Last November 25 to 27, 2022, Efrenlito Cabbigat (Phil Program Manager), Harry (Cebu Seed Production Coordinator), Farmer Elizabeth Martin (Benguet Field Coordinator, BASS), and Farmer Adelwisa Remeticado Pacaña (Cebu Seed Savers) attended the 5th Philippine Permaculture Convergence in Oriental Mindoro which was hosted by the Philippine Permaculture Association.
They have learned a lot from the various lectures and interactions they had with other farmers and permaculturists. Perhaps one of the more memorable experiences during the event was when Manang Adelwisa and Manang Elizabeth presented the results of one of the group discussions they participated in. To see them speak out and share their thoughts about topics they are knowledgeable about is a great honor.
Indeed, this is our dream for every farmer: to re-discover their voice, to re-ignite their passion for shaping Philippine agriculture, and to become true forces for change.
It was so wonderful to all be together in person as a team during my trip to the Philippines in October and host a 3.5 day staff retreat. We have a renewed theory of change, more focused work plans to hone in on, and a restored commitment to our big audacious goals and mission and vision moving forward, more to come on this all!
We are excited to be expanding our advocacy into local seed policy formation work, deepening our partnerships across the Philippines and world, and continuing to invest in the growth and leadership development of our team. In the coming year we indeed support:
The creation of additional seed production sites
Ensure indigenous seed preservation policies are instituted at the local level
Expand our network via launching a Seed Savers Membership model across the Philippines.
We are especially grateful to Aimee Santos-Lyons, our wonderful retreat facilitator for designing and executing the retreat for us. Aimee was a skillful facilitator with decades of organizing and team development experience, and incorporated wonderful movement exercises along with deep dives into theory of change revision processes and internal team accountability discussions.
The team is energized with renewed focus for the work that lays ahead for us in 2023 and beyond!