’s project was ever needed. However, supporting other people and convincing them to join your cause is also an important responsibility you have to shoulder.

The bigger your team is, the more you can accomplish! That’s how big companies are made.



So how does co-op integrate these two duties? To find that out, we have to travel over the Pacific Ocean to reach Ontario, Canada.


Ontario Co-operative Association

The Ontario Co-operative Association (OCA) is an important organization in helping spread the word of co-op. Its primary function is endorsing the co-op way of structuring a business.

oca-coop value series

The OCA funds established and developing co-ops for their sustainable growth. All of its members, stakeholders, volunteers, and staff are committed to creating a co-op community, where everyone shares and profits.

Wouldn’t that be a nice world to live in?

diversity-coop value series

OCA’s success is attributed to their workers carrying out their duties effectively, especially endorsing their co-op cause.


NTUC First Campus Co-operative Ltd

Self-responsibility is not just shown overseas, but locally as well. Take a look at NTUC First Campus Co-operative Ltd, set up initially in the late 1970s, but became a registered co-op on 2 March 1992.

The logo of NTUC First Campus

As you can tell from the child in the logo, this co-op handles the childcare centres and creches in Singapore. It began the chain of “My First Skool” childcare centres, which is something you might have seen before.

myffirstskool-coop value series

It first began as an encouragement for women to join the workforce, and childcare was the best option. Hence, in 1977, NTUC Childcare was established, which was initially run as a department of the union and not as a co-op. The transition to being a co-op was not easy as well.

studentsntuc-coop value series

The founder of NTUC Childcare, Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon pushed for increased government subsidies to childcare centres nationwide. Furthermore, under the guidance of Mr Lim Boo Heng, it was registered as a co-op in 1992. Now that more women have joined the workforce, its focus has shifted to more of providing quality education to developing children.

If you’ve been reading carefully, NTUC First Campus’s success is credited to the individuals who have done their part in building it. People such as Mrs Yu-Foo and Mr Lim recognised their duties and did them, which led to NTUC First Campus being what it is today.


What’s your role?

And everything starts with a little bit of dedication to what you are doing

If you are part of a group project right now, have you carried out all the duties you’ve been assigned to? It’s now or never!

To the rest, how do you want the rest of the world to know what you are doing? Do you want to join a cause or make a cause? Get yourself and others involved!

Self-responsibility is an idea very often repeated in those Biology classes you used to doze off in. * clears throat, puts on scientist goggles * Each cell, when doing their job efficiently, can help keep the body healthy. Each person, when doing their duties effectively, can help maintain or even improve the co-op.


If you haven’t dozed off yet, great! Go out there and commit yourself to your co-op. If you have, wake up and finish what’s on your list!

Group projects are important in the increasing co-op society we live in, so responsibilities are normal. Hope this article motivates you to fulfil them!

Co-ops will be seen more often in the near future, and we should learn to fulfil responsibilities given to us in such a co-op. Try out the co-op way of business in your next university or JC project, you’ll see what I’m talking about!

This article was brought to you by Rishi Rayapati from Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), an intern at SNCF from 9 December to 13  December 2019. Rishi likes reading a good book and playing badminton.