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“Social justice is really my passion. Defending people who can’t defend themselves, resisting the powerful [who are abusive], these are the reasons why I do what I do”

What drives anyone to go into development work? For Efrenlito Cabbigat, Global Seeds Savers Philippines’ new program manager, it is the passion for social justice and the desire to see meaningful changes in how society treats the marginalized.

  “Nagising ako isang araw at naisip ko na isa na ako sa mga taong ipinaglalaban ko [I woke up one day realizing that I was already one of those people I was fighting for]”, Efren said when he was asked to explain why he decided to finally work as a GSSP staff member, after being in the organization’s board of directors. “I felt detached with my [previous] work, and I knew I couldn’t let the pandemic change my direction. My intention is to leave a good mark in the world. And getting rich was not the mark that I wanted to leave, so I had to go back to my passion”, he continues. “Social justice is really my passion. Defending people who can’t defend themselves, resisting the powerful [who are abusive], these are the reasons why I do what I do”.

And though Efren is no longer a newbie at GSSP, he thinks that there is so much more he can learn and contribute to the organization.

“I believe in his work and see myself growing in this organization”, Efren says. And truly, this is the kind of mindset organizations want their members to have. Staff engagement in the organization’s vision is difficult to find, and Efren’s dedication to this work is a gem.

“And what excites me the most about working in GSSP is that I feel at home with all the staff here. I enjoy your company, of being with people who share the same passions. When Sherry and Karen talk about inclusion and decolonization, I realize that these are the same things that I want to engage in”.

When asked what he wants to be able to achieve with his new role, Efren answers without hesitation. “I want to create processes so that even if I am not there, there will be no disruption to the organization. I want it so that whoever holds the role will be able to function well”.

Truly, Efren’s heart and mind is in the right place, and we are grateful to have found the right addition to our growing team.

Finding the right people is really crucial for an organization like Global Seed Savers. But we have always been blessed to meet right people at exactly the right time. And with someone who is skilled and passionate like Efren in our team, we know we will be able to reach new heights.