A Gratitude Note From SEED, for the Year that Is and for the Year that Will Be

As 2014 draws near to a close, SEED Center Philippines, Inc. expresses its profound gratitude to partners, staff and management, the Board of Directors, funders and all other stakeholders that have been a part of the organization this year. As saying “thank you” has been an important and constant statement of SEED, perhaps these words of gratitude falls short to express SEED’s appreciation towards all who have helped make 2014 truly a rewarding year.

On its second year of rehabilitation, SEED traversed many challenges. Of which one of the main hurdles was on the need to establish SEED’s permanency as an organization so we can effectively and continuously extend our programs and services to the poor. I it has been a constant endeavour to perform in a well-rounded manner not only to pave the way for self-sufficiency, but more importantly to create an indelible mark as a practitioner of social microfinance which actualizes lasting and positive change to the lives of partners whom we serve.

Thus even if SEED has not yet attained the scale and efficiency to prop its viability, we were able to forge strategic partnerships (involving local companies with corporate social responsibility, local foundations, the local and national government and agencies, and various international institutions) on top of maintaining its long standing partnership with its main funder and provider of technical support, Entrepreneurs du Monde.

With these partnerships, it is with a deep sense of collective accomplishment that SEED was able to reach milestones as a young organization. By November 2014, SEED was able to cover an outreach of 4,153 partners from the coverage of 2,671 in December 2013. SEED has also disbursed 4,712 loans in the last 11 months representing the amount of more than PhP 47 Million. SEED’s portfolio has grown from PhP 5.7 Million in December 2013 to PhP 11 Million to date. SEED has also maintained a window of loan with absolutely 0% interest for partners who are starting up a business. Likewise, SEED was also able to expand its activity in the City of Manila beginning November 2014.

Not only those, as of November 2014, SEED was also able to provide 7,806 attendees of Business Development, Financial Literacy, and Skills Trainings. 42 partners also benefitted to the individual and intensive business coaching sessions to support partners who would be starting up a business. 127 families were also provided with professional psychosocial counselling from SEED’s licensed social workers. 2,810 also benefitted from the 5 community outreach conducted during the year which incorporated free medical, dental and legal services.

More importantly, SEED has completed its 3-Years Business Planning to cover goals, objectives, targets and activities from 2015 – 2017. In its planning, SEED upheld its focus on reaching out to the poor not only in breadth but in depth; in ensuring that SEED’s partners are able to increase their incomes and access to basic services; in actualizing a human resource program to build SEED’s organizational capacities and effectiveness; in attaining and sustaining financial viability for SEED to ensure its permanency in attaining its social mission; and, in strengthening SEED as an organization worthy of service to the poor.

As the new year 2015 draws near, SEED is to step up on another important timeline in its evolution as an organization. 2015 marks SEED’s 10th founding anniversary. SEED is very much aware that the incoming year will be more challenging than 2014 has been. However, holding on to its mandate, mission and values, SEED as an organization is positive on achieving milestones incomparable in the past. It is with conviction that with the reaffirmation of positive culture among partners, capacity building among staff, guidance from its Board and Management, and the unwavering and growing support from networks here and abroad, SEED will be able to fulfill its goals.

With these, SEED bids everyone good tidings this holiday season and looks forward to another year marked with impending and boundless reasons for gratitude as we embark further in continuing service to the poor, their families and communities.

Hilda C. Aytin
Executive Director, SEED Center Philippines, Inc.