DAVAO CITY – The Foundation for a Sustainable Society (FSSI) will celebrate its 20th Foundation Anniversary here on June 17, with a vision of stronger and more sustainable social enterprises in the Philippines.
FSSI is a non-government organization (NGO) that provides development and financial assistance to social enterprises in the country’s poorest and marginalized sectors.
The organization provides financial services through grants and loans to social enterprises that adopt the organization’s triple bottom line (3BL) principles, which were derived from the United Nation’s three pillars of sustainability.
The organization wants to integrate economic, social and environmental dimensions in the development of the communities they are supporting.
“For the past 20 years, FSSI has already established partners such as our farmers, fishermen and those who are doing organic farming. We also have micro-finance institutions that lend money to the farmers,” said Kadu Macarimbang, FSSI Mindanao program officer.
Apart from grants and financial assistance, FSSI also helps communities by enhancing their entrepreneurial capacities. Such efforts including advocacy and dialogue among policymakers and communities to provide policy support for social enterprises.
“We have this triple bottom line. We are not only looking at the profit, but we are also looking at other aspects such as the environment and the community participation,” Macarimbang said.
“A business has to be something that helps in the preservation of the environment and at the same time will help flourish the livelihood of the members of the community including their employees,” he added.
Unlike other businesses that consider profit as their primary concern, the organization focuses on the social and environmental development.
“When a business is gaining profit, but does not help the poor and is not sustainable or environment-friendly, it cannot be considered as social enterprise,” said Kathleen Lungub, FSSI advocacy and communication officer.
She also said that a part of the development of the community is to change the mindset of its members.
“Before, farmers would want to use chemical fertilizers to profit faster, but now our partners from organic farms have changed their mindset,” Lungub said.
“They are looking at the sustainability or if they are using products that are environment-friendly,” she added.
Since then, the organization has developed and assisted around 200 social enterprises with triple bottom lines in marginalized communities that are owned, managed and operated by the poor, economically sound and environmentally-friendly.
FSSI’s 20th anniversary will be opened on Wednesday at the NCCC Mall of Davao. Registration will start at 9:30 AM.
This year’s celebration is anchored on the theme, “Celebrating 20 Years of Just, Sustainable, and Empowered Communities”.(davaotoday.com)