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o u r     h i s t o r y

The Visayas Co-operative Development Center (VICTO) grew out of a need, a need to alleviate the abject poverty and deprivation of the people, to give them the opportunity to take control of their own lives, to restore their human dignity.

Hinundayan, Southern Leyte, the place where Victo started

The Center's roots date back to the early 1960s when some Canadian missionaries, the Scarboro Fathers, arrived in Southern Leyte. The priests quickly realized that the people they had come to serve were caught in a cycle of exploitation and poverty. So, they decided to do something about it. Working closely with local community leaders, they came up with a plan called "Saving Souls the Co-op Way".

Through co-ops, the people were able to take control of their lives. It wasn't easy, in the beginning there was deep suspicion as many people had had bad experiences with earlier failed co-operatives. But gradually the benefits became obvious and before too long co-ops were formed in every parish covered by the missionaries. Co-op power had taken root.

As news of their success spread throughout the Visayas, more and more co-ops were organized. In 1970 a group of committed co-ops were organized. In 1970 a group of committed co-op leaders established a modest training center which became known as VICTO.

Today, VICTO is a co-operative landmark. It is one of the most viable co-operative-owned institutions in the Philippines with a membership of 249 co-operatives.

The Center offers a wide range of services from Consultancy, Audit, Training, Financing, Inter-Co-op Trading, Research and Publication to a Training Center and Hostel. In 1991, VICTO won internation recognition for its work when it received the Development Management Award conferred by the World Executive's Digest and the Asian Instiutue of Management under the sponsorship of Japan Airlines, making it the number one development institution in Asia.

VICTO still has much work to do: the world has changed since the Center began more than 25 years ago, but people continue to be exploited, poverty still exists. However, as we head towards the Year 2000, VICTO is committed to working for total human development of all peoples.