April 2020
Seeding the Change: Global Seed Savers Blog
GSS Staff Perspective on COVID-19

Thanks to our incredible Country Director Karen for sharing her reflections on how the last month under Enhanced Community Quarantine in Baguio City has impacted her work and our partners in the Philippines.

By: Karen Lee Hizola, Country Director Philippines
Our city has been on enhanced community quarantine for over a month now. In Baguio City, where I live, this setup has been enforced very strictly. We can go out for essentials if we get a pass from the local barangay (small neighborhood unit) and we, the people who live in District 1 can only go out Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7-11 in the morning.

In effect, I have not been able to visit our partner municipality Tublay, which is an hour north of Baguio. I’ve mostly been home except for the few times that I had to go out to get groceries. The majority of businesses are closed in our usually bustling Baguio City meaning many people are currently out of work. I’m one of the lucky ones. Each day I am thankful that I still have a job! Everyday I’m thankful that I have a job that allows me to make a positive impact in people’s lives. By virtue of the ripple effect, every kindness we put out in the world reaches far beyond our original act.
It has not escaped me that so many Filipinos are suffering and are hungry. That’s why as some of those who have the means to tide them through to the other side of this story are finding creative ways to use their time. We at Global Seed Savers are doing one of the things we do best—we’re building bridges. Our physical distance should not be and is not a hindrance to doing good and spreading kindness.

Aduyon: Food Security Through Mutual Help . This is what we’ve been busy with the past month. Together with our tireless partners here like the Municipality of Tublay, and partner non-profits including: Philippines Business for Social Progress, CARE Philippines, PAGASA, and Project Liwanag, we have set up a food network that has ensured over 36,000 vulnerable families have access to food and that 150 farmers from five municipalities here in Benguet Province, continue to have a livelihood!

In a world where physical distancing is the new normal, we will continue to forge new and stronger paths, and build more resilient bridges. We’re not stopping here. We will continue to do the work we love doing because we work for the people we love: our farmers, our families our friends, our team. This is what sustains us. There is an abundance of love in our people. And that’s why I am one of the lucky ones.
Giving Tuesday Now on May 5th
Join us next week on May 5th for Giving Tuesday Now.
A new global day of giving and unity in response to the unprecedented need caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Support our partner farmers and our on-going work by making a donation next week on Giving Tuesday Now!
You can also support us by purchasing a bag of Filipino Coffee from our friends at Venture Coffee Company .

$5 of all orders made on Tuesday, May 5th will be donated to us to support our on-going impact.

Use the code GSS when you place your order here!
Online Seed Immersion Talks with Global Seed Savers
First Talk: The Basics of Seeds

Friday, May 8th at 10am in the Philippines
Thursday, May 7th 8pm MST

Join the GSS Team to learn more about how to handle seeds, plant seeds, store seeds, and more! We are thrilled to see that so many are inspired to plant a garden, whether you live in a densely populated city like Manila or a more rural community we want to make sure you have the knowledge and skills to successfully grow food and save seeds!

Join us for 30 min short courses on a variety of subjects pertaining to seeds, growing a garden, and more. These courses will be offered via Zoom starting Friday, May 8th and be held each Friday for one month.

Please send us an email if you want to attend and we will share the Zoom details with you. We look forward to helping you all grow food and seeds for improved sovereignty!