Message from the Executive Director
Sixto Donato C. Macasaet
We close the year with some good and exciting news. A three-year project that aims to develop a mechanism to promote inclusive livelihood for the marginalized poor, through facilitating the consolidation of agricultural products and linking them to urban communities has recently been launched. The Rural-Urban Market Link Project is spearheaded by farmer-led enterprise Global Organic and Wellness Corporation (GlowCorp), with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The Foundation is participating in this project along with three of its members, the National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO), the Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA), and the Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies (PHILSSA), partner social enterprise Philippine Family Farmers’ Agriculture Fishery Forestry Cooperatives Federation (AgriCOOPh Federation), and the Asian Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Asia (AsiaDHRRA).
FSSI will also be part of the seventh operational phase of the Small Grants Program (SGP) of the Global Environment Facility. FSSI is part of the CSOs supporting the SGP and is a member of the National Steering Committee of SGP-7. The SGP aims to provide financial and technical support to local civil society organizations, especially community-based organizations, to address global environmental issues, while improving livelihoods and reducing poverty.
We will also be collaborating with the Bayan Innovation Group, along with other critical stakeholders in the social enterprise sector, in the National Social Enterprise Roadmap, which sets out to increase awareness on social enterprises and contribute to the development of social enterprises and the sector as a whole.
In terms of our support to social enterprises, to date, we have been able to provide financial investments to 17 projects this year, seven of these were with women social enterprises (WSEs), through our Investing in Women (IW) program. To ensure that our support to WSEs will be sustained beyond the program, we have included in our plans for next year specific targets related to gender inclusion and strengthened gender indicators in our triple bottom line framework.
Indeed, there are a lot to think about as we prepare for next year, but there are also plenty of things to be thankful for this past year. During the latter part of the year, we were able to visit a number of our SE partners, especially those outside Luzon. Last May, we held our General Assembly face-to-face, and last November, we also held our year-end assessment and teambuilding face-to-face – our first since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020. Last week, we were also fortunate to hold a simple Christmas lunch and celebration with the FSSI trustees and staff.
We welcome these as encouraging signs that we are truly headed towards pandemic recovery. We plan ahead, however, with a sense of both sobriety and optimism. The Foundation and our social enterprise partners are determined to sustain the momentum we have built this year, but barriers remain.
Nevertheless, we persevere, and we remain steadfast in seeking more and better ways to carry out our mission to support social enterprises. We are looking forward to working together in the coming year, and we wish everyone a meaningful holiday season!